At a time when our society is becoming more and more aware of the benefits of routinely engaging in an overall healthy lifestyle, it is important to remember that part of engaging in an overall healthy lifestyle is maintaining a healthy mouth. As is the case with other parts of the body, sometimes our teeth or gums require some sort of medical intervention.
A common ailment that affects many adults, especially as they age, is tooth loss. One of the treatments for tooth loss is the application of a dental bridge. A dental bridge can help restore a person’s smile and allows for the face to maintain a proper shape despite the loss of teeth. Dental bridges also allow for proper chewing, speaking, and help to ensure that teeth do not shift due to the space in the mouth that was created by tooth loss.
Dental Bridges: What to Expect
After your dentist has determined that you are in need of a dental bridge, you will meet him or her in a series of appointments. During your first appointment, the teeth surrounding the missing tooth will be stripped of their enamel in order to prepare them accordingly for a crown. Impressions will then be taken of your teeth. These impressions will serve as the “molds” for which your dental bridge will be created, and a temporary bridge will be applied to your teeth.
Your temporary bridge will then be removed when you visit your dentist again for your next appointment. Then, your permanent bridge will be put into place and will be checked to ensure that it fits properly. You may then need to come back for follow-up appointments to ensure that the bridge fits properly.
Proper Dental Bridge Care
Caring for your new dental bridge is incredibly important. Your dental bridge should provide you with support for years to come. The stipulation is that, in order for your bridge to stay in place, certain practices should be adopted that will ensure the longevity of your bridge.
Do Not Chew Ice
Your dental bridge is strong. However, like normal teeth, it can still break or crack if enough force is placed on the bridge. Ice chewing or opening bottles or packages with your teeth should be avoided in order to avoid any accidental fractures of your bridge.
Brush Your Bridge Daily
Because your bridge is not a real tooth, it can be easy to adopt a lackadaisical approach to its daily care. Your dental bridge should still be brushed daily so that plaque and tartar do not form. While you may be without a tooth, you are not without gums. In order to prevent gum disease and to make sure that your dental bridge remains cleanly, daily brushing is required.
Another daily oral care activity that may be neglected is flossing. As previously mentioned, just because your bridge is artificial, that does not mean that it should still not be treated as if it were a real tooth. Flossing around your bridge will help gather and dispose of any disease-causing bacteria around your gum line. In order to prevent periodontal disease, it is important not to neglect flossing around your bridge.
Rinse with Fluoride
While your bridge benefits the surrounding teeth, it is vital that you do not neglect your gum health. A daily fluoride rinse can greatly benefit your overall oral health. To avoid the loss of more teeth, using a fluoride rinse daily will help to strengthen and keep your gum line healthy and disease-free.
While everyone should be visiting their dentist twice a year for cleanings and check-ups, those with bridges need to make sure that they adhere to this general rule. To ensure that your bridge is still in its correct position, that there is no plaque buildup around the gum line, and that your bridge is still performing its main purpose, seeing your dentist regularly is imperative.
By keeping up with routine check-ups, your dentist will be able to catch anything that may harm or hinder the benefits that your bridge provides. Follow the dental bridge guidelines listed above in order to make sure that your gums remain, healthy, your teeth remain strong, and that your bridge remains intact.