Patients who have experienced tooth loss can attest to the negative effects of missing teeth, aesthetically, emotionally, and pragmatically. Even a single lost tooth can make a world of difference in a person’s smile and confidence. With the right dental restoration, patients can once again smile, eat, and speak without any issue. Dental bridges are one such restoration utilized by our Nashville cosmetic dentistry practice, with highly effective results.
With the right preventative care and protection, a dental bridge can be a long-lasting replacement for missing teeth. Follow the below guidelines for Caring for Your Dental Bridge to ensure your bridge remains strong and your teeth healthy.
Keep Your Bridge CleanWhile the material of a dental bridge cannot be infected by decay, it is still vital to keep your bridge clean. If bacteria are allowed to accumulate, they can infect nearby teeth and gums. This is especially important for teeth that support the bridge through dental crowns, as they are particularly susceptible to decay. Even when bridges are supported by dental implants, bacteria can spread into the underlying gum tissue. Therefore, daily hygiene is of the utmost importance to extend the life of your bridge and strengthen your overall dental health.
- Brushing: As with any tooth or restoration, it’s important to brush two to three times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also remember to replace your toothbrush when the bristles begin to become frayed or worn, usually every four months.
- Flossing: Daily flossing is equally important, and bridges present an additional challenge in this area. Since replacement teeth rest above the gum line, you should also floss between the bridge and the gums. To make this easier, many dentists recommend using a floss threader or Super Floss®, both of which can help floss fit through tight or hard-to-reach areas.
Visit Your Dentist RegularlyDental visits are an important part of preserving your teeth and gums, but they’re also necessary for checking the condition of your restorations. The estimated lifespan of your dental bridge is still only an approximation, which is also subject to numerous factors that may increase or decrease its longevity. Through routine dental exams, your dentist can keep track of your bridge and the health of adjacent tissue. More importantly, X-ray images can detect the early development of cavities within crowned teeth, allowing patients to stop decay before it leads to additional tissue or tooth loss.
Protect Your Bridge from DamageDental bridges are made to withstand the stress of normal biting and chewing habits, but some patients may be at a greater risk of putting excessive stress on their teeth. For instance, patients who participate in contact sports or similar activities with a risk of injury are more likely to experience a sudden impact to their teeth. In such instances, dental bridges may break or become loose. To protect your teeth and bridge from trauma, wear a mouth guard when participating in physical activities.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is another risk factor in porcelain dental restorations. Patient with a habit of clenching or grinding their teeth while asleep face the possibility of damaging their dental bridges. If you believe you may suffer from bruxism, speak with your dentist about the benefits of wearing a mouth guard or occlusal splint at night.