How to Care for Dental Crowns

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Dental crowns are constructed from ceramic, porcelain and gold and provide extensive coverage of a damaged tooth. Crowns provide the best overall security for a tooth that is prone to breaking or cracking. Depending on its type, temporary or permanent, with proper care a dental crown can last a few years to a lifetime.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
  • Dental floss for sensitive teeth
  • Mouthwash

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

  • Brush the teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush twice a day using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth to prevent agitating the gumline, which may be inflamed from receiving a dental crown.

  • Floss daily. Use a dental floss for sensitive teeth. Floss three times a day to remove food buildup around the crown. Floss the dental crown by placing the floss on one side of the tooth and pulling it along the gumline. Do not slide the floss back and forth along the gumline, as this action may loosen the crown and result in an unexpected trip to the dentist.

  • Gargle with an antiseptic rinse once a day. Food that is caught between the teeth, especially around the dental crown, may seep inside, resulting in tooth decay. Using a mouthwash will eliminate oral germs and dislodge the food that is stuck in the gumline. Note that a mouthwash containing alcohol may burn but will not damage dental work.

Dental Crown Sensitivity

  • Avoid sticky foods such as caramel, jelly beans, and gum. A dental crown is placed on the tooth with a layer of oral cement. Chewing sticky foods may loosen the dental crown from the cement.

  • Beware of foods that are too hot or too cold. A dental crown may increase the sensitivity of the teeth and may cause extreme pain if the tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. Avoid cold foods such as ice cream, and be aware of how hot a food is before chewing.

  • Do not chew hard foods. Foods such as hard candy, raw vegetables, chips and nuts are not recommended for a person with a dental crown. Chewing hard foods may break and dislocate the crown.

  • Chew food on the opposite side of the mouth of the crown's location, whenever possible. Doing so will protect the crown from excessive damage and reduce the probability of gum irritation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Gargle with an alcohol-free mouthwash if you have recently received a dental crown. Since the gums and teeth are already inflamed from the dental crown procedure, the alcohol in the mouthwash might cause further irritation.
  • Contact your dentist immediately if your dental crown falls off, becomes damaged, or feels loose. The crown will need to be replaced or repaired to ensure your tooth's health.

References

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