After having a root canal, or if your tooth is broken or compromised in some way, you may need to get a dental crown. Crowns, which can be made with a variety of materials, such as a base metal and porcelain, are cemented into place over the remaining natural tooth.
Not only do crowns look like real teeth, but they perform like them as well. You'll need to care for the new tooth in the same way that you care for your natural teeth, except you'll need to avoid doing a few things that can damage the porcelain. Because crowns can be costly, it's important to properly care for them and protect them from damage.
Here are some dos and don'ts when it comes to taking care of your dental crowns:
1. Brush and floss crowns just as you do your natural teeth. Use dental floss to remove any food particles from in between two crowns, or a crown and a natural tooth, every night before you go to bed. If the particles are left between the teeth, they can cause cause decay in the natural tooth and at the gum line of the porcelain crown.
Continue brushing your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as it won't harm the crown and will also prevent the root from decaying. After flossing and brushing each night, follow up with a fluoride mouthwash for extra cavity protection, especially if your teeth are prone to developing cavities.
2. If the fit of the crown feels "off," make a dental appointment as soon as possible. The dentist can either adjust the crown if it isn't fitting properly or glue it back into place if it has become loose. Not only is an ill-fitting crown uncomfortable, but it can also damage the porcelain exterior.
1. While you're waiting for your permanent crown to be made, the dentist will place a temporary crown in its place. Avoid sticky foods, such as taffy and caramel, as well as chewy bread. It's also important not to eat anything too hard or crunchy, which can break the delicate temporary crown.
2. Avoid chewing ice with both the temporary and permanent crown. Not only can the hard ice cause the porcelain crown to crack from the pressure, but the extreme temperature can make it more susceptible to fractures.
Bacteria can form under a cracked crown, resulting in an infection or decay. If you think that your crown has been compromised in any way, make an appointment at a clinic like Carpenter Dental right away so that your dentist can repair it.