A bridge is made up of one or more artificial teeth fused between two crowns and anchored to your natural teeth or anchored to dental implants.
Often used to replace one or more missing teeth, this permanent prosthesis can last upward of 10 years if you take good care of it. Just like your natural teeth, a dental bridge needs to be brushed twice a day and flossed daily. While a similar brushing technique can be used to clean your natural and artificial teeth, flossing can be a challenge if you have a prosthesis.
Effectively Floss Your Dental Bridge
Here are three tools that can help you floss your dental bridge:
A floss threader Made of rigid plastic, a floss threader resembles a needle and can be used to pass floss beneath a dental bridge. Simply thread the floss through the loop end of the threader and use it to guide the floss beneath the bridge. Then, remove the threader and gently glide the floss back and forth along the gumline beneath the prosthesis.
An interdental brush This specialized tool resembles a toothpick lined with toothbrush-like bristles. To use it, hold the handle and insert the bristled end beneath your bridge. Gently move it back and forth along your gumline. If you have implants, be sure to use a plastic interdental brush as a metal wire could damage the titanium.
A water flosser This hand-held device resembles a pen and uses a pulsating jet of water to wash away food particles and plaque trapped beneath your bridge and around your dental crowns. Lean over the sink and start at the lowest pressure setting. Aim the water stream between your gums and bridge rather than directly at the gumline.
If you’re unsure how to use any of these tools, ask your family dentist to demonstrate. Keep in mind that you also need to schedule a routine professional cleaning and dental exam twice a year to maintain your bridge.
Why You Need to Floss Bridges
Food particles and plaque can easily get trapped and accumulate between your bridge and gums. This increases the risk of adjacent tooth decay and gum inflammation, which can cause your bridge to loosen and fall off. Therefore, daily flossing is essential to the longevity of your dental bridge as well as the health of your natural teeth.
Consult Your Family Dentist in SE Calgary
At Forest Lawn Dental Centre, our friendly team offers a variety of general and cosmetic dentistry services to restore and maintain your healthy smile. For more information about how to care for dental bridges, or to schedule an appointment at our Calgary clinic, contact us today.