Dental crowns and bridges are two of the most common prosthetic dental procedures. They restore the look and function of your teeth, prevent further dental problems, and improve your oral health. Dental bridges are artificial teeth used to replace missing or damaged teeth, while dental crowns are caps that fit over damaged teeth to protect, cover, and strengthen them.
Crowns and bridges require proper cleaning to ensure longevity, good oral health, and a sparkling smile, just like natural teeth. Plaque and bacteria build up on the crowns and bridges over time, leading to gum infections and other dental problems.
Here is a detailed guide on how to clean crowns and bridges properly to maintain a healthy mouth. You will also learn how to floss and brush a dental bridge to keep your dental work in excellent condition.
General Oral Hygiene for Maintaining Crowns and Bridges
The key to maintaining your crowns and dental bridges is to practice excellent oral hygiene. Consistently brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to keep bacteria and plaque at bay.
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Do this for two minutes every session to ensure your mouth gets clean. Clean around the crowns and bridges, including underneath them.
- Floss once daily using floss threaders, dental picks, or a water flosser like a Waterpik to remove plaque, tartar, and food particles from between teeth and around crowns and bridges.
- Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill bacteria that can cause cavities and gum diseases.
- Avoid bad habits like chewing on hard objects, opening packages with your teeth, and grinding your teeth. These can break or damage crowns and bridges.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional dental cleaning and checkup to ensure your oral health is in good condition.
Proper oral hygiene will help keep your crowns and bridges in excellent shape, giving you a bright, healthy smile.
How to Clean Dental Bridges and Crowns
Understanding the correct steps for cleaning dental bridges and crowns is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. Follow these easy steps:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush around and underneath the bridge or crown. A gentle scrubbing motion is best for removing plaque and food particles.
- Use dental floss or threaders around and underneath the bridge or crown. Wrap the floss around each tooth on either side of the gap, then slide it up and down to clean the area.
- Use mouthwash to rinse away bacteria, plaque, and food particles. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out. A Waterpik or other specialized oral irrigator can also be used to rinse around the bridge or crown to prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar.
- Visit your dentist for professional cleanings every six months. Your dentist can provide a more thorough cleaning than you can do at home.
Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing following the correct techniques are excellent oral hygiene habits that will ensure the longevity of your bridges and crowns. A Waterpik helps prevent the buildup of food particles but don’t substitute it for dental floss.
How to Brush Dental Bridge
Keeping your dental bridge clean can be tricky, as food and bacteria can get stuck in the bridge’s crevices. Since a dental bridge is a floating prosthetic, using the correct brushing technique is critical for a thorough cleaning. Here’s how to brush a dental bridge:
- Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to a soft-bristled brush. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents cavities. A soft-bristled brush helps protect the bridge from scratching or damage, maintaining its integrity and stability.
- Position the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line and use gentle circular motions to scrub around, underneath, and in between each of the teeth in your bridge. The circular strokes will dislodge food debris and plaque from the hard-to-reach areas.
- Be sure to brush your bridge for at least two minutes. This will help ensure that all areas of the bridge and teeth are adequately cleaned.
- Finish off with a gentle scrub along your gum line. Avoid rinsing your mouth immediately after brushing, as this can wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste.
With these steps, you will reach hard-to-get areas where plaque and tartar can build up and compromise the integrity of your dental work.
How to Floss Dental Bridge
Floss usually fits pretty easily between natural teeth, but dental bridges are joined, so floss can’t pass through. Special techniques and tools must be used to floss dental bridges, such as floss threaders, interdental brushes, dental picks, or a Waterpik. Flossing the bridge helps remove plaque and food particles that accumulate between the teeth and underneath the bridge.
- Floss threaders resemble a small, thin needle with a loop at one end. It is soft and flexible, allowing you to reach areas that are hard to access with regular floss. Slide the floss through the loop and thread it underneath your bridge and around each tooth.
- An interdental brush is a small, soft-bristled brush used to clean between teeth. It can reach areas too narrow for a regular toothbrush, allowing you to clean and remove plaque from hard-to-reach places. They are available in different sizes, so your dentist will recommend the best one for your bridge.
- Dental picks are specially designed plastic tools with an angled head and a curved handle to help you reach areas underneath the bridge. Slide the angled head of the pick under and around the bridge to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria.
- Water flossers are oral irrigators used to floss around and underneath the bridge or crown. They use a stream of water at adjustable pressure to dislodge large particles of plaque and food debris under and around the bridge.
These tools can help you floss your dental bridge more effectively, ensuring a thorough clean. Use a gentle, sawing motion as you floss to provide a deep clean. Stop and speak with your dentist if you feel any discomfort or pain while flossing.
Professional Cleaning for Crowns and Dental Bridges
Nothing helps your oral health as much as a professional cleaning every six months. Scheduling regular checkups and cleanings will help keep your bridge or crown looking its best and reduce the risk of decay and staining.
Your dentist can provide a more thorough clean than you can do at home, and they will be able to spot any potential problems before they become serious. Your dentist will use special tools during your professional cleaning to clean underneath the bridge, remove plaque, and polish the crown or dental bridge to restore its shine.
Cleaning your crowns and dental bridges is essential for good oral hygiene. Utilizing the correct brushing and flossing technique and scheduling regular professional cleanings can help keep your bridge or crown looking its best for years.
Contact The Dental Team for Professional Cleaning Services
The professionals at The Dental Team understand the importance of maintaining your dental bridge and crowns. Our experienced team will provide professional cleanings and advice to ensure your dental bridge and crowns stay in top condition.