Dental crowns are a valuable investment in your oral health and quality of life, restoring decayed or damaged teeth to their former glory. But to maximise their functionality and longevity, it’s crucial to understand the role of food restrictions.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about dental crowns and food restrictions. So, let’s get started!
- Summary of the Content:
- Understanding Dental Crowns: An Overview
- The Importance of Food Restrictions with Dental Crowns
- First 24 Hours Post-Procedure: What to Eat?
- Managing the Following Weeks: Suggested Foods
- Foods to Avoid When Wearing Dental Crowns
- Long-Term Dietary Guidelines for Dental Crown Wearers
- Navigating Social Gatherings with Food Restrictions
- Can Certain Drinks Affect Dental Crowns?
- Tips for Maintaining Dental Crowns
- Final Thoughts
Summary of the Content:
- Dental crowns are restorative devices that protect damaged or decayed teeth, made from materials like gold, metal alloys, or porcelain.
- They are recommended for restoring teeth with significant tooth decay, large fractures, cavities, and teeth that have undergone root canal treatment or as part of a dental implant treatment.
- Maintaining crowns involves food restrictions to prevent damage, protect the underlying tooth, and promote comfort.
- In the first 24 hours post-procedure, soft foods and liquids like smoothies, soups, and mashed vegetables are recommended.
- Long-term dietary guidelines include a balanced diet, limiting sugary and hard foods, avoiding staining foods, and staying hydrated.
- Certain drinks, including sugary, hot, alcoholic, and acidic ones, can affect crowns. Water is recommended.
- Additional maintenance tips include regular oral hygiene, dental visits, wearing a mouthguard if needed, and avoiding using teeth as tools.
Understanding Dental Crowns: An Overview
Dental crowns, also known as ‘caps’, are restorative devices used to protect and strengthen damaged, cracked, or decayed teeth. They are often recommended in the following scenarios:
- Significant tooth decay where there’s insufficient tooth structure to support a filling or an inlay
- Large tooth fractures that can’t be repaired using traditional composite bonding techniques
- Large cavities where the tooth needs additional protection and reinforcement.
- Following a root canal treatment to strengthen and protect the tooth.
- After the placement of a dental implant to replace a missing tooth.
Crowns can be made from various materials, including gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, base metal alloys and all-porcelain or ceramic. The choice of material depends on the patient’s preference, the tooth’s location, and the dentist’s recommendation.
Dental crown treatment involves tooth preparation, taking an impression, and fitting a temporary crown until the final dental crown is ready. The final crown is then cemented into place. With proper oral care and regular dental check-ups, a high-quality dental crown can last between 10-15 years.
The Importance of Food Restrictions with Dental Crowns
Food restrictions are crucial in maintaining dental crowns for the following reasons:
- They prevent damage to the crown:
Certain types of food, especially hard, crunchy foods, can cause wear and tear or even break the crown.
- They protect the underlying tooth:
Despite the crown, the actual tooth underneath is still susceptible to dental decay. Avoiding sticky candies and maintaining healthy dental hygiene habits can help protect them.
- They provide comfort:
Some foods may cause discomfort or sensitivity, especially in the days following the crown placement. Hot and cold foods may trigger tooth pain, and chewy food may cause discomfort.
First 24 Hours Post-Procedure: What to Eat?
In the first 24 hours after your crown procedure, sticking to soft foods and liquids is recommended. Here are some suggestions:
- Smoothies and milkshakes:
These are easy on your teeth and nutritious. Meal replacement shakes are ideal for dental patients.
Opt for creamy soups without large chunks. Warm soup is an acceptable food option, as extreme temperatures can cause discomfort.
- Mashed potatoes or other mashed vegetables:
These provide sustenance without requiring much chewing. They are a healthy food option that is gentle on dental crowns.
- Yogurt or Pudding:
These are soft, easy to eat, and require no chewing. They can be a good source of protein and calcium, which are beneficial for oral health. Just be mindful of the sugar content, especially when choosing flavoured varieties.
- Scrambled Eggs:
Eggs are soft and easy to chew, making them a great choice after dental procedures. They are also a good source of protein, which can aid in healing. You can pair them with soft, well-cooked vegetables for added nutrition.
Remember, the care instructions for a new crown involve not just the choice of foods but also maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding bad habits like using your teeth as tools. Consult your dentist for advice if you experience severe pain or persistent discomfort.
Managing the Following Weeks: Suggested Foods
As your mouth adjusts to the new dental crown, you can gradually reintroduce other foods into your diet. However, maintaining dental crowns involves being mindful of dietary management for dental crowns. Avoiding anything too hard, sticky, or crunchy as part of the dental crowns and food restrictions is still advisable.
Here are some foods you can enjoy:
- Cooked vegetables:
These are softer and easier to chew than raw vegetables. They provide essential nutrients without putting undue stress on your new crown.
- Soft fruits:
Opt for bananas, peaches, or fruit purees. These are gentle on your teeth and can help satisfy your sweet tooth without risking damage to your crown.
- Pasta and rice:
These are soft and easy to chew, making them a good choice. They can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, providing you with plenty of meal options.
- Soft bread:
Avoid hard crusts, but soft bread is perfectly fine. Pair it with a soft spread, like cream cheese or avocado.
Scrambled, poached, or boiled eggs are all soft and easy to eat.
- Soft cheeses:
These can be enjoyed on their own or added to other dishes for extra flavour.
Most fish is soft and easy to chew, making it a good protein source for those with new dental crowns.
These are general guidelines for foods to enjoy and foods to avoid with dental crowns. Everyone is different, and what works well for one person might not work as well for another. Always listen to your body and consult your dentist if you have any concerns about your dental crown maintenance.
Foods to Avoid When Wearing Dental Crowns
Maintaining dental crowns involves not just regular oral hygiene but also dietary management. Certain foods pose a risk to your dental crowns and should be avoided to make them last longer. Here’s an expanded list:
- Hard foods:
Foods like hard candies, ice cubes, or raw vegetables can potentially damage crowns, particularly porcelain ones. Biting down on these foods can cause the crown to crack or chip.
- Sticky foods:
Chewy candies, sticky bread, or even some fruits like dried figs can pull at the crown, potentially leading to dislodgement.
- Extremely hot or cold foods:
If your crowned tooth is sensitive to temperature changes, consuming extremely hot or cold foods and beverages can cause discomfort. This sensitivity usually subsides over time, but still, avoid such foods immediately after the dental crown placement.
- Acidic foods and drinks:
Highly acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits and sodas can erode the dental cement used to bond the crown to the tooth over time.
Alcoholic beverages can also erode dental cement. It’s especially important to limit alcohol consumption in the days following the crown procedure.
- Hard grains and seeds:
Foods like popcorn, hard-shelled tacos, or bread with hard crusts can potentially crack or chip dental crowns. Seeds can get lodged between the crown and the gum, causing discomfort.
- Coffee and tea:
These beverages can stain dental crowns, especially porcelain ones. If you can’t avoid them entirely, try to limit your consumption and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
These food restrictions with dental crowns are not meant to deprive you of your favourite foods but to ensure the longevity and functionality of your crowns. With proper care and a suitable diet, your dental crowns can last many years, helping you maintain a healthy and confident smile.
Long-Term Dietary Guidelines for Dental Crown Wearers
Even after your mouth has fully adjusted to the dental crown, it’s important to continue caring for it. Here are some long-term dietary guidelines:
- Maintain a balanced diet:
Consuming various foods from all food groups supports overall oral health and provides the nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy gums and teeth under the crowns.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks:
Excessive sugar can lead to tooth decay under the crown. It’s important to limit the intake of sugary foods and drinks, including candies, sodas, and pastries.
- Be mindful of hard or sticky foods:
Even a well-settled crown can be damaged by hard or sticky foods. Avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, and sticky candies to prevent potential damage to your dental crowns.
- Avoid foods that stain:
Certain foods and drinks, like coffee, tea, and red wine, can stain your dental crowns over time. Try to limit these or brush your teeth after consuming them to maintain the aesthetics of your crowns.
- Stay hydrated:
Drinking plenty of water contributes to overall health and helps wash away food particles and bacteria, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Opt for softer foods when necessary:
If your dental crowns or the surrounding teeth become sensitive, opt for softer foods that require less chewing. This can help avoid discomfort and potential damage to the crowns.
- Regular check-ups:
Regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups are essential for maintaining dental crowns. Your dentist can identify potential issues early and provide advice tailored to your needs.
Attending social gatherings while maintaining dental crowns and adhering to food restrictions can be challenging. However, with some planning and awareness, you can enjoy these events without compromising your dental health. Here are some strategies:
- Eat a small meal before the event:
Consuming a light meal or snack before heading to the gathering can help curb your hunger. This way, you won’t feel too tempted to indulge in foods that might not be suitable for your dental crowns.
- Choose soft options:
When faced with a buffet or a menu, opt for softer foods that are easier on your teeth. Cooked vegetables, soft cheeses, pasta dishes, or mashed potatoes are usually safe choices.
- Be cautious with unknown foods:
If you’re unsure of the ingredients or the hardness of a dish, it’s safer to skip it. Foods with hard shells or sticky textures could potentially damage your crowns.
- Bring your own dish:
If it’s appropriate, consider bringing a dish to share that you know is safe for you to eat. This way, you’ll have at least one option you can rely on.
- Stay hydrated:
Drinking water throughout the event can help wash away food particles and prevent them from sticking to your teeth or crowns. However, avoid drinking too much alcohol as it can lead to dehydration, which isn’t good for oral health.
- Carry dental hygiene essentials:
Carrying a small dental care kit with you might be helpful. This could include soft-bristled toothbrushes, non-abrasive toothpaste, and dental floss. You can excuse yourself to freshen up after eating, checking that no food particles remain stuck to your crowns.
- Communicate your dietary needs:
If you feel comfortable doing so, let the host know about your dietary restrictions. Most hosts will appreciate the heads-up and may be able to accommodate your needs.
Can Certain Drinks Affect Dental Crowns?
Yes, certain drinks can affect your dental crowns. Here’s what you need to know:
- Avoid sugary drinks:
Sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay, which can affect both your natural teeth and the longevity of your dental crowns. This is a crucial part of maintaining dental crowns.
- Be mindful of hot drinks:
If your crowned tooth is sensitive to heat, you might want to let your coffee or tea cool down a bit before drinking. Extreme temperatures can cause discomfort, especially if the dental crown is new.
- Limit alcohol:
Some studies suggest that alcohol can weaken the dental cement used to bond the crown to the tooth. This is a key aspect of dietary management for dental crowns.
- Avoid acidic drinks:
Acidic drinks can soften tooth enamel, making teeth sensitive and vulnerable to damage. This includes drinks like soda and certain fruit juices.
- Be cautious with coffee and tea:
While coffee and tea can stain teeth, most dental crowns are resistant to them. However, since natural teeth discolour due to these drinks, later on, there will be a distinct difference between the colour of natural teeth and the crown.
- Water is your friend:
Water doesn’t have a net impact on your teeth. In fact, it’s helpful as it increases salivary flow and the flow of protective minerals within the saliva that protect the teeth from decay.
- Watch out for sparkling water:
Despite its harmless appearance, sparkling water tends to have a pH level between 2.74 and 3.34, giving it an even greater erosive potential than orange juice.
- Limit fruit juices:
Most fruit juices are concentrated and expose you to much more acid than if you were to eat the fruit in its natural form. Diluting fruit juice with about 50 per cent water can lessen the potential damage.
Tips for Maintaining Dental Crowns
Apart from dietary management, here are some additional tips for maintaining your dental crowns:
- Maintain good oral hygiene:
Regular brushing and flossing are crucial to keeping your natural teeth and crowns in good condition. This is a key part of maintaining dental crowns and your overall oral health.
- Visit your dentist regularly:
Regular check-ups allow your dentist to spot any potential issues early. This can prevent minor problems from becoming major complications. It’s also an opportunity for professional cleaning, which can help prevent plaque build-up and staining of the crowns.
- Wear a mouthguard if needed:
If you grind your teeth at night, a mouthguard can protect your crowns from damage. This is especially important for porcelain crowns, which can be more susceptible to wear and tear.
- Avoid hard and sticky foods:
Foods that are hard or sticky can damage dental crowns. Avoid these types of food, especially if your crown is made of porcelain.
- Be mindful of temperature:
Extreme temperatures can cause discomfort if you have sensitive teeth under your crowns. Try to avoid very hot or very cold foods and drinks.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks:
Sugary foods can increase the risk of tooth decay, which can affect both your natural teeth and the longevity of your crowns. Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks as part of your dietary management for dental crowns.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools:
Using your teeth to open packages or cut things can damage both natural teeth and crowns. Always use the proper tools for these tasks.
Navigating the world of dental crowns and food restrictions might seem daunting at first, but it’s entirely manageable with a little knowledge and preparation. Remember, every step you take towards proper care of your dental crowns contributes to your oral health and the longevity of your crowns.
If you have any more questions about foods to avoid with dental crowns or concerns about tooth crowns or any other dental procedure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Maylands Dental Centre. Please book an appointment through our website, or call our dental clinic. We’re here to help you smile brighter!