Caring for Dental Bridges

closeup of man with perfect smile

Welcome to our detailed guide on how to care for dental bridges! If you have a dental bridge, you know it plays a crucial role in your smile and overall oral functionality. Keeping it in great shape requires specific care techniques that ensure its longevity and effectiveness. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about maintaining your dental bridge, from daily cleaning routines to avoiding harmful habits. Whether you’re new to dental bridges or looking for ways to improve your current care practices, this guide will provide valuable tips to help you maintain your dental health and keep your bridge looking and functioning its best.

In This Blog:

  • Understanding Your Dental Bridge
  • Daily Cleaning Routine
  • Professional Care
  • Things to Avoid
  • Troubleshooting Common Problems

Understanding Your Dental Bridge

Before diving into care routines, it’s important to understand the types of dental bridges and their specific needs. Below is a table that categorizes and describes the different types of dental bridges, helping you understand their specific applications and structures:

Type of BridgeDescriptionBest Suited For
Traditional BridgeConsists of a pontic (false tooth) flanked by crowns that are cemented onto the natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth gap.Replacing one or more teeth when natural teeth are present on both sides of the gap.
Cantilever BridgeFeatures a pontic that is anchored by a crown on only one side rather than both sides.Cases where there are teeth on only one side of the missing tooth.
Maryland BridgeUtilizes a pontic with a metal or porcelain framework that is bonded onto the backs of adjacent natural teeth, requiring minimal tooth preparation.Ideal for replacing front teeth where minimal stress is placed on the bridge.
Implant-Supported BridgeUses dental implants as the support for the bridge rather than being anchored to natural teeth, generally involving one implant per missing tooth, connected by a pontic.Suitable for multiple missing teeth, providing a stable and long-lasting solution.

Daily Cleaning Routine


Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush around and under the pontic. It’s important to brush at least twice a day to prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease and decay in the anchoring teeth.


Cleaning underneath the pontic is crucial and can be accomplished with the help of specialized tools such as a floss threader or water flosser. This helps remove food particles and plaque that a toothbrush can’t reach.


Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria in the hard-to-reach areas around the bridge. This will also help keep your breath fresh and reduce the risk of infection.

Professional Care

Professional care is indispensable when you have a dental bridge. Regular visits to a dentist are essential not only for maintaining the structural integrity of the bridge but also for ensuring the health of the surrounding teeth and gums. A dentist can perform specialized cleanings that remove plaque and tartar from areas difficult to reach at home, particularly under the bridge where bacteria can accumulate and lead to gum disease or decay. Additionally, during these visits, your dentist can examine the bridge for any signs of wear or damage, such as loosening or chipping, and make necessary adjustments or repairs. These check-ups help prevent potential complications that could otherwise lead to more invasive treatments or the need for a new bridge. Ultimately, professional dental care is crucial to maximizing the lifespan of your dental bridge and maintaining overall oral health.

Things to Avoid

When caring for dental bridges, there are several things to avoid to ensure they remain in good condition and function effectively:

  • Hard Foods: Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice, hard candies, and raw carrots directly with the bridge, as these can cause damage or dislodgement.
  • Sticky Sweets: Sticky foods like caramel, taffy, and chewing gum can pull at the bridge, potentially weakening its attachment to the supporting teeth.
  • Using Teeth as Tools: Never use your dental bridge as a tool to open packages, bite nails, or cut thread, as this can place undue stress on the bridge and lead to damage.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Failing to maintain good oral hygiene can lead to plaque buildup around the bridge, which can cause decay in the anchoring teeth and lead to bridge failure.
  • Neglecting Regular Dental Check-ups: Skipping dental visits can prevent the early detection of issues such as bridge loosening or decay under the crowns, both of which can compromise the integrity and longevity of the bridge.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Dental bridges are effective solutions for missing teeth but can encounter issues that require specific interventions. Here are three common problems associated with dental bridges along with recommended solutions:

Loosening of the Bridge:

  • Description: Over time, a dental bridge can become loose, especially if the supporting teeth or the bridge itself is subjected to excessive force or if there has been dental decay under the crowns.
  • How to Fix: It’s crucial not to try tightening the bridge yourself. Visit your dentist as soon as you notice any movement. The dentist may need to re-cement the bridge or, if decay is present, treat the supporting teeth. Sometimes, the entire bridge may need to be replaced.

Discomfort or Sensitivity:

  • Description: After having a dental bridge installed, you might experience sensitivity to temperature or pressure. This sensitivity generally decreases over time but can persist if there are issues with the fit or if the tooth under the crown is not healthy.
  • How to Fix: Regular dental visits are essential. If discomfort persists, your dentist can check for any underlying issues such as decay or infection and may adjust the fit of the bridge. For immediate relief from sensitivity, you can use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Damage to the Bridge:

  • Description: Bridges can become damaged due to trauma, biting down on hard foods, or other impacts. This can result in cracked crowns, chipped porcelain, or even a fractured pontic.
  • How to Fix: Avoid chewing hard foods like ice, nuts, or hard candies with your bridge. If damage occurs, see your dentist immediately. Depending on the extent of the damage, the bridge may need to be repaired or completely replaced. Do not attempt to glue or adjust the bridge yourself, as this can lead to further damage or improper alignment.

Addressing these common issues promptly by seeking professional care can help ensure that your dental bridge functions effectively for many years, maintaining both your oral health and the aesthetics of your smile.


Taking care of your dental bridge is a small daily investment that pays off in the long run. By following these care tips, you can ensure your bridge remains clean, intact, and functional. Remember, the care you give your dental appliances reflects directly on your oral health, so take the time to do it right. If ever in doubt, your dentist is just an appointment away to help guide you through maintaining your dental health with a bridge.

Dr. Sam Sadati wearing black suite portrait

Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry.  He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.