Quality dental work is an investment in your long-term oral health. If you have a dental crown, you’re familiar with the financial investment, as well. Protect your investment by taking good care of your oral health, and your dental crown may last for over a decade.
These tips will help you care for dental crowns, as well as your natural teeth, so they last for years to come.
Address a Poor Fit
At first, most dental work feels a bit unnatural. However, if after a week your new crown still feels like it doesn’t fit properly, call our office. We’ll schedule a time for you to come in so that the dentist can evaluate, and if needed adjust, the restoration.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to protect your new crown, as well as your overall dental health, is to practice excellent dental hygiene daily. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush after breakfast and before dinner, for approximately two minutes per session. Floss once daily, at a minimum, and preferably before your evening brushing.
To further improve your oral homecare routine, use a tongue scraper. This tool gently removes plaque, bacteria, and debris from the surface of the tongue. You can also purchase alcohol-free, fluoridated mouthwash to rinse after brushing. Topical fluoride will help deter the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
Attend Checkups and Cleanings
In addition to daily homecare, you should visit us for a comprehensive oral checkup and cleaning every six months, as recommended by the American Dental Association. Checkups allow us to evaluate your natural teeth and gums, as well as dental work. Since dental work is not intended to last forever, sometimes fillings, crowns, and bridges need replacement. If our dental team finds cause for concern, we’ll explain our findings and present you with treatment options.
At your professional dental cleaning appointments, we will check your gums for pockets, which would indicate the presence of gum disease. The hygienist will remove all plaque, tartar, and debris from on and between your teeth, as well. Dental cleanings also present a good opportunity for you to ask questions about your oral homecare routine and products. For instance, if flossing is difficult, the hygienist may recommend an alternate way of flossing that better suits you.
Should we detect gum disease, you may require a deep cleaning, which involves scaling teeth and planing teeth roots. This process removes tartar and infection from below the gum line, while also eliminating rough ridges where tartar builds up. Once the teeth’s crown and roots are clean, gum tissue can begin to reattach to the teeth. Gum disease is a chronic condition, linked to increased risk for many systemic health issues. Treatment is imperative to secure both oral and overall health.
Break Bad Habits
Chewing on ice, fingernails, pen caps, pencils, and other objects can damage teeth, as well as dental crowns. If you habitually chew, try chewing sugar-free gum.
Furthermore, do not use your teeth as scissors, pliers, or a bottle opener. Teeth are tools, but only for chewing, biting, pronouncing sounds, and smiling. Be sure to use the proper tools for the job at hand.
Avoid These Foods
Some foods are notorious for damaging teeth and dental work. Protect your crown by saying no to these foods:
- Hard, crunchy foods: popcorn kernels, hard candy, seeds and pits, nuts, hard vegetables, ice
- Sticky foods: taffy, caramel
- Tough foods: steak, crusty bread
Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Teeth grinding is often recognized by either the dentist or a patient’s sleeping partner because it often occurs while the patient is asleep. If your teeth show undue wear, crazing, or cracking, the dentist may diagnose you with bruxism, which is the clinical name for clenching and grinding teeth.
Bruxism is bad for natural teeth and dental crowns. Our jaws are extremely strong. When you clench or grind your teeth, hundreds of pounds of pressure are placed upon your molars. As a result, they break. If you suffer from teeth grinding, the dentist will recommend that you wear a nightguard to keep your upper teeth from contacting your lower teeth while you sleep.
Schedule a Checkup or Consultation Today
If you’re concerned about an existing crown or have been informed that you need a new dental crown, our dental team will be happy to evaluate your oral health and make a recommendation. Since teeth do not heal naturally like the rest of the human body, professional dental care is the only path to restoration. Cavities, chips, cracks, and enamel erosion will worsen without intervention, so call us today to schedule your checkup or consultation. Our dental practice is accepting new patients, and we look forward to seeing you smile!