A dental bridge is a type of dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by attaching an artificial tooth or teeth to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants.
Dental bridges can restore your ability to chew and speak properly, improve your appearance, and prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of place.
However, if you don’t clean your dental bridge properly, you risk developing gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and other oral health problems.
One of the best ways to clean under a dental bridge is to use a water flosser.
A water flosser is a dental tool that uses a stream of water to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along your gum line.
Water flossers are easy to use, gentle on your gums, and effective at reducing gingivitis, a common form of gum disease.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of using a water flosser to clean under a dental bridge, step by step.
Understanding Water Flossers
Before we dive into the details of using a water flosser for a dental bridge, let’s first understand what a water flosser is and how it works.
A water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator or a dental water jet, is a device that shoots a thin, pressurized stream of water or mouthwash into the spaces between your teeth and along your gum line.
Water flossers can be corded or cordless, and they come with a variety of tips and pressure settings to accommodate different dental needs.
The mechanism of action of a water flosser is based on the principle of hydrodynamics, which means using the force of water to clean and massage your teeth and gums.
When you aim the water flosser at your dental bridge, the water stream dislodges and flushes away food debris, bacteria, and plaque that are hiding in the crevices between your teeth and under your bridge.
The water pressure also stimulates your gums and promotes blood circulation, which can help reduce inflammation and improve gum health.
Preparing to Use a Water Flosser
Now that you know what a water flosser is and how it works, let’s talk about how to prepare for using it to clean under your dental bridge. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Gather the necessary equipment:
You will need a water flosser, a flosser tip that is designed for cleaning around bridges or implants, and some water or mouthwash.
Fill the reservoir with water or mouthwash:
Most water flossers have a reservoir that you need to fill with water or mouthwash.
Follow the instructions that came with your water flosser to determine the appropriate amount of liquid to use.
Adjust the water pressure setting:
Depending on your preference and dental condition, you can adjust the water pressure setting of your flosser to a level that is comfortable but effective for you.
If you have sensitive gums, start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase it as you get used to the sensation.
Step-by-Step Guide on Using a Water Flosser for a Dental Bridge
Now that you have prepared your water flosser, let’s dive into the steps of using it to clean under your dental bridge. Follow these instructions carefully:
Insert the flosser tip:
Choose a flosser tip that is specifically designed for cleaning around bridges or implants. Insert the tip into the handle of the water flosser and make sure it clicks into place.
Turn on the water flosser:
Place the tip of the flosser under your dental bridge and turn on the water flosser. Hold the tip at a 90-degree angle to your teeth and gums.
Aim the tip under the bridge:
Direct the stream of water toward the space between your dental bridge and your gums.
Move the tip slowly and methodically along the gum line, making sure to cover every part of the bridge.
Glide the tip along the gum line:
As you move the tip along the gum line, pause briefly at each gap between your teeth and under your bridge.
Gently glide the tip back and forth in each gap, and let the water flush away any debris that is hiding there.
Repeat on the other side:
Once you have finished cleaning one side of your dental bridge, switch the flosser tip to the other side of the handle and repeat the process on the other side of your bridge.
Tips for Effective Cleaning
While using a water flosser to clean under your dental bridge is a great way to keep your oral health in check, there are some tips you should follow to ensure you are cleaning effectively:
Start with the lowest setting:
As mentioned earlier, start with the lowest pressure setting on your water flosser, especially if you have sensitive gums.
You can gradually increase the pressure as you get more comfortable with the sensation.
Follow a consistent routine:
Try to use your water flosser every day, ideally after each meal, to remove food debris and plaque before they have a chance to harden and cause problems.
Use the right tip:
Make sure you are using a flosser tip that is designed for cleaning around bridges or implants.
These tips are usually thinner and more flexible than regular tips, so they can fit into tight spaces more easily.
While it’s important to clean thoroughly, it’s equally important to be gentle when using a water flosser around your dental bridge.
If you apply too much pressure or move the tip too quickly, you risk damaging your gums or dislodging your bridge.
Alternative Cleaning Methods for Dental Bridges
While using a water flosser is a great option for cleaning under a dental bridge, there are other methods you can use as well. Here are some alternatives to consider:
Interdental brushes are small brushes that are designed to fit between your teeth and clean the spaces that regular toothbrushes can’t reach.
They come in different sizes and shapes, so you can choose one that fits your dental bridge.
Floss threaders are thin, flexible tools that help you thread floss under your dental bridge. You can then use the floss to clean the spaces between your teeth and under your bridge.
Oral irrigators are similar to water flossers, but they use a larger, more powerful stream of water to clean your teeth and gums.
Oral irrigators are ideal for people with braces, implants, or other dental appliances.
In conclusion, using a water flosser to clean under your dental bridge is a simple and effective way to maintain your oral health.
By following the steps we outlined in this article, and using the tips and alternatives we suggested, you can keep your dental bridge clean, healthy, and functional for years to come. Remember to always consult with your dentist if you have any questions or concerns about your dental health.
Q: Can I use regular floss instead of a water flosser to clean under my dental bridge?
A: While regular floss can be effective at removing food particles and plaque from between your teeth, it can be difficult to use under a dental bridge. The gaps between your bridge and your gums are often too tight for floss to fit through, which can make it hard to clean thoroughly. In contrast, a water flosser uses a stream of water to reach these tight spaces and flush out any debris that is hiding there. That being said, if you prefer using regular floss, you can try using a floss threader to help you get the floss under your bridge.
Q: Is it safe to use a water flosser on a dental bridge?
A: Yes, it is safe to use a water flosser on a dental bridge, as long as you follow the instructions carefully and use a flosser tip that is designed for cleaning around bridges or implants. Water flossers are gentle on your gums and can help reduce inflammation and promote gum health. However, be sure to start with the lowest pressure setting on your flosser and gradually increase it as you get more comfortable with the sensation. Also, be gentle when using the flosser around your bridge, as applying too much pressure or moving the tip too quickly can damage your gums or dislodge your bridge. If you have any concerns or questions about using a water flosser on your dental bridge, consult with your dentist.