If you’ve just received a dental crown, you are probably curious to know how you can best protect your investment. After all, dental work can be time-consuming and costly. Proper care can ensure that your new restoration lasts for many years to come. Today, Dr. Georgie Vargas gives a brief overview of dental crowns and explains how patients can achieve and maintain healthy smiles.
At River Birch Dental in Centuria, WI, we believe that how you care for your smile between visits is just as important as professional cleanings and examinations. To speak to a team member, contact us online or call us at 715-646-2161.
What are dental crowns?
Custom-made to fit your dental anatomy, dental crowns are designed to fit over the entire tooth structure. These restorations can be fabricated from a wide range of materials, including gold, metal alloys, ceramic, zirconia, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. During a visit at our practice, Dr. Vargas can help determine which type of crown is most appropriate for your needs.
Do I need a dental crown?
Crowns can address a variety of issues and are used in restorative and cosmetic procedures alike. You may be eligible for a dental crown if:
- You have a large cavity
- Your tooth is cracked or fractured
- You have a small or misshapen tooth
- You have dental staining that does not respond to teeth whitening
- You have a weak tooth that requires reinforcement
- Your bite feels “off” or uneven
- You recently had root canal therapy and need to protect the tooth from further damage
- You are replacing a missing tooth with a single dental implant
Five Oral Hygiene Tips for Dental Crowns
Fortunately, crowns don’t require specialized attention and can be cleaned just like natural teeth. The tips and tricks discussed in the sections below can keep your crown in tip-top shape.
Brush Twice Daily
To keep bacteria levels at bay, you must remove plaque from your crown (and your natural teeth) every day. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Steer clear of whitening toothpastes; these can be too abrasive for porcelain crowns and do nothing to lighten the color of custom restorations.
Floss Every Day
You must clean between the teeth for optimal oral health. When flossing around a crown, avoid snapping the floss out of the space. Rather, pull the floss out gently when you are finished. This will reduce the risk of dislodgement.
You can also ask your dentist if he or she has any recommendations regarding hygiene tools. Some patients find that interproximal brushes or dental picks can reach certain areas better than floss. No matter what you choose, be sure you clean between the teeth at least once every day.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Antibacterial mouthwash can help sweep away debris in tiny, hard-to-reach spaces. To reduce the risk of xerostomia – or chronic dry mouth – we recommend purchasing an alcohol-free mouthwash. Swish twice a day for best results.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Patients should never chew on crunchy foods, such as ice or hard candy. This is true for all individuals, whether they have custom restorations or not. Additionally, your teeth should never be used as tools. For example, avoid opening packages, grooming your fingernails, or tearing off clothing tags with your teeth. This can lead to serious damage and may require extensive restorative procedures to address the issue.
Attend Regular Dental Visits
To keep your restorations and natural teeth in excellent condition, it is important to see your dentist on a regular basis. Routine examinations and cleanings help your dental team detect any potential problems before they worsen.
Contact River Birch Dental Today
Do you have dental crowns? Are you considering them as part of your personalized treatment plan? If so, knowing how to properly care for them is essential for their long-term success. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at 715-646-2161.