Dental crowns are caps, usually made in the shape of a tooth. They are placed over an existing tooth to improve its appearance or to strengthen or restore its size and shape. Dental crowns are installed for a variety of reasons, including:
- Restoring the shape of a misshapen tooth.
- Protecting a weak tooth
- Covering a tooth that has had a filling put in
- Making a tooth that has been broken whole, or appears whole again.
- Keeping a dental bridge in place.
- Modifying one’s teeth for cosmetic reasons.
- Covering a dental implant.
Once a dental crown has been installed, your entire oral care routine must be adjusted to suit the new addition. Simple brushing and flossing may not be sufficient in keeping the crown at proper levels of cleanliness to maintain good oral health. If you have a dental crown or even more than one, there are a few tips that you can use as guides in keeping them clean.
While norms dictate that brushing of the teeth occurs twice a day, in the morning and just before bed, this frequency must change once a crown has been installed. With a crown, brushing is recommended after every meal. The reason for this requirement is that food particles can have an adverse effect on the crown. Use a brush that has soft bristles and only undertake the act of brushing after a short period has elapsed after the meal. Consider having a travel toothbrush always with you.
Rinsing With Fluoride
Use a mix of fluoride in water to create a rinse for your mouth. The good news with this method is that it can be used in lieu of constant brushing after meals. If you find that it is too tedious to keep having to brush your teeth or are unable to maintain such a routine, then keep a fluoride rinse handy for use instead, while maintaining the more conventional twice-daily brushing. However, the most effective method is to rinse your mouth after you’ve brushed your teeth and flossed. This way, you’ll be able to remove 99% of bacteria and food which should be your goal for maintaining good dental health.
Flossing should be a part of your dental care routine whether or not you have a crown. It should also be done after every brush. Flossing simply certifies that you have managed to remove all bits of food particles that may get lodged in areas that the bristles of the brush cannot reach. Removing it helps you keep your gums healthy, and prevents you from having cavities.
If you do have a crown, you must be gentle and careful when flossing. It is possible to dislodge or otherwise damage the crown if you are too vigorous. The best way to floss is to watch yourself in the mirror, and floss slowly and carefully, holding your floss around your index fingers.
Use a Water Flosser too
Sometimes it’s impossible to clean your teeth to a great extent, even though you used a good toothbrush, flossed and rinsed your mouth with a fluoride liquid. This is the moment when you should consider investing in a water flosser. From a huge variety to choose from, you can get one that’s less expensive just to try it out, or you can go with a high-quality one from the very beginning.
What they do is, they remove the bacteria below the gumline, since the high-pressure water streak can get further than the traditional floss. Food particles that are stuck as well as plaque can be removed without any damage to your gums, therefore prevent them from bleeding, and help with your dental hygiene.
Keeping Away From Hard Foods
Hard foods increase the potential for harm to your crowns. Naturally, the friction between the food and your crowns may lead to some form of abrasion on your teeth. You may chew so forcefully as to crack or break the crown. The only way to fix such an issue would be to have it replaced. The best solution would be to completely avoid foods such as granola, hard candy, nuts, and popcorn.
If you are an ice-chewing lover, you’d have to forget about that bad habit, since it’s detrimental for your teeth both because it’s cold and hard to chew. You should also try to kick other bad habits such as biting your nails, grinding, and clenching. It may not seem that opening a bottle with your teeth is somehow related to taking care of your crown, but in reality, developing habits like this can lead to a much higher risk of breaking over time, due to unnecessarily high amounts of pressure on your teeth.
Crowns are more susceptible to discoloration than your natural teeth. To keep your crowns looking just as bright and shiny as the rest of your teeth, it is recommended that you brush with whitening toothpaste twice or three times a week. The toothpaste should help in thoroughly cleaning the crown and preventing it from changing color. If you could avoid coffee and tea intake, that would make a significant difference and help you maintain the perfect color of your teeth. If you still love to drink color-intense drinks, then try using a straw to avoid stains.
Even with all the steps and precautions taken above, it is still advisable to see your dentist regularly to get a deep professional cleaning performed on your teeth; including your crown. The cleaning process will also allow your dentist to have a look at your crown and certify that it remains in good condition. Routine check-ups every six months or whatever your dentist suggests is what you must schedule and follow.
Depending on how good you take care of your teeth and especially your crown, it can last from 10 years to even several decades. This means that your discipline and hygiene has a huge impact on the longevity of both your crowns and natural teeth.
That’s why caring for your dental crown is just as crucial as caring for your natural teeth, if not more so. If in doubt, you should seek expert advice on how to take the best care of your crown. Not only that, you shouldn’t postpone visiting your dentist to make sure you’re doing everything you should do, to have the most beautiful smile!