How to Maintain Your Dental Crown

Dental crowns are a popular tooth restoration that is done to protect your natural tooth. It might be placed after having a root canal, or to protect a tooth that is cracking and at risk of breaking off. Regardless of the reason, you need to take good care of the tooth so that it lasts as long as possible. These tips help you to maintain your new dental crown.

Wear a Mouth Guard

If you have a history of clenching or grinding your teeth at night, you should have a custom mouth guard made to wear at night. This does a lot of damage to your natural teeth by wearing down the enamel, but it can do even more damage to your crown. You can actually crack the crown and cause it to become loose, which severely reduces how long it remains in place. Try to be fitted for the mouth guard or night guard after you get the permanent crown so the impressions match the crown perfectly.

Don't Bite Anything But Food

With the tooth that has the crown, be gentle with it. It won't break just from mild chewing or biting, but you shouldn't use it for excessive force. For example, don't try to rip tags off new clothing or open up plastic packaging with your teeth. This is a good general rule to follow even without a crown, but dental crowns usually can't handle this type of excessive force. Also avoid bad chewing habits like biting your fingernails or chewing on the erasers of pencils. These are bad habits that tend to do a number on your crown.

Be Careful With Hard and Sticky Foods

When you get a dental crown, you should be able to eat mostly like you used to. However, it will never be as strong as your natural teeth, so you do need to be careful with certain things. While you can have crunchy food like crackers and chips, be careful with foods that are extremely hard like almonds or certain raw vegetables. Also watch out for anything that is overly sticky or chewy that could dislodge the crown, such as caramel and chewing gum.

Brush Close to the Gumline

Keeping your mouth clean and practicing good oral hygiene is also good when you have a dental crown. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, pay close attention to brushing the edge of the crown close to the gumline. This area is prone to decay, so it needs to be cleaned very well.

For more information, talk to a dentist.