Dental crowns are a wonderful way to save your natural tooth — which, in turn, can save all of your other teeth. By covering a damaged tooth with a crown, you preserve your tooth’s root and strengthen your actual crown (i.e., the portion of your tooth that you can see) with a porcelain, resin, or metal cover.
Crowning and preserving your tooth also maintains your natural tooth alignment. That helps all of your other teeth stay in place, so your bite doesn’t become unbalanced.
At 2K Dental, our expert team of dentists recommends crowns for a variety of dental issues, including:
- Covering a cavity
- Strengthening a broken or weak tooth
- Covering a root canal
- Serving as an anchor for a dental bridge
- Providing cover after metal filling removal
- Restoring a ground-down chewing surface
- Covering a dental implant
- Hiding severely stained teeth
Once you have a crown, it should last up to 30 years with proper care. So how do you get the most out of your crown? Here are some tips on how to treat your crown right.
Make sure you’re fitted properly
The most important step to crown care is ensuring that it’s placed by a dental professional who has properly measured and prepared the tooth that will be crowned. The crown should be custom-made for you in a laboratory.
If the crown doesn’t fit, it can trap bacteria and put your natural tooth’s health at risk, as well as endanger your gums and overall health. Be sure your dentist uses the latest digital technology to custom-design and color your crown for the tightest fit and most natural appearance.
Watch what you eat
You don’t want to accidentally pull off your crown or crack it by eating food that can damage it. Avoid hard or sticky foods, such as:
- Hard nuts
- Popcorn kernels
- Ice cubes
Also avoid chewing non-food items, such as pencils, pens, and fingernails.
Treat your crown like a real tooth
Even though a crown is artificial, it still needs as much care as a real tooth. Brush your crown — along with your natural teeth — at least twice per day with a soft-bristled brush. Always use a fluoride toothpaste.
Floss around the crown (and your other teeth) at least once a day. Pass the floss under the gumline to remove food particles and plaque that may have lodged there. If possible, use a water flosser like Waterpik® to give your gums an extra cleanse.
And, of course, come to our office twice a year for an exam and professional cleaning. We also take this time to evaluate your crown to be sure it’s still secure and undamaged.
Protect your teeth at night
Many people unconsciously engage in a type of tooth grinding while they sleep called bruxism. Bruxism wears down your natural teeth, which can make the chewing surfaces flat or uneven. It also puts stress on your jaw, causing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.
Tooth grinding when you have a crown can be extra damaging. Metal crowns, for instance, may crack the teeth they grind against. To prevent damage to your crown and teeth, we may custom-fit you for a night guard. This simple device cushions your teeth and prevents bruxism.
Pay attention to your crown
Don’t ignore signs that your crown may be broken or loose. Contact us immediately if you notice potential problems with your crown, such as:
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Sharp edges that irritate your cheeks or tongue
- A loose crown
- Cracks in your crown
With care, your crown may last a lifetime. If you want to protect a damaged tooth or need a crown for other reasons, contact our friendly staff at our Parma, Akron, Cleveland, or Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, office to schedule an appointment today.