New dental crowns convey many benefits, including fixing problems with your teeth and improving the look of your smile. So, you want to keep them around for a long time. While dental crowns don't necessarily require special care over the rest of your teeth, some good oral hygiene habits can extend their life.
Brush and Floss Regularly
As noted, the key to keeping your crown in good repair is to practice good oral hygiene. One especially beneficial habit is brushing and flossing regularly. Your crown isn't prone to tooth decay, of course, but the tooth underneath is. Indeed, it can be more likely to develop decay if bacteria get trapped under the crown. When you floss, pay special attention to the area just below the crown.
Avoid Habits that Put Wear on Your Teeth
Dental crowns are strong, but they aren't invincible. Certain habits can wear them down. For example, if you chew ice, you're more prone to chipping your crown, according to experts. Two other bad habits are biting your nails and using your teeth to open packages. All of those habits can break natural teeth as well as your dental crowns.
Consider a Night Guard
Some people suffer from a condition called bruxism, which is the habit of grinding their teeth. This habit is especially bad when you're asleep. It can wear down your dental crowns. If you wake up with a sore jaw and tooth pain, you might have bruxism. Consider investing in a night guard, which you wear at night to prevent your teeth from grinding together while you sleep.
Avoid Some Hard Foods
Ice isn't the only hard food you should avoid. If you chew on hard candies rather than suck on them, you might break a crown. Hard nuts and fresh vegetables, such as carrots, can cause your dental crown to crack. If you want to enjoy these foods, you might bite them with your natural teeth or cut them before you chew.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Even with the best of care, you could chip your dental crown inadvertently. If the chip is small enough, you might not even notice it. However, regular trips to the dentist will allow a professional to inspect your teeth—and crowns—when the issue is still small. If you catch the chip early enough, the dentist may be able to repair the crown to prevent further damage.
Your crown can last up to 15 years if you treat it well. Observe the above habits to make your crown last. For more information on dental crowns, contact a dentist like James V Bachman DMD.