Have you been wondering “how do you floss a dental bridge?”
If so, chances are you have or have recently had some major dental restoration work done. And now find yourself needing to learn a new way to clean your teeth thoroughly.
Flossing is a key member of the oral hygiene family. It is almost like the middle brother that no one really pays attention to as opposed to his older brother which is brushing or his younger brother, mouthwash.
However flossing is just as important (if not more so) than those two. So let us remedythat and explain how do you clean a dental bridge.
Only flossing can clean the areas between the teeth which are almost always the source of all problems of the mouth including gum disease and decay.
The thing is though, flossing is not easy and it becomes virtually impossible if you have braces or if you have large restorations such as dental bridges.
Dental Bridges Explained
Dental bridges are essentially 2 or more crowns, joined together with strong joints in order to fill an empty space left by an extracted or lost tooth.
Bridges last from 8 to 12 years and unlike popular belief, they can trap food, induce decay and even accumulate plaque and tartar. So they need an effective and stringent oral hygiene routine.
The Problem With Dental Restorations And Flossing
Wondering how to put floss in a tight dental bridge to clean it thoroughly?
Unlike natural teeth, dental bridges have no spaces between its units. So this means that the traditional string floss can’t pass in between to clean the areas that need cleaning. Not only that, but bridges tend to trap food and debris under them (between the bridge and the gums).
This area is often neglected and could result in both inflammation of the gums as well as problems to the teeth carrying the bridges.
With dental crowns the situation is very similiar. Crowns are covered by porcelain, which could have a rough surface or minute nodules in the contact area. This makes it extremely difficult to get your traditional string floss between your restorations to clean them effectively.
So How Do You Floss A Dental Bridge?
As you can probably deduce, string floss isn’t gonna cut it. It is impossible to pass it between the units of the bridge and quite difficult to pass it between the bridge and natural tooth. So we need to explore other options.
With bridges, there are essentially 4 viable ways to floss:
This is traditional string floss attached to a small rigid tip, like a needle and thread. This “needle” is strong enough to pass easily under the bridge to clean the underside. There is also no need to pass the string between the bridge and the tooth since the threader fits under the contact area.
This is the simplest and cheapest method, but it has a problem of difficult manipulation. It is not easy for everyone to pass the threader under the bridge, and most people don’t know what to do once they do. For that reason this method is not entirely popular.
This is a small toothpick like structure that is covered with hair instead of wood which makes it gentler on the gums. The interdental brush is strong and rigid enough to pass under the bridge and is easy to use in a back and forth movement.
It also easily fits under the contact to clean those shielded areas. They are available in every shape and size and sold in packs that could last a couple of weeks. A very popular option.
These devices use a strong stream of air to clean the food remnants and debris. Very easy to use, just point and click and are capable of cleaning under bridges, around braces and in tight contact areas.
However, they are not adequately tested and don’t receive as much attention as water flossers. Due to the lack of a coolant, they generate quite a bit of heat which could damage the gums under the bridge.
The solution to all problems related to flossing. These amazing devices are capable of cleaning anything and anywhere. They use a strong, pulsating jet of water to wash away calculus and debris with a delivery system similar to a small pen.
As you can imagine, they are extremely easy to use with no need for special skills. They can easily clean under bridges, between crowns and natural teeth, around braces and anywhere else you can think of.
The water current adapts itself to the location and effectively pushes away the plaque and food remnants. These devices have been tested for thoroughly. Studies have shown that they decrease gum inflammation and bleeding for people with braces or heavy restorations as bridges by more than 29%.
So basically the solution to our problem is something as simple as water, go figure!
Which Flossing Method Is Right For You?
You can choose any of these methods according to your preference and financial situation. While water flossers may seem as the obvious choice, you should know that they are not cheap and cannot be placed everywhere because they need quite a bit of space.
The newer models are smaller and therefore are portable but not as effective as the originals countertop models. They can also be a little messy for first time users, so don’t rule out the other methods just yet.
How Do You Floss A Dental Bridge, Answered!
In conclusion, it is wrong for you assume that a dental crown or bridge is an artificial structure and therefore does not need to be cleaned and maintained. Because they need just as much care as natural teeth and sometimes even more.
So the next time you find yourself wondering how do you floss a dental bridge, just select whichever one of these methods suit you best.