how to clean dental bridge - man brushing teeth

How to Clean a Dental Bridge

Although you cannot remove a dental bridge, food can still get stuck under it. It’s important to understand how to properly clean your dental bridge to prevent infection and protect your surrounding teeth. At Lifetime Family Dental, we restore smiles with high quality dental bridges. We want to help you maintain your beautiful smile with this guide to cleaning a dental bridge. 

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Dental Bridge?

Because a dental bridge is a type of fake tooth, it may be tempting to ignore it and focus only on your natural teeth when it comes to dental care. However, food particles, bacteria, and plaque can accumulate underneath a dental bridge. 

Neglecting to clean under a dental bridge can cause bad breath or allow cavities to form in the abutments (the supporting teeth on either side of the bridge). It also increases your risk of gum disease, an infection that can have serious consequences like tooth loss. 

How to Clean a Dental Bridge and Keep It in Good Condition

1; Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

You should always brush your bridge twice a day along with your natural teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with non-abrasive toothpaste to prevent damaging the bridge. Abrasive toothpaste ingredients you should avoid include baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, aluminum oxide, calcium pyrophosphate, activated charcoal, and silica. 

2: Floss Every Day

To efficiently remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth, you also need to floss your teeth and underneath your bridge every day. You can use a floss threader to help guide string floss under a dental bridge, or you can use an interdental brush instead of floss. For a more thorough clean, you can also use a water flosser in addition to string floss or an interdental brush to remove debris from underneath the bridge. 

3: Avoid Bad Habits

Using your teeth to open packages, crunching ice cubes, or chewing on objects like the ends of pens can damage a dental bridge. These bad habits can also lead to chips or cracks in your natural teeth. Other habits like smoking tobacco and drinking dark liquids like coffee and red wine can stain your dental bridges as well as your natural teeth. To keep your teeth bright and healthy, it’s best to quit smoking and limit your intake of teeth-staining beverages.

4: Avoid Hard, Sticky, and Sugary Foods

Hard foods like ice, nuts, and popcorn can chip or otherwise damage your dental bridge. Sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy may get stuck underneath your bridge, or even get so stuck to it that they pull it out. Sugary sweets like candy and desserts can also get stuck underneath a dental bridge, increasing the risk of decay in your natural teeth. 

5: Visit Your Dentist Regularly

It’s important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and exams to keep your teeth and your dental bridge in good condition. Your dentist will be able to spot any issues early and provide you with fast, effective treatment before the problem gets worse. Avoiding dental appointments allows many dental issues to progress unnoticed, which will only lead to more expensive and invasive treatments later on. 

Dental Bridges in Gilbert

Whether you’re considering getting a dental bridge or have one that you need to keep clean, Lifetime Family Dental can help. We provide a wide range of dental restorations, including bridges. We can help you keep your dental bridge clean with regular professional teeth cleanings. 

We’re also happy to show you the proper technique for flossing underneath your dental bridge at your next appointment. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 480-558-4331 today. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/23/2022). Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash