How Do I Take Care of My Bridge?

Living with empty spaces in your mouth doesn’t just make it harder to chew food and speak clearly — it can also alter the alignment of your bite, undermine your oral health, diminish your smile, and erode your confidence.  

To restore missing teeth, preserve your smile, and safeguard your oral health, Quang Tran, DDS, and the team at Smiles in Springfield offer a full scope of flawless restorative options, including fixed dental bridges

Like any dental restoration, bridges are designed for functional durability and long-term wear — as long as you keep your mouth healthy. Here’s how practicing good oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings and exams can help you maximize the lifespan of your bridge.  

Dental bridge basics

A dental bridge is a versatile dental restoration designed to fill the gaps left by missing teeth as perfectly as your actual teeth once did. On top of restoring a beautiful, natural-looking smile, a bridge helps to protect your oral health and preserve proper bite alignment.   

The restoration itself is made up of two or more artificial teeth (typically porcelain crowns) that form a single unit. Once this row of custom-made teeth is fitted into place, it “bridges” the gap between the supporting abutment teeth on either side. 

Tooth-supported bridge

A tooth-supported bridge uses your natural teeth as support anchors. It can be a good choice for people who need to replace only one or two teeth, provided they have healthy gums and strong abutment teeth. 

Implant-supported bridge

This type of bridge is fixed in place and supported on either side by dental implants. Because an implant-supported bridge stimulates the underlying bone, it’s usually the best option for people who are replacing several teeth. 

Daily care and upkeep 

Innovative materials and advanced restorative techniques mean that your bridge is built to last, provided you maintain good dental habits and optimal oral hygiene. 

While your oral hygiene habits won’t change too much once you have a bridge, you do need to pay extra attention to its care in order to avoid a common pitfall — hidden decay beneath the crowns that cover your natural teeth and support the restoration. 

When daily brushing is rushed and flossing is inadequate (or nonexistent), food particles can get trapped beneath your bridge or along its edges. As plaque begins to accumulate, the area becomes more prone to decay; severe, unchecked decay can weaken your anchor teeth and cause the bridge to fail.

You can prevent this scenario, however, by implementing the following oral care techniques:

Besides helping you maintain healthy teeth and strong, durable bridgework, these simple oral hygiene strategies can help prevent the leading cause of tooth loss among adults: gum disease (periodontitis).

Lifespan and durability 

While your dental bridge is designed to last for at least 10 years, it can last much longer with good care. Proper brushing, thorough flossing, and routine professional cleanings and exams can extend the life of your bridge for another decade, possibly longer. 

To learn more about dental bridge restorations at Smiles in Springfield or to schedule your next cleaning, call our Springfield, Virginia, office at 703-634-4239 today. You can also send a message to Dr. Tran and the team here on our website.

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