Since you use your teeth several times throughout the day, they can get damaged easily. Plaque, cavities, and injuries can contribute to their wear and tear, decay, cracks, and chips, which can lead to tooth loss.
Dental crowns are some of the most widely used cosmetic dental appliances to replace, cover, and enhance natural teeth. It is a type of customized cap that covers a damaged or weak tooth.
A dental crown helps restore a tooth’s shape and size, boost its strength, or enhance its functionality.
A cosmetic dentist in Fort Lauderdale explains that dental crowns can restore a broken or severely worn-down tooth. They can also cover misshapen or severely discolored and stained teeth.
Dental crowns protect weak teeth from decay and breaking. If a tooth is already cracked, this appliance can keep it together and intact.
Additionally, these cosmetic dental solutions are recommended options for covering dental implants and teeth treated with root canal therapy, and for holding dental bridges in place.
Lastly, a dental crown is used to cover and support a tooth with a large filling and not much natural structure remaining.
Permanent dental crowns can be made of resin, porcelain, metal, and ceramic. These materials are highly durable and last long, and when you take care of them properly, you can maintain their functionality and look for a lifetime.
Care and Maintenance Tips for Dental Crowns
If you have recently gotten dental crowns, follow these tips to maintain their quality and enjoy their use for a long time:
1. Maintain good hygiene habits.
No matter how many crowns and other dental appliances you get, it is important that you continue to follow the right oral care routine.
Although your crowns won’t decay due to cavities caused by poor oral hygiene habits, your remaining natural teeth are still highly susceptible to different issues. Moreover, failing to brush and floss regularly can cause bad breath and gum disease.
As such, continue to brush twice a day thoroughly for at least two minutes to remove the sticky plaque and other debris.
If you want to use a teeth whitening toothpaste, ask your dentist to recommend a product that won’t corrode the bonding agent and the teeth underneath the dental crown.
Also, floss at least once daily to get rid of food particles and bacteria trapped between the crown and your gums and the adjacent teeth.
If you want to remove more bacteria from your mouth and have fresh-smelling breath, rinse with mouthwash daily as well.
These practices keep your dental crowns looking like new and help you maintain excellent oral health.
2. Minimize your consumption of teeth-staining food and beverages.
Stain and discoloration are the leading enemies of dental crowns.
Brushing and flossing can help you maintain the original color of your crowns. However, avoiding or minimizing your consumption of teeth-staining food and drinks is also important.
Reduce your consumption of coffee, black tea, wine, juice, sodas, and other dark-colored, sugary beverages. If you love curry, dishes with tomato-based sauces, and soy sauce, try to consume these less frequently.
Berries and beetroot are healthy foods but they can stain your teeth. As such, eat less of these, too.
If you can’t avoid drinking coffee, tea, or carbonated beverages, use a straw. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming teeth-staining drinks and food.
3. Avoid sticky and hard foods.
Eating too much sticky, sugary, and chewy food can also cause problems for both your natural teeth and dental crowns.
Eating caramel, toffee, taffy, gummy candies, candy bars, dried fruits, and other sticky and chewy food can weaken or loosen your crown. It can also cause the sticky bits to get trapped between your crown and your gum.
Since these foods are not the healthiest things to eat, it is best to avoid them.
And if you want to indulge in these treats, rinse with water after eating one or two and brush your teeth after 30 minutes. Since these candies and sweets contain acid, you will only spread this substance when you brush immediately, which will attack and weaken your enamel.
4. Correct your bad oral habits.
Bad oral habits, such as chewing on your nails, ice cubes, and pens, teeth grinding, and using your teeth to open bottles and tear open packs of chips or envelopes can damage your natural pearly whites and your dental crowns.
To avoid damaging your teeth and dental appliances, quit these habits. Stop using your pearly whites as tools and for biting hard food and objects.
Avoid biting down on things that can damage your crown. These include popcorn, nuts, ice cubes, and other hard substances.
If you grind your teeth while sleeping, wear a night guard in the evening. Consult your dentist if you also suffer from jaw clenching since you may already have bruxism.
Lastly, if you play contact sports regularly, wear a mouthguard whenever you are on the court or inside the ring to protect your teeth.
5. Take note of any changes you observe.
After the first fitting for your permanent dental crowns, check if they are shorter or longer than the adjacent teeth. If they are, go back to your dentist since they have to be refitted.
A badly placed or ill-fitting crown can cause a bad bite that may lead to jaw pain, injury to the adjacent or opposite teeth, and other dental problems. As such, if you feel uncomfortable having one, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Additionally, your bite might change over time. When this happens, your dental crown may become more uncomfortable, which can cause you to have difficulties chewing or talking.
If you experience this, see your dentist and have your crown adjusted.
Lastly, in case your dental crown comes loose, don’t simply leave it alone. If you do, you will put the remaining and adjacent natural tooth at risk for injury or infection.
In such instances, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
Seeing your dentist in Fort Lauderdale twice a year can also help you maintain the quality of your dental crowns. Aside from checking the health of your natural teeth, they will evaluate the condition of your dental appliances, identify any possible issue, and provide the necessary fix.
Moreover, your dentist will give you additional tips on how you can maintain and take better care of your dental crowns.