Smile Drs Logo
Fedoricw, Massoumi, & Kolbig

Caring for Dental Bridges and Dentures

senior woman looking in mirror at smile

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on caring for dental bridges and dentures! If you’re navigating life with these valuable dental appliances, it’s crucial to understand how to maintain them properly. Not only does this ensure they perform their functions effectively, but it also extends their lifespan, enhancing your smile and overall oral health. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the essential maintenance tips, the dos and don’ts, and some practical advice for troubleshooting common issues. Whether you’re a new wearer or looking to improve your care routine, these insights will help you keep your dental appliances in top condition.

In This Blog:

  • Understanding Dental Bridges and Dentures
  • Daily Maintenance Routine
  • What to Avoid
  • Professional Care and Regular Checkups

Understanding Dental Bridges and Dentures

Dental bridges and dentures play a pivotal role in restoring not only the aesthetics of your smile but also your ability to eat and speak comfortably. Bridges fill the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored onto neighboring teeth or implants, while dentures are designed to replace missing teeth completely and can be either full or partial, fixed, or removable.

TypeDescriptionBest For
Dental Bridges
Traditional BridgeA pontic (false tooth) is held in place by dental crowns that are cemented onto each of the abutment teeth adjacent to the gap.Replacing one or more teeth when the adjacent teeth are healthy enough to support the crowns.
Cantilever BridgeThe pontic is supported by a dental crown that is cemented to only one abutment tooth.When there are teeth on only one side of the gap.
Maryland BridgeA pontic supported by a metal or porcelain framework, bonded onto the backs of two adjacent teeth without using crowns.Replacing front teeth that don’t endure the intense biting forces of the back teeth.
Implant-Supported BridgeInstead of being supported by crowns or frameworks, this bridge is supported by dental implants.When one or more consecutive teeth are missing, and the patient wants a stable, long-lasting solution.
Complete DenturesA full set of removable false teeth that replace all the teeth on the upper or lower jaw.Patients who have lost all of their teeth in one or both jaws.
Partial DenturesRemovable false teeth that fill in the gaps in your smile when some natural teeth are still present.Patients who have some natural teeth remaining.
Fixed DenturesOften referred to as permanent dentures, these are typically attached to dental implants for a secure, non-removable solution.Patients looking for a more stable and permanent solution than traditional removable dentures.
Removable DenturesThese dentures can be taken out and put back into the mouth. They rest on the gum where the missing teeth were and can be attached to the natural teeth with metal clasps.Patients who prefer a flexible option that can be easily removed for cleaning and sleeping.

Daily Maintenance Routine

For Dental Bridges:

Maintaining dental bridges involves a daily routine that is crucial for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of the appliance. To keep your dental bridge in optimal condition, start by using a soft-bristled toothbrush or a special bridge-cleaning brush to gently clean around and under the bridge. This helps in removing food particles and plaque without damaging the bridge. It’s important to use non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the porcelain or metal parts. 

Flossing is also essential; use a floss threader or water flosser to clean beneath the bridge, targeting the hard-to-reach areas between the bridge and the natural gum line. This prevents the build-up of plaque and helps to avoid gum disease and decay in the anchoring teeth. Incorporating an antiseptic mouthwash can also be beneficial in reducing bacteria around the bridge. By following these steps daily, you can significantly extend the life of your dental bridge and maintain overall oral health.

For Dentures:

Daily maintenance of dentures is vital to ensure their longevity and to maintain oral hygiene. Begin by removing your dentures after each meal to rinse off food debris under warm, not hot, water. For thorough cleaning, use a soft denture brush and a mild denture cleaner; avoid regular toothpaste as it can be too abrasive for the delicate material of dentures. It’s important to brush every surface of the dentures to remove plaque and prevent the build-up of bacteria that could cause odors and infections. 

At night, soak your dentures in a mild denture-soaking solution to help maintain their shape and remove stains. This also gives your gums a chance to rest, reducing the risk of irritation and infection. Always handle your dentures with care over a folded towel or a basin of water to avoid breakage if they are dropped. Following this daily routine not only cleans your dentures but also helps in preserving their functionality and appearance, contributing to overall dental health and comfort.

What to Avoid

When caring for dental bridges and dentures, it’s important to avoid certain practices to ensure their longevity and prevent damage. Here are five key points to keep in mind:

  • Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods: Chewing on hard foods like ice or hard candies can damage or dislodge dental bridges and dentures. Similarly, sticky foods like caramel can pull at and weaken these appliances.
  • Do Not Use Teeth as Tools: Never use your dental appliances to open packages, remove bottle caps, or bite down on hard objects, as this can cause serious damage.
  • Steer Clear of Abrasive Cleaning Materials: Regular toothpaste and stiff-bristled brushes can scratch and wear down the surfaces of bridges and dentures. Use recommended cleaning agents and brushes designed specifically for dental appliances.
  • Avoid Soaking Dentures in Hot Water: Hot water can warp the shape of dentures, making them uncomfortable and less effective. Always use lukewarm water for cleaning and soaking.
  • Limit the Use of Bleach-Based Cleaners: While occasional use might be suggested for deep cleaning or stain removal, frequent use of bleach-based products can weaken dentures and alter their color. Follow your dentist’s advice carefully regarding these products.

Professional Care and Regular Check-Ups

Regular visits to the dentist are essential for appliance wearers. Your dentist can professionally clean your bridges and dentures, adjust them if they become loose or uncomfortable, and check for any signs of wear or damage. Ideally, schedule dental check-ups every six months or as recommended by your dental professional.


Taking care of your dental bridges and dentures is a key part of your daily oral health routine. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your appliances last longer and provide you with the full functionality they were designed for. Remember, a little care goes a long way in preserving not only your dental health but also your overall wellbeing and confidence in your smile.

Dr. Roman Fedorciw has been in private practice in Cromwell since 1991. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. He is also a member of the Connecticut Dental Association and Middlesex County Dental Association. Dr. Fedorciw has been acknowledged by his peers as one of the “Top Dentists” in Hartford County by Hartford Magazine and in the state of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine.