The best way to maintain your dental crown for a long time is to treat it like your natural teeth.
A dental crown is not only one of the most common restorative procedures in dentistry but also the most versatile. Do you have a severely cracked or decayed tooth? A dental crown can strengthen it and restore its normal function. Or perhaps you need to anchor a dental bridge between teeth? A crown can do that, too! Dental crowns also complete an implant to give you a natural-looking tooth.
More importantly, dental crowns can last a long time. One study found that all-ceramic or metal combined with ceramic dental crowns remained intact after five years. But crowns can last much longer than that, possibly up to 15 years. It all depends on how well you care for and clean your crown.
What problems can develop with crowns?
Crowns are made of highly durable metal, ceramic, or porcelain. Yet they are not indestructible. Although rare, dental crowns can chip or even fall off.
Immediately after placement, the capped tooth may feel sensitive, especially to extreme hot and cold temperatures. That sensation typically fades in a week.
If the cement securing the crown to the tooth thins out, the crown may become loose. This allows decay to spread into the tooth and cause a cavity.
The risk of these issues happening is slim. If you notice any of those problems, contact your dentist immediately. Most likely, the crown can be repaired or replaced.
The do’s and don’ts of caring for your crown
Considering the time and expense of a dental crown, you’ll want to prolong its lifespan as long as possible. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure the longevity of your crown and the health of the gums surrounding it.
Do brush twice a day. Crowns can attract bacteria and plaque just like your natural teeth. So be vigilant about taking care of your crowns. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush for at least two minutes twice a day or after every meal. Taking these steps will fight tooth decay and gum disease.
Do floss nightly. Decay-causing bacteria can lurk between teeth, including a tooth with a crown. The only way to remove it is by flossing every night. Try a water flosser or a dental pick if you find traditional floss challenging. Be careful flossing around a temporary crown. Instead of moving up and down, slide the floss out vertically so the crown doesn’t pop out.
Do rinse with a mouthwash. Brushing and flossing are great. But to complete your oral care routine, rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to wash away bacteria, plaque, and food particles.
Do schedule twice-annual cleanings. Although your home care goes a long way in maintaining healthy teeth, you also need a thorough dental cleaning twice a year by a hygienist.
Don’t chew on hard objects. Nuts, ice, and hard, sticky foods can dislodge or fracture a temporary or permanent crown. If you must chew on such foods, chew on the side of your mouth away from the capped tooth.
Don’t use your mouth for anything other than eating. Resist the temptation to open a package with your teeth or bite your nails. Such actions can chip or break the crown.
Don’t clench your teeth. Clenching your teeth weakens your natural teeth and crown, making them more vulnerable to breakage. If you suffer from bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding), get fitted with a mouthguard.
Good oral hygiene preserves your natural teeth as well as your crowns. But it can do so much more than that. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums may prevent other severe health conditions like heart disease. Excellent dental habits can also keep blood sugar in check. So, take the time each day to focus on your teeth and gums for your overall well-being.
Need a crown? Come to Espire Dental
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s La Mesa location today! Our highly trained dentists will make every effort to preserve your natural teeth. But if you need a crown, we can do that for you, too. Don’t live near our La Mesa, CA, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
La Mesa, CA
8555 Fletcher Pkwy.
La Mesa, CA 91942