Dental crowns are most commonly used to protect your tooth after root canal therapy. However, dentists may also utilize them when the size of a cavity means an ordinary filling would be too unstable. Dental crowns can last decades as long as you care for them properly. Here are four things you can do to take care of your dental crown.
Brush your dental crown.
Dental crowns aren't made from enamel like your natural teeth, but many of the same tooth care techniques still apply. Dental crowns can collect plaque just as easily as your other teeth can. Make sure to combat plaque by brushing your dental crowns thoroughly every time you brush your teeth. When you floss, take care to floss around the base of your crown. This can help prevent food and bacteria from becoming trapped under your gum line.
Visit your dentist at the first sign of trouble.
Dental crowns are made from highly durable porcelain or metal coated with porcelain. However, a crown can still crack if you bite down on a hard object with enough force. In addition, some sticky foods may pull a crown loose if you're unlucky. Always make a dental appointment as soon as you notice a problem with your crown. If your dental crown becomes loose or suffers visible damage, or even if you begin to experience pain, you should have the crown examined by a dentist. In some cases, there will be nothing to worry about. In other cases, you may need to have your crown replaced.
Use a toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate.
Potassium nitrate is the active ingredient in toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. This ingredient can prevent your nerves from transmitting certain sensations to your brain. The process of placing a dental crown on a tooth involves shaving away some of the enamel to ensure the crown fits neatly in your mouth. This places the pulp of your tooth closer to the surface, which is where the extra sensitivity comes from. A toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate will alleviate the discomfort you feel from tooth sensitivity.
Bruxism is the clinical name for grinding your teeth. Many people grind their teeth at night without realizing it. Unfortunately, bruxism can cause damage to your teeth. It can also wear down the porcelain on your dental crown. Protect your crown by treating bruxism. Wearing a mouth guard while you sleep will protect your teeth and crown from clenching or grinding.