Marco Island Dentist Details Top Tips for Caring for Your Dental Bridge Work
You might be a good candidate for dental bridgework if you are among the estimated 120 million Americans missing at least one tooth. A dental bridge consists of one or more prosthetic teeth fused to a metal frame securely anchored between existing teeth to “bridge” the gap. While dental bridgework serves as a natural-looking cosmetic fix to restore one’s smile, it also provides functional benefits by maintaining existing teeth positioning and strengthening the overall bite, underlying gum tissue, and jawbone.
With extensive experience fitting dental bridges for their southwest Florida-area patients, Dr. Jonathan Van Dyke and Dr. Brian Garcia of Island Tower Dentistry know first-hand how bridgework can restore smiles and enhance overall dental health. And while dental bridges provide a long-lasting tooth replacement option, patients must be especially diligent about caring for them. Not only can your oral hygiene practices going forward help preserve your remaining teeth, but they also ensure that your dental bridge lasts for a decade or more. Read on to learn how to protect and preserve your dental bridge.
Importance of Post-Treatment Care
Most patients feel slight to moderate tenderness and sensitivity around the bridge placement area for a few days after the procedure. Despite this, it is essential to keep the site clean by gently brushing and flossing at least twice a day and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash to help kill harmful bacteria. When initially flossing, familiarize yourself with how the floss works its way around the bridge structure so that you can learn how to effectively floss the area with care for the underlying bridgework.
To reduce sensitivity, use a soft-bristle brush and consider using a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. If tenderness and sensitivity directly linked to the bridge fail to subside after a week, schedule an appointment with your dentist so that they can double-check the dental bridge’s fitting.
Maintain Your Dental Hygiene Routine
Proper dental hygiene should remain a mainstay of your dental and bridge care after the post-treatment period. Brushing, flossing, and antibacterial mouth rinses should be diligently practiced at least twice a day. You should also experiment with floss threaders, dental picks, and inter-proximal brushes to determine which is most effective at removing food debris from the space between your bridge and gums. As warranted, add the use of one of these tools to your twice-daily dental cleaning regimen.
Last, make sure you continue seeing your dentist for regularly scheduled cleaning and check-ups. A professional cleaning helps remove any potentially damaging plaque and tartar that has built up despite your best cleaning efforts, while the check-up will help ensure that the dental bridge continues to function as designed.
Be Careful What You Consume
While the prosthetic teeth in dental bridges are as robust as your natural teeth, certain foods can damage or misalign the underlying support structure. In particular, avoid hard food items and sticky foods that can get affixed to the structure. At the very least, try not to chew such foods directly over the abridged teeth. Additionally, avoid sugary foods and acidic drinks, which can degrade the metallic bridge understructure over time. Food items you should be careful of include:
- Raw vegetables
- Popcorn kernels
- Acidic drinks
To Learn More About Dental Bridge Care, Contact Island Tower Dentistry
If you want to explore whether a dental bridge is the right option for restoring your smile or have questions about existing dental bridgework, the dentists at southwest Florida’s Island Tower Dentistry will gladly meet with you. With a full slate of dental services in the Marco Island, Florida, area, contact Island Tower Dentistry today at 239-394-1004.