A dental crown, sometimes known as a dental cap, is a covering which covers a tooth to improve the appearance or functionality of the tooth. There is a range of circumstances in which your dentist might recommend a dental crown, from fixing a broken tooth to making a weak, brittle tooth stronger. Crowns can be made from various materials, with cheaper crowns usually being made of gold or silver-coloured metal.
Many gold-based crowns last more than a decade—however, this will only happen if you take good care of your crown. With these four simple steps, you can ensure that your crown lasts many years, saving you from the expense and inconvenience of frequent replacements.
Create an Efficient Brushing and Flossing Routine
It's likely that you already floss and brush regularly, but there are a couple of extra considerations when you have a crown. You should be brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and also flossing or using interdental brushes to clean between your teeth. You should always slide the floss from between your teeth rather than lifting it, as lifting it could damage your crown.
Avoid Tooth Grinding
This is most relevant if tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, was what led to your tooth damage. Tackle the problem at the root by fixing any underlying dental issues or stress, and consider getting a mouthguard fitted to reduce night-time teeth grinding.
See Your Dentist Regularly
This is important for everyone, but it's especially vital if you have dental crowns fitted. Your dentist will be able to advise you on taking care of your crown, and will also be able to spot any problems with it before you do. Getting a crown replaced or recemented before it completely breaks is much more efficient than waiting until the situation is critical.
Avoid Crown-Damaging Foods
Even though crowns are made of metal or porcelain, they can still chip or crack when undue pressure is applied. You should avoid hard foods and also chewing ice. Examples of foods to avoid are hard sweets and jawbreakers, popcorn kernels, hard raw vegetables, and toffee. Also try to avoid sticky foods that will pull at the crown, such as gum and caramel.
With these few simple ideas, you'll be able to ensure that your crown stays in great condition for years to come—and they'll also help to prevent the rest of your teeth from becoming damaged and developing decay, thereby reducing the need for further costly crowns.