5 Tips to Protect Your Dental Crowns

dental crown, Sac Dental

A dental crown is a great way to protect your natural tooth when it breaks, is damaged or decayed, or is weakened after root canal treatment. Also known as a cap, a dental crown is like a prosthetic tooth that covers your existing tooth, which has been filed down to make space. Crowns are attached with strong dental cement and can be matched to your existing teeth, so your smile remains consistent and nobody knows you had any work done.

With proper care, a well-fitted crown is expected to last at least 5-15 years and sometimes even up to 30 years. How long your crown lasts depends on how well it’s cared for.

Crowns can loosen or fall out, or fracture if they aren’t treated properly. Crowns also attract more dental plaque around the gum margin than your natural teeth, and for this reason gum tissue surrounding crowns typically need a little extra care.

At Sac Dentist in Sacramento, California, we want your crown to look its best and last for many years, so here are our top five tips to make sure that happens.

1. Maintain great oral hygiene

This one’s a no-brainer — excellent oral hygiene is essential for good oral health. This includes brushing with fluoride toothpaste and good technique at least twice every day, either with a quality manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Also make regular appointments at Sac Dental for a checkup and deep clean.

2. Don’t forget about your gums

Maintaining the health of your gums is crucial to ensuring the success of your crown. When gums become diseased, they can recede. If your gums recede, it can affect how snug your crown fits, creating a gap that could introduce bacteria into the crown that leads to decay in the existing tooth underneath. If there's a gap, the cement holding the crown in place might also wash away, meaning the crown could loosen or even fall out. If your gums ever bleed, see your dentist immediately — and use a therapeutic mouthwash with an agent that battles against bacteria.

3. Remember the parts of teeth you can’t see

Brushing isn’t enough, and even regular flossing is sometimes not enough to ensure the areas between teeth and under the gum line are free from plaque and bacteria. Crowns never fit as perfectly as your natural teeth and can attract food debris and plaque, so using the right size interdental brushes help keep your crown squeaky clean and the surrounding teeth and gums healthy.

4. Manage teeth grinding

Over time, tooth grinding can damage crowns as well as wear down your natural teeth. Many people suffer from bruxism, which occurs only at night in some cases. Causes of teeth grinding include stress and anxiety, a misaligned bite, or just habit. Speak with Dr. Michael Hinh about your teeth grinding to see if correcting your bite or wearing a mouthguard at night might be the solution.

5. Be careful about what you eat

Certain foods can damage your crown or even pull it out! Avoid hard foods like hard candies and nuts and raw, crunchy vegetables like carrots. Sticky, sugary foods should be avoided anyway to protect your smile, but they also can dislodge your crown. Chewing gum should also be avoided for the same reason.

By upping your hygiene and making some small adjustments to your diet, there's no reason why your dental crown can't service your smile well for the next 30-plus years. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Hinh at Sac Dental to check your crowns and get more face-to-face advice about how to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Call today or use our online booking tool.

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