If one of your teeth is badly chipped or decayed, your dentist may file away some of its surface and place a crown over the top. A crown will typically last for around 5 to 8 years, and you might even forget it’s there after a while since crowns function just like regular teeth. That said, you do need to care for your crown to make it last longer and protect the natural tooth surface below.
Here are just four tips to follow.
- Avoid Hard Foods and Ice
Crowns are usually made from porcelain. That’s a relatively tough material, but one that can still fracture when placed under undue stress. For this reason, it’s generally recommended to avoid hard foods. You can still eat them, but you should avoid cracking down your teeth on things like boiled sweets and chunks of ice.
- Avoid Grinding
From too much caffeine to too much stress, there are plenty of reasons why people start grinding their teeth, and it’s a habit you should work to lose if you have a crown fitted. If you’re a grinder, talk to your dentist for advice on how to stop – they may even be able to fit you with a mouthguard to wear at night, which is when most grinding occurs.
- Brush and Floss
Maintaining good oral hygiene is incredibly important when you have a crown fitted. Use a fluoride rinse and fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the underlying enamel, especially if you have a history of periodontal disease or decay. You’ll also want to floss or use interdental cleaners. Dental crowns only strengthen the area of tooth that’s visible above the gumline, so you need to pay attention to your gums.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Finally, make sure you schedule regular visits to your dentist. Your crown might feel perfectly fine, but it’s smart to let a dentist assess it and the underlying tooth structure to check for any signs of damage. If any are found, they can be addressed before any potential problems have a chance to arise. Your dentist will also be able to provide a deep clean using technology you won’t have access to at home.