Dental bridges play an important role in replacing one or more missing teeth. A bridge allows you to chew normally again and gives you back your smile.
There are a number of kinds of bridges, but the basic bridge consists of two crowns that attach to the teeth on both sides of the gap. These crowns, then, support the false tooth that fills in the gap.
While bridges are very helpful, care is required to keep them — and the teeth and tissues around them — in good shape. In this post, Abir Faraj, DDS, of Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Michigan, offers some simple tips to help patients care for their bridges.
Brush twice a day
While your dental bridge can’t develop cavities, the teeth that support your bridge can. Furthermore, the gums underneath your bridge can develop problems, too. When you have a bridge, it’s important to pay attention to your oral hygiene routine. And that means brushing twice daily and paying special attention to the nooks and crannies surrounding your bridge.
Dental floss and interdental brushes can help remove food debris and plaque that lurk in and around your bridge, gums, and teeth. It can take a little practice to learn how to use floss effectively around a bridge, but once you learn what to do, it should become second nature.
Consider a water flosser
Water flossers use a steady stream — or massaging bursts — of water to clean between teeth. They can also be used to clean underneath your bridge, but just don’t use the highest setting, since that could wind up irritating your gums. And note that a flosser should be used in addition to regular dental floss, not as a substitute.
Swishing your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash can help kill germs that might get missed with brushing and flossing. Many mouthwashes reduce plaque, too. Ask Dr. Faraj to recommend a brand for your needs during your next visit.
Avoid hard foods
While bridges are durable, they can still get damaged. So avoid chewing on very hard or crunchy foods, and don’t chew on ice or hard objects, such as pencils. If you eat food that’s gooey or sticky, take some extra care to clean around your bridge and under it to make sure you remove all the particles.
Treat your grinding problem
If you grind your teeth, it’s more than just an annoying problem. Without treatment, you could damage your teeth — and your bridge. Teeth grinding can put extra pressure on a bridge, which can damage or loosen it. Dr. Faraj can create a customized night guard to protect your teeth if you grind them while you sleep.
Attend your checkups
Having routine checkups every six months is important to make sure your bridge is working well and to make sure your teeth and gums around it are healthy. During your visit, Dr. Faraj will examine your bridge and look for any issues in the area, such as gum disease or irritation, which could need early intervention.
Call the office if you have any problems
If your bridge breaks or cracks, loosens, or falls out, don’t wait until your next appointment to see us. Call the office right away, so we can fix the damage and prevent further problems from developing.
Don’t ignore a missing tooth
Having missing teeth increases your risks for other oral health problems, including additional tooth loss. Dental bridges can help restore your smile and improve your oral health. To learn more about dental bridges, call 313-646-7903 or book an appointment online with Novi Family Dentistry today.