HealthSheets™


Flossing Crowns, Bridges, and Implants

Bacteria collect in every nook and cranny of your mouth. They can cause disease in teeth, gums, and bone. They can even decay teeth beneath dental treatments such as crowns and bridges (restorations). Brushing cleans bacteria from surfaces that are easy to reach. But to clean where a toothbrush can’t reach, you need to floss.

Daily flossing

Flossing daily removes bacteria from between teeth, under bridges, and around implants: 

  • Clean all surfaces under and around a restoration just as well as you clean your natural teeth. The method is also pretty much the same.

  • Flossing is easiest with a floss holder or disposable floss tool. These let you floss with one hand. That way you can floss while doing other tasks, like working at your desk.

  • To floss:

    • Take about 18 inches of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers.

    • Gently slide the floss between your teeth. Wrap it in the shape of a C against the side of a tooth. Scrape it up and down against the side of each tooth several times.

Cleaning aids

Special cleaning aids can make it easier to clean all surfaces of your teeth:

  • Denture cleansers reach denture surfaces that brushing misses.

  • Floss holders help you floss in hard-to-reach places.

  • Interdental brushes clean inside spaces, like under a bridge.

  • Electric toothbrushes help you clean teeth with less effort.

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