Bridgework has been a mainstay of restorative dentistry for years. Comprised of one or more artificial teeth anchored by crowns or resin bonding to adjacent teeth, or by dental implants, bridgework spans gaps left by tooth loss from:
- gum disease
- accident or injury
Bridgework is permanent and can only be removed by a skilled dentist such as downtown Atlanta dentist Thomas W. Kauffman DDS PC. Because of its fixed position, bridgework requires diligent oral hygiene to avoid decay of surrounding teeth and gum disease, too.
Caring for Your Bridgework
While bridges do not last as long as dental implants, they can remain in place for as long as 10 to 15 years, according to the American Dental Association. Dr. Kauffman and his staff offer these tips to keep your bridgework clean and your smile beautiful and healthy.
- Eat a healthy diet. Sounds too simple, doesn't it? However, avoiding sugary foods and adding fruits and vegetables, lean meats, high fiber breads and low-fat dairy benefit teeth and gums and overall shape and energy. Poor eating choices lead to plaque, which decays natural teeth and compromises the gum line around bridgework and other restorations.
- Drink plenty of water. Water washes food residue and biofilm (plaque) off teeth and gums and from around bridgework. While a bridge's artificial teeth resist stains more than natural teeth do, smoking, darkly colored foods and drinks and some prescription drugs can discolor bridgework, too. So avoid staining substances and stay hydrated with at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water also stimulates saliva production, which allows better natural cleansing of teeth and restorations.
- Brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes. Use a quality fluoride toothpaste, and a soft bristled brush. Pay particular attention to fixed bridgework.
- Floss daily between teeth and around bridgework. Floss threaders and interdental brushes clean around the sides and bottom of bridgework. Be sure to ask Dr. Kauffman and your hygienist about the best way to floss.
- Keep semi-annual dental exam and cleaning appointments. A professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar which lead to decay and gum disease. Also, Dr. Kauffman checks the condition of all restorations, including bridgework, ensuring proper bite, gum health and condition of the appliances themselves. Preventive dentistry catches small problems with natural teeth and with restorations, too. So, visit Dr. Kauffman regularly, or contact him with questions about your bridgework.
A Great Looking Smile
Bridgework is just one of many restorative dental services available from downtown Atlanta dentist Thomas W. Kauffman DDS PC. For more information on achieving your healthiest and most attractive smile, contact his staff for a personal consultation appointment. Call (404) 524-1981 today.