Dental crowns are an important tool dentists use to protect your teeth. Crowns can protect teeth that have become weakened by either decay or necessary dental procedures, such as root canals. These crowns are made from solid, durable materials that can withstand the bite force of a human mouth, but improper care can still lead to degradation over time. Here are four of the things you can do to make sure your dental crowns last for as long as possible:
1. Clean your dental crown twice a day.
Dental crowns are made from inorganic material that don't succumb to decay the way that natural teeth can. However, these crowns are still situated on your gum line, and your gums can be affected by plaque and bacteria. You can keep your gums healthy by cleaning your dental crown twice a day. Brush your crown as thoroughly as you brush any other tooth, and floss around its base daily. Caring for your gum health will prevent gum erosion that could compromise the longevity of your crown.
2. Eat smart.
The foods you eat can affect the longevity of your crowns, and certain foods are more likely to damage crowns than others. If possible, patients with dental crowns should avoid chewing ice, corn nuts, and other hard snacks. Some sticky foods, like taffy and caramel, can also damage the crowns by pulling them loose. Your dentist can help you figure out which foods to avoid to prolong the life of your new dental crowns.
3. Avoid grinding your teeth.
It's common for people to grind their teeth as a result of stress. However, grinding your teeth regularly can wear down your tooth enamel. It can also have negative consequences for people who wear dental crowns. Excessive tooth grinding and jaw clenching can cause dental crowns to crack over time. You can protect your crown by making a conscious effort to avoid grinding your teeth during the day. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, wearing a mouth guard overnight can protect your teeth.
4. Have your teeth examined regularly.
Regular dental checkups help patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. Dental exams can also ensure that your dental crowns are protecting your teeth the way they should. During your oral exam, your dentist will check the integrity of your crowns. X-rays can show your dentist any leaks that are invisible to the eye. For more information, contact a local dentist about getting dental crowns.