If you have sustained severe tooth decay, or if you have a tooth that has been injured by trauma, then there is a good chance that you have had a dental crown placed over that tooth. Also known as dental caps, crowns are quite important to preserve a tooth that may otherwise need to be extracted. A dental crown can help bring the affected tooth back to full function, keeping the correct shape and size of the original tooth.
When we here at Raptou Family Dental fit a patient with a dental crown, they often have questions for us about how to take care of and maintain it. Taking care of a dental crown is quite simple and straightforward, but it does require some instruction to help ensure that you do it properly.
How Can I Take Care of My Dental Crown?
One of the more popular materials that we use at our office for dental crowns is a material called porcelain. While many of our patients immediately think that porcelain is a fragile and brittle material, perhaps because they associate it with fancy dinner plates, it is a quite strong and durable material! We like it because it allows for a sturdy and natural looking restoration for our patients.
If you take good care of your porcelain crown, you can reasonably expect it to last you the rest of your life. However, taking good care of it is essential for the best possible outcome for both your crown and your tooth. One of the more dangerous misconceptions that our patients have about their dental crown is that because it is not a “real” tooth, it does not need to be taken care of like a real tooth. That could not be further from the truth!
Just because porcelain is not prone to tooth decay, your surrounding gum tissue is vulnerable to infection. Gum disease can lead to the loss of your tooth and your crown. Make sure you brush your teeth twice per day, per two minutes per day, with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline and use floss afterward to help remove any trapped food and bacteria from between them and up under your gums.
In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth and your crown, you also need to be careful with it. While porcelain crowns are fairly hardy, they can still break, just like a real tooth can break. Do not bite down on hard objects or food. This includes chomping down on ice, biting down on hard candies, chewing on pen lids, or biting your nails. If you grind your teeth, consider getting a nighttime dental appliance, as grinding your teeth can make the crown more likely to wear down or break.
Want More Information? Call Us Today!
Taking good care of your dental crown also requires that you stay on top of your dental checkups and cleanings with us. We advise that all of our patients have an exam with a cleaning every six months to keep their teeth and their smiles healthy. To learn more about dental crowns and how to take care of them, or to set up an appointment with us here at Raptou Family Dental, please give us a call today at (614) 427-0449!