A crown is an excellent dental restoration that can repair a tooth with severe decay or damage. Cosmetic dental crowns are used as protective caps that encase all visible sides of your teeth above the gum line. They are made with top quality, durable materials and crafted to look and function like your natural teeth. Your dental crown, however, is not indestructible. The same habits that damage your natural teeth can also damage your dental crown. If you have recently had a crown placed, here are some habits to avoid in order to save your new restoration and protect your smile investment:
#1 Bad Eating Habits
We aren't talking about a well-balanced diet here (although that is always important to your oral health and body health). Instead, it may be that you are compromising your crown by chewing foods that are too hard. Avoid chomping ice and hard candy, as these habits may fracture your dental crown. In addition, you'll want to be extra careful about what you eat immediately following your crown placement. It takes several hours for the dental cement to harden and cure, so lay off crunchy and sticky foods for a day or so.
#2 Poor Oral Hygiene
While your dental crown itself cannot decay, the surrounding gum line can still collect plaque and harmful bacteria. To avoid gum disease and decay underneath your crown, make sure to keep your oral hygiene efforts diligent. Continue to brush your teeth as your dentist recommends and attend your regular checkups. Also, make sure you understand the correct way to floss around your dental crown so that you don't unintentionally dislodge the crown.
#3 Using Your Teeth As Tools
Your dental crown is equipped to endure normal chewing and biting pressures. Therefore, if you use your teeth as scissors or a bottle opener, you may find that your crown doesn't hold up to the task. Use your teeth for what they were intended for, and not as scissors or other household tools.
If you want to save your smile and protect your dental crown, kick your smoking habit. Smoking constricts blood flow to your teeth, gums and jaw, and it puts you at a very high risk for gum disease. Gum disease can lead to the destruction of your jawbone and cause your gums to pull away from your tooth. Whether the tooth has a crown on it or not, it can fall out completely if the condition is not managed. By not smoking, you can keep your dental crown securely in place and keep your smile whiter and fresher too.
You may not even know that you have a tooth grinding habit. In fact, maybe bruxism is what caused you to need a dental crown in the first place. Regardless, grinding your teeth (day or night) can wreak havoc on your smile and any dental restoration you have in place. Unfortunately, even the strongest crowns can be damaged if you don't take action to resolve the problem. The easiest and most effective way to protect your crown from damage is to get a custom nighttime mouth guard form your dentist.
At Park Slope Dental Arts, we want your dental crown to last for many years to come. Kick the bad dental habits now so that you can avoid future dental complications and preserve the smile investments you've made thus far.