Flossing is an important step in maintaining proper dental hygiene. It not only eliminates food particles from the teeth that cannot be reached by your toothbrush, but it also maintains gum health and helps remove plaque to avoid tartar build-up. A dental bridge typically consists of two crowns on either side of a gap in the mouth, placed on abutment teeth or implants, in addition to a pontic that joins the two crowns and fills the gap. Different materials such as gold, silver, porcelain and fused metals can be used to construct the bridge.
If you have a dental bridge, you may have found yourself steering clear from floss. Not to worry though, a floss threader may be just the tool you need to begin flossing regularly. Flossing plays an important role in maintaining proper oral hygiene. While the brushing of natural teeth and implant teeth is almost the same process, flossing is quite different. Forming this habit will take some time, but it can do wonders for your oral health and general health. After all, flossing can prevent gum disease which is linked to diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and various diseases. The prosthetic teeth attached to your implants called a fixed bridge or a fixed denture, don’t need to be individually flossed. In reality, as they are all attached together as one unit, you can’t floss between them. Alternatively, you will need to clean around the implants when taking care of this dental restoration.
A floss threader is the best device to clean your implant bridge. This small handheld tool has a one-end loop and a stiff plastic edge for the purpose of threading—using the “needle and thread” technique. Follow closely to learn the steps involved:
- Place a dental floss that is 18 inches long through the loop. While pointing the straight edge of the threader to the gum line between the teeth or implants, gently guide the threader from the cheek/lip side of the teeth to the palate/tongue side below the bridge. First, keep one end of the floss and pull through the other end.
- Now remove the threader and tie each side of the two ends of the floss around the middle fingers. Pull the floss taut and use your index finger to guide it: as you work it around the surfaces being cleaned, the floss will form a “C” shape. Holding the floss near the area you are cleaning, gently move it under the gum and work it up and down on either side of the implant. Most people prefer using floss designed to work without a threader as an alternative. This sort of floss has a stubborn end that can be driven through spaces without an auxiliary tool being used.
The interproximal brush is another oral hygiene aid that can be used to clean implants. This handheld device has a thin plastic bristle that looks like a pipe cleaner at the end of it. It is not possible to use interproximal brushes while threading floss below the bridge. Always choose an interproximal brush that is not made with a metal wire for cleaning around implants. The titanium implant can be scratched by metal: this is why your dentist and dental hygienist will only use plastic tools to clean your implants.
It takes longer to use a threader, but if you weave the floss between your teeth and any other way along the gumline, it offers a practical solution to ensure that you are practicing proper oral health. However, you may want to pay a dentist in Port Moody a visit for a physical demonstration of flossing techniques to use.