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How to Take Care of Your Dental Bridge

How to Take Care of Your Dental Bridge

There’s nothing worse than living with a prominent gap in your smile — and nothing better than filling that gap with a custom dental prosthesis that protects your oral health as it restores full function and appearance to your mouth.

If our skilled dental team at Smiles in Springfield recommends a fixed bridge to fill an empty space in your gumline, you can expect to receive a perfectly fitted, natural-looking restoration that’s designed for functional durability and long-term wear. 

Here, Dr. Quang Tran and Dr. Truc Duong explain how attentive daily care and periodic maintenance checks can keep your bridge in excellent condition, maximize its lifespan, and preserve your beautifully restored smile for years to come. 

Fixed bridge dental restorations

A fixed dental bridge is custom made to fill the gaps left by missing teeth as perfectly as your natural teeth once did. In addition to rehabilitating your smile, this versatile dental restoration conserves normal bite alignment and safeguards your oral health. 

A typical fixed bridge is a single unit consisting of two basic parts:

Abutment teeth

Our team places dental crowns on either side of the gap. Known as abutment teeth, these supporting crowns may fit over your natural teeth or dental implants.

Pontic teeth

The abutment crowns are attached to one or more pontic teeth, the synthetic teeth that replace your missing teeth and “bridge” the gap between the supporting teeth on either side. 

Most fixed dental bridges are either:

Tooth supported

A tooth-supported bridge uses your natural teeth as support anchors for the capping abutment crowns. It’s an ideal solution if you’re replacing only one or two teeth, provided your remaining natural teeth are strong and you have healthy gums. 

Implant supported

An implant-supported bridge uses dental implants to anchor the abutment crowns. Because dental implants stimulate the underlying jawbone to keep it robust, it’s the best option when you need to replace a row of three or more teeth. 

Daily care for your fixed bridge

It’s important to recognize that we wouldn’t recommend a fixed bridge to restore your smile if you didn’t already have solid oral hygiene habits. Why? An attentive daily oral hygiene regimen is important to keep your bridge viable, as well as to maintain the oral tissues that support it.

But don’t worry; your daily oral hygiene steps won’t change too much once you have a bridge. You can keep your bridge viable and your mouth healthy by following these steps: 

  1. Brush twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  2. Floss between teeth at least once a day, taking care to floss around your bridge 
  3. Rinse with an enamel-fortifying fluoridated mouthwash daily or as desired

As you can see, you still brush thoroughly twice a day and floss properly at least once a day to remove food particles and residues and prevent the buildup of plaque. 

Additionally, you do some extra flossing beneath and around your bridge restoration to keep your abutment teeth and gums healthy and plaque-free. 

Many of our patients find it significantly easier to floss underneath and around a fixed bridge with a special tool called an interdental brush

These small, round or cone-shaped brushes resemble thin pipe cleaners; they come in distinct sizes to fit different spaces in your mouth. You use each interdental brush a few times before discarding it, much like a disposable razor. 

By keeping your abutment teeth and the gum tissue beneath your bridge free of plaque and bacteria, these simple oral hygiene strategies protect the durability and long-term viability of your restoration. 

They also keep the rest of your mouth clean and healthy, helping to prevent dental decay and gum disease, the two main causes of adult tooth loss.

Twice-yearly maintenance checks

Twice-yearly dental visits also take on greater importance when you have a fixed bridge restoration. When you see our team every six months for a dental exam and cleaning, we:

Our professional oral care services go a long way in supporting your daily oral hygiene efforts, helping to protect your restoration and keep your mouth healthy as time goes on.

Extend the lifespan of your bridge

Innovative dental materials and advanced restoration techniques mean that your fixed bridge is built to last: You can expect it to stay in place and function properly for at least 10 years with a good oral hygiene regimen. 

But if you excel at following our fixed bridge care recommendations of attentive brushing and flossing along with routine dental visits, you may be able to extend the longevity of your bridge for several more years — possibly even doubling its intended lifespan. 

To find out more about fixed bridge restorations — or to schedule a visit with Dr. Tran or Dr. Duong at Smiles in Springfield in Springfield, Virginia — give us a call at 703-595-2403 today.

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