When teeth are subjected to damage or decay, your dentist may recommend a crown to restore the area. In addition to covering the affected tooth, crowns also create a strong biting surface that keeps the root of the tooth protected and healthy. Unfortunately, dental crowns aren't immune to damage. Here are three tips for taking care of your new dental crown so you can protect your investment.
1. Alert Your Dentist of Other Dental Issues
Although you may have needed a crown for an obvious reason like a large cavity or a dental fracture, it is important to talk with your dentist if you have any other dental problems that could affect your restored tooth. Examples include a tendency to clench or grind your teeth.
If you are hard on your teeth or like to play contact sports, your dentist may prescribe a mouthguard to protect the new restoration. Other issues that you may want to talk with your dentist about include an ongoing problem with bad breath, which could be a symptom of gum disease. Since crowns don't protect tooth roots, it is still possible for bacteria to accumulate around the base of the tooth and contribute to issues like gum recession and tooth loss.
2. Watch What You Eat
Dental crowns are cemented in place with very strong dental adhesive but that doesn't mean they won't budge when subjected to high levels of force. After you have dental work performed that involves placing a crown, avoid hard or extremely sticky foods like roasted nuts, caramels, or popcorn kernels. Instead, focus on sticking to a diet that consists mainly of soft, easy-to-eat foods since these items are less likely to cause problems with your new crown.
3. Brush and Floss Carefully
When you brush and floss after a crown is placed, proceed with caution. Don't yank dental floss upwards from between teeth that have been treated with dental crowns, as snagging a loose edge could pull the crown away from the tooth. Until you are used to the crown, brush and floss gently to prevent problems.
Remember, your dentist is always available to help, so make sure they are aware of any new situation that arises with your recent dental work. Talk with them if you experience pain in the area where the crown was placed or if the tooth doesn't feel smooth. Occasionally, you may need to have the crown adjusted to make it as comfortable as possible.