Tooth loss can be a life-altering situation. It can affect your ability to chew tougher foods, give a less appealing smile, and even make your communication less effective. Thanks to dental bridges, you can replace your missing tooth or teeth and enhance your smile’s aesthetics, speech, and function.
However, like your teeth, dental bridges require excellent care to keep them in excellent condition and sparkling white. In this article, let’s explore some tips on maintaining a bright, radiant smile for the long term.
A tooth bridge is a dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth. It contains one or more artificial teeth (pontic) supported by dental crowns or frameworks attached to healthy adjacent teeth.
A bridge can also be anchored to a dental implant (implant-supported bridges). Bridges are custom-made to fit like your natural teeth, giving you a natural, functional, and beautiful smile. Visit our dental office for a tooth bridge in Newburyport, MA.
Below are easy and practical tips for caring for your bridge to maintain a radiant smile and ensure long-term success:
While bridges are made from artificial materials that won’t develop decay or cavities, excellent hygiene is still essential. Poor hygiene can encourage plaque and tartar buildup on and around the bridge, making them look dull or discolored. This can also cause decay on the anchor teeth, bad breath, and infection on the surrounding gums and bone, leading to gum disease, bone loss, tooth loss, and bridge loss.
To keep your bridge clean and bright, brush at least twice daily or after meals. Similarly, use floss threaders, superfloss, and other flosses designed for bridges to effectively clean under the bridge to prevent plaque buildup. You can also use an antimicrobial mouthwash, particularly after meals, to remove bacteria and debris in the mouth.
While oral hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy bridge and mouth, using the wrong products and techniques can actually be harmful. Some toothbrushes have hard bristles, while some toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients, which can scratch your bridge and teeth, making them susceptible to staining and damage.
Similarly, brushing vigorously can erode your bridge and teeth, damaging them over time. To brush effectively, ensure you use a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste or mouthwash. Also, brush gently for at least 2 minutes at a time. Avoid colored mouthwash, toothpaste, and other products, as they can stain your teeth and bridge.
Dental experts recommend having professional cleanings every 6 months. The dentist uses special tools to remove stubborn plaque, tartar, and other debris from your bridge, teeth, and mouth. The dentist can also polish your bridge and teeth to give them a smooth, brighter, shiny appearance.
While the materials used for bridges are highly resistant to staining, they can stain over time, especially when exposed to staining ingredients regularly. Therefore, it’s important to avoid highly pigmented foods and beverages like soda, wine, fruit juices, wine, and coffee.
If you must take these items, ensure you brush or rinse your teeth soon after to prevent potential discoloration. If you have taken acidic items, wait for at least 30 minutes to brush. For highly pigmented beverages, you can use a straw to reduce the contact of the staining ingredients with your teeth and bridge.
Tobacco contains harmful toxins like nicotine, which can turn your bridge and teeth yellow and brown pretty quickly. On the other hand, excessive alcohol can cause a dry mouth, causing decay in the anchor teeth, causing your bridge to fall off. To keep your teeth and bridge brighter and in good condition, consider quitting tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.
If you’re worried about your teeth and bridge getting stained, you can consult your dentist about a good teeth-whitening toothpaste. Brushing with the toothpaste can prevent potential staining, keeping your teeth and bridge white and shiny without eroding them.
Additional tips for caring for your bridge and mouth include:
Unlike your natural teeth, dental restorations like bridges can’t be whitened or bleached. If your bridge gets stained, the dentist can try polishing it for a brighter appearance. If the dental bridge discoloration is severe and can’t be lightened with polishing and professional cleaning, your best option would be to get a new bridge. Visit our dentist to discuss your options.
Are you considering dental bridges? Or perhaps you need more tips for maintaining your bridges and smile? Contact Newburyport Family Dental to book your appointment today.