Care of Implant-Retained Bridges, Dentures and Bars
You have just received your new implant-retained bridge, denture or bar. Good oral hygiene habits are critical to maintaining your new investment. The most important times for cleaning your teeth and implant abutments (shiny silver cylinders visible at gum line) is the morning after breakfast and at night after you’ve eaten for the last time on that day. The reason for this is that the production of saliva is lower while you sleep and bacteria cannot be rinsed away during this time.
The area of most importance to keep clean is the abutments of the implants, described above. Cleaning should be done in front of a good-sized mirror with good lighting. Before using the various brushes to clean your teeth, gums and implants, dip the brush in hot tap water. This will make the bristles nice and soft.
It’s necessary to have a regular set procedure so that all surfaces are cleaned. For right-handed persons it is recommended that the various sections of the mouth are cleaned in the following order:
- The inner side of the right-handed molars
- The inner side of the canine and the front teeth
- The inner side of the left-hand molars
- The outer side of the left hand molars
- The outer side of the canine and front teeth
- The outer side of the right-hand molars
The various stages of cleaning are as follows:
- The inner and outer sides of all abutment pillars and surrounding gums are cleaned with short horizontal back and forward movements. Clean in the order mentioned previously. The brush should be held at an angle to the gum in the area between the abutment pillar and the gum.
- The rear side of the backmost tooth on each side is cleaned with short horizontal movements.
- All rinsing spaces that are the gaps on either side of the abutment pillars and the gaps between the roots tips of the denture or bridge are cleaned with a proxabrush. This brush should be of such a size that it can be fitted with some resistance through the rinsing space but at the same time it should be possible to push it so far that you can feel it with the tip of your tongue. Push the brush through several times at different angles.
- With the toothbrush first placed against the gum, make a dragging-rotating motion up to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Work in sections in the order mentioned previously. On the inner side of the front teeth the brush is held vertically and drawn up vertically towards the biting edges of the teeth. Otherwise the brush should be held as horizontally as possible.
- In places where the bridge, denture or bar touches the gum tissue draw floss backwards and forwards several times between the bridge, denture or bar and gum. A threader will have to be used to get the floss in the rinsing spaces mentioned earlier.
- Finish off cleaning your mouth by rinsing with plenty of water.
Once again, it is imperative that you follow these instructions and find a routine that works for you and also maintains your implant-retained bridge, denture or bar properly.