If your tooth has suffered considerable damage from trauma or decay, a dental crown can repair and strengthen it. Dental crowns, also called teeth caps, repair various structural and aesthetic problems that affect the teeth. They help preserve broken teeth and hold dental bridges in place. Attaching a dental crown to a tooth usually requires a dentist to extract your enamel so the crown sticks to your tooth.
With appropriate care, a dental crown can last 15 or more years. Fortunately, it does not require special care or maintenance outside your oral care practices, making them relatively easy to maintain.
So, what can you do to preserve your dental crowns?
Crown or no crown, brushing twice daily and flossing every day is crucial to your dental health. Brushing removes food debris and plaque, and flossing eliminates plaque below your gums in spaces your toothbrush cannot reach.
When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush that can gently curve around your teeth and fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your enamel and prevent decay. When flossing, you can use interdental cleaners, such as picks, sticks, or brushes, to thoroughly clean between your teeth.
Hard or crunchy foods can grind off the destructive bacteria that cling to your teeth and form bacterial plaque and tartar. But they can also chip, crack, or break your teeth and damage your enamel or loosen your dental crown.
You should avoid chewing rock-hard sweets, candy, ice, and hard nuts with your dental crown. That will help preserve your tooth and avert a possible crack or break on your dental crown.
Clenching and grinding your teeth can overwork your jaws and put too much pressure on your teeth. That may cause pain in your facial muscles, disrupt sleep, or give you painful headaches. Moreover, teeth clenching and grinding can wear out your dental crown and break the crown and jawbone material.
In addition to your dental hygiene practices, schedule routine dental cleanings with your dentist. A professional dental cleaning aims to remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth that have not resolved with regular tooth brushing and flossing.
If not removed, the plaque and tartar can increase your risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Also, with professional cleaning, your dentist can eliminate the stains that darken and discolor your teeth.
When fixing the dental crown to your tooth, your dentist will shape and mold the crown to fit perfectly with the rest of your teeth. That guarantees an even, comfortable bite.
However, not every dentist may get the alignment right the first time, or your bite may change over a couple of years. If not addressed, the surrounding teeth may tilt the crown at an uncomfortable angle, eventually causing a fracture.
With regular dental checkups, your dentist assesses your teeth to ensure they are in good health. The dentist can also examine your dental restorations to ensure they are in top shape and working optimally. Dental experts recommend seeing your dentist at least twice a year to help keep your mouth healthy.
For more information on how to preserve your dental crowns, contact Clarity Dental Center for Implant and Family Dentistry at our Federal Way, Washington office. Call (253) 799-1490 to book an appointment today.