How do I care for my dental crown? Taking proper care of your dental crown is essential for maintaining its longevity and ensuring the health of your teeth and gums. While dental crowns are durable restorations designed to withstand daily wear and tear, they still require regular maintenance and attention to prevent issues such as decay, damage, or gum disease. In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices for caring for your dental crown to keep it looking and functioning its best.
Caring for Your Dental Crown
Taking proper care of your dental crown is essential for maintaining its longevity and ensuring the health of your teeth and gums. While dental crowns are durable restorations designed to withstand daily wear and tear, they still require regular maintenance and attention to prevent issues such as decay, damage, or gum disease. Let’s discuss the best practices for caring for your dental crown to keep it looking and functioning its best.
Daily Oral Hygiene Routine
Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is crucial for preserving the health of your dental crown and surrounding teeth. Follow these daily oral hygiene practices:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Pay close attention to the area around the crown, ensuring that you brush gently but thoroughly to remove plaque and food debris.
Floss daily to clean between your teeth and around the base of the crown where the gum meets the tooth. Use dental floss or interdental brushes to remove plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to help reduce plaque and bacteria in the oral cavity. Choose a mouthwash that is alcohol-free and approved by your dentist.
Avoid Damaging Habits
Certain habits can increase the risk of damaging your dental crown or causing complications. Avoid the following:
Chewing Hard Objects:
Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, pens, or fingernails, as this can cause damage to the crown or dislodge it from the tooth.
Grinding or Clenching:
If you grind or clench your teeth, especially at night, talk to your dentist about wearing a nightguard to protect your dental crown and natural teeth from excessive wear.
Using Teeth as Tools:
Refrain from using your teeth to open packages, tear tape, or perform other tasks that they were not designed for. This can lead to chipping, cracking, or loosening of the crown.
Attend Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are essential for monitoring the health of your dental crown and identifying any issues early on. During your dental visits, your dentist will:
Examine the Crown:
Your dentist will visually inspect the crown for signs of wear, damage, or decay. They may also take X-rays to assess the underlying tooth structure and check for any issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Clean and Polish:
Your dental hygienist will clean and polish the crown to remove plaque, tartar, and stains that may have accumulated since your last visit. This helps maintain the crown’s appearance and prevents gum disease and decay.
Based on their findings, your dentist may provide recommendations for improving your oral hygiene routine, adjusting habits that may be detrimental to the crown, or addressing any issues that require further treatment.
Address Any Concerns Promptly
If you experience any issues or concerns related to your dental crown, such as pain, sensitivity, or a loose crown, it’s essential to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Ignoring problems or delaying treatment can lead to further complications and may necessitate more extensive interventions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long do dental crowns typically last?
Dental crowns can last between 10 to 15 years or more with proper care and maintenance. However, their lifespan can vary depending on factors such as oral hygiene habits, bite force, and crown material.
Can I brush and floss around my dental crown as usual?
Yes, you can brush and floss around your dental crown as you would with natural teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush gently but thoroughly, and floss daily to clean between your teeth and around the base of the crown.
Are there any dietary restrictions with dental crowns?
While there are no specific dietary restrictions with dental crowns, it’s advisable to avoid excessively hard or sticky foods that can damage the crown or dislodge it from the tooth. Additionally, limit consumption of sugary or acidic foods and beverages to prevent decay and gum disease.
What should I do if my dental crown feels loose or uncomfortable?
If your dental crown feels loose, uncomfortable, or sensitive, contact your dentist as soon as possible. They can evaluate the crown and determine the appropriate course of action, which may include recementing the crown, adjusting the fit, or replacing the crown if necessary.
Can dental crowns be whitened if they become stained?
Unlike natural teeth, dental crowns cannot be whitened with traditional teeth whitening methods. If a crown becomes stained or discoloured, it may need to be replaced to restore its appearance. However, proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can help prevent staining and maintain the crown’s aesthetics.
Is it normal to experience sensitivity after getting a dental crown?
Some sensitivity to hot, cold, or pressure may be normal after getting a dental crown, especially in the days following the procedure. However, if the sensitivity persists or worsens over time, contact your dentist for evaluation and possible treatment.
Can I chew gum with a dental crown?
Chewing gum with a dental crown is generally safe, but it’s essential to avoid chewing excessively hard or sticky gum that could damage the crown or cause it to become dislodged. Opt for sugar-free gum and chew in moderation.
Do dental crowns require special care?
While dental crowns do not require special care beyond regular oral hygiene practices, it’s essential to avoid habits that can damage or dislodge the crowns, such as chewing on hard objects or using teeth as tools. Attend regular dental check-ups for professional cleanings and exams.
Can I get a cavity under a dental crown?
While dental crowns cover and protect the underlying tooth structure, it is still possible for decay to develop at the margins where the crown meets the tooth. Practicing good oral hygiene habits and attending regular dental check-ups can help prevent decay and maintain the health of your crowned tooth.
How often should I schedule dental check-ups for my dental crown?
It’s generally recommended to schedule dental check-ups and cleanings every six months to maintain the health of your teeth and gums, including crowned teeth. However, our dentist may recommend more frequent visits based on your individual oral health needs.
Final Thoughts on Caring for Your Dental Crown
Proper care and maintenance are essential for preserving the longevity and functionality of your dental crown. By following a daily oral hygiene routine, avoiding damaging habits, attending regular dental check-ups, and addressing any concerns promptly, you can help ensure the long-term success of your dental crown and maintain a healthy smile for years to come. If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your dental crown, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for personalised guidance and support.