Whether you have severe decay or a damaged tooth, sometimes the best course of treatment is a dental crown. The process is fairly simple: The damaged or decayed parts are removed and a cap is placed over the visible portion of the tooth.
If you treat it right, a crown can last 5-15 years. But if you neglect it, it can loosen, crack, and even fall off. To make sure you get a snug crown that will last for years, Lisa Wyatt, DDS, and our team here at Metairie Village Dentistry custom fit your crown using the CEREC® system, which allows us to create your crown here in the office in one appointment. Here’s how to take care of your crown after you leave Dr. Wyatt’s chair.
1. Keep up your oral hygiene routine
Because excellent hygiene is essential for good oral health, it’s imperative to stay on top of your game by brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice every day. We recommend an electric toothbrush for the best cleaning action, but a good manual brush will do.
2. Take care of your gums
Crowns tend to attract bacteria and plaque more readily than natural teeth, so you need to spend a little extra time making sure your gums aren’t affected.
If your gums recede, this can affect how snug your crown will fit. If it’s too loose, it can create a gap where bacteria can cause decay in the tooth underneath.
A gap in your gums could also cause the cement to wash away, and your crown could loosen or fall out. If your gums ever bleed, come see Dr. Wyatt immediately, and use a therapeutic mouthwash with an agent that battles against bacteria.
3. Don’t forget to floss
It’s not enough to just brush your teeth. You need to floss, too. Flossing can help remove food particles trapped between your crown, gums, and neighboring teeth. You may also want to use an interdental brush. These little pine-tree shaped brushes can further help clear out food particles around your crown.
4. Guard against grinding
Bruxism, commonly called teeth grinding, can damage crowns as well as wear down your natural teeth. Some people grind their teeth when they’re stressed, and others do it while they’re sleeping. Not only can teeth grinding ruin your crown, but it can also cause stress fractures, cracks, and jaw pain.
5. Watch what you eat
Extremely sticky foods, such as caramel, gum, and candy apples, can pull crowns right off their perch. Other foods can do their fair share of damage as well, such as hard candies, ice, and nuts. Like your natural teeth, crowns can also stain, so beware of berries, red wine, beets, and other strongly hued foods and beverages.
If you keep these five tips in mind, your new crown should look and feel great for years to come. To find out more about crowns, book an appointment online or over the phone with Metairie Village Dentistry today.