Dentist Questions Dentist

How do you clean under a bridge?

I am a 28-year-old female. I have a dental bridge. I want to know how can I clean under a bridge?

5 Answers

Great question! Depending on the design of your dental bridge, you have several options. You can use regular string floss with the help of floss threaders to "thread" the floss under the false tooth (also known as the dental pontic). Once the floss is under the bridge, you can pull it to one side and hug, up and down your tooth. Leaving the floss under the pontic, slide over to the other side and hug against the tooth on the other side, going up and down to remove any plaque and bacteria. You also have the option to use proxabrushes, that are like little pipe cleaners or Christmas tree bristles on a handle to go under the pontic tooth, and similar to the floss, scrub against the tooth on either side of the bridge. Another option is a water or air flosser. Using a water or air flosser is oftentimes easier to use for patients, and works by concentrating a stream of water or air under the bridge. They don't work quite as well as floss or proxabrushes in removing stuck-on plaque, but can be a helpful adjunct to normal brushing and flossing.
Yes, cleaning under a bridge is critical. If food is allowed to accumulate, it will cause severe gum inflammation as well as decay of the supporting teeth and ultimately the loss of the bridge. This is also necessary for implant supported bridges. There are a variety of products on the market to accomplish this. Floss threaders allow the floss to go under the bridge to remove material and clean the inside surface of the supporting teeth. There is also Superfloss that is floss with stiff ends that allow the strand of floss to be threaded under the bridge. All readily available in grocery stores and pharmacies.

There are a few ways to clean under your bridge. You may use "superfloss" to get in the space between the gum tissue and the bridge. Floss threaders are helpful. Waterpiks also flush food particles and debris from the space between the gums and bridge. It is best to have your dentist or hygienist go over proper flossing techniques for your specific needs.
Floss threader like "Bridge Aids," superfloss, and waterflossers can all be helpful. The dentist who placed it should be able to give you the best suggestion for your fixed bridge.
Use a floss threader or SuperFloss to feed floss under the replacement tooth and clean from front to back. It's also a good idea to use a WaterPik to clean under it. When in doubt, check with your dentist or hygienist at your next recall appointment.

Dr. Michael Conrad