The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Dental Crowns

The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Dental Crowns By Maylands Dental Centre | July 10, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Dental Crowns

For many, dental crowns have become a necessary part of life, a solution to a range of dental issues from damaged teeth to tooth decay. These custom-made crowns, whether they’re all-ceramic crowns, base metal alloy crowns, or composite resin crowns, are a significant investment in your oral health, and it’s crucial to take proper care of them.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about dental crowns and how to maintain them. From understanding what dental crowns are and how they function to the importance of oral hygiene in keeping your dental crowns in good shape to recognising and managing potential issues with dental crowns. We’ll also delve into the long-term options for maintaining oral hygiene with dental crowns.

We’ll provide you with essential tips and tricks for dental crown care, from the right way to brush your teeth with dental crowns to the role of mouthwash in the care of dental crowns, to diet considerations for those with dental crowns, and the importance of regular dental check-ups for dental crown maintenance.

So, whether you’re new to the world of dental crowns or you’ve had your crowns for some time, this guide is for you. Let’s embark on this journey towards better oral health with dental crowns together. Read on to learn more about how to keep your dental crowns and your smile in superb condition.

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental crowns require diligent care and good oral hygiene, similar to natural teeth.
  • Good oral hygiene prevents gum disease, tooth decay, and dental emergencies, ensuring the longevity of dental crowns.
  • Key oral hygiene practices include choosing the right toothbrush, using proper brushing techniques, toothpaste selection, and using an interdental brush.
  • Flossing removes plaque and food particles, protecting the gums.
  • Mouthwash eliminates bacteria, contributes to strengthening the teeth, and freshens breath.
  • Diet significantly impacts the health and longevity of dental crowns.
  • Regular dental check-ups allow for early detection of oral problems, professional cleaning, crown inspection, and review of oral hygiene habits.
  • Potential issues with dental crowns include sensitivity, loose crowns, chipped or broken crowns, gum disease, and discolouration.
  • Long-term strategies for maintaining oral hygiene with dental crowns include regular professional cleanings, using nightguards, maintaining a healthy diet, proper home care, regular use of fluoride, avoiding bad habits, and regular check-ups.
Maylands Dental Centre

Understanding Dental Crowns: What They Are and How They Function

Dental crowns, often used in dental restoration, completely cover or “cap” a tooth or dental implant. These full-coverage restorations are used when there’s a large cavity that’s threatening a tooth’s health. They can also be used to manage discoloured teeth as well as misshapen teeth. They’re bonded to the tooth using dental cement or adhesive.

Dental crowns are durable restorations that can be made from different materials. They’re usually fabricated using indirect methods, which means they’re made outside the mouth instead of being made directly on the patient’s tooth.

Crowns are used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. They play a vital role in dental health, restoring the function of your teeth and giving you back your healthy smile.

However, like natural teeth, dental crowns require diligent care and good oral hygiene habits to stay in top shape.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene in Keeping Your Dental Crowns in Good Shape

Maintaining oral hygiene is paramount for keeping your dental crowns in good shape. Here’s why:

  • Prevention of gum disease:
    Regular brushing and flossing with soft-bristled toothbrushes and non-abrasive toothpaste can help keep your gums healthy. This is essential for maintaining the longevity of your dental crowns and overall oral health. Gum disease can lead to serious dental issues, including the loosening of the teeth with dental crowns.
  • Avoidance of tooth decay:
    Even with a dental crown, the underlying natural teeth are still susceptible to decay, especially at the gum line. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can help in the early detection and treatment of tooth decay.
  • Aesthetics:
    Regular cleaning can prevent staining and keep your dental crowns looking as good as new. A clean, healthy smile can boost your confidence and improve your overall quality of life.
  • Avoidance of dental emergencies:
    Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental emergencies such as toothaches, abscess formation, and loosening of the crowns. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental appointments can help prevent these emergencies.
  • Longevity of dental crowns:
    With proper care, dental crowns can last for many years. Regular oral hygiene habits, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups, are key to extending the life of your dental crowns.

Potential issues that could arise from poor oral hygiene include:

  • Tooth decay:
    If plaque is not regularly removed, it can lead to tooth decay, which can cause tooth sensitivity and, eventually, pain.
  • Gum disease:
    Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which can cause red, swollen gums, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss.
  • Crown damage:
    Dental crowns, whether they are all-ceramic crowns, base metal alloy crowns, or composite resin crowns, can be damaged by poor oral hygiene habits such as grinding teeth or eating hard and sticky food.
  • Crown dislodgement:
    Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, which can cause the breakdown of the tooth where the crown is attached, leading to the crown becoming loose and eventually falling out.
  • Staining:
    Certain foods and drinks, poor oral hygiene, and smoking can stain dental crowns, affecting the aesthetics of your smile.

Remember, maintaining oral hygiene with dental crowns is not just about dental crown care; it’s about maintaining your overall oral health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental appointments are all part of a comprehensive oral care routine that will keep your dental crowns and mouth healthy.

Essential Tips and Tricks for Oral Hygiene with Dental Crowns

Maintaining oral hygiene with dental crowns doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

The Right Way to Brush Your Teeth with Dental Crowns

Below are some comprehensive instructions and tips on brushing teeth with dental crowns:

  • Choose the right toothbrush:
    Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush, which can help prevent damage to the crown and the surrounding gums. Electric toothbrushes can also be a good option as they can provide a thorough cleaning without requiring a lot of pressure.
  • Brushing frequency and technique:
    Aim to brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Spend ample time on each quadrant of your mouth, making sure that all teeth are brushed well. Don’t forget to brush the gum line gently, where plaque can accumulate.
  • Toothpaste selection:
    Use non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the surface of the crown. Toothpaste with fluoride is recommended as it can help prevent tooth decay.
  • Pay attention to the crown edges:
    The edges of the dental crown, where it meets the natural tooth structure, can be a hotspot for plaque accumulation. Make sure to gently brush these areas to keep them clean. Do not brush vigorously, as it may cause gum recession and tooth abrasion.
  • Consider an interdental brush:
    These small brushes can be particularly helpful in cleaning around dental crowns, bridges, and implants. They can reach areas that regular toothbrushes might miss.
  • Don’t forget your tongue:
    Brushing your tongue can help remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

How Flossing Plays a Vital Role in Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Dental Crowns

Flossing is a crucial part of maintaining oral hygiene, especially for those with dental crowns. Here’s why:

  • It removes plaque:
    Daily flossing helps remove plaque that builds up between the teeth and the gum line. This is particularly important for those with dental crowns, as plaque can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, both of which can compromise the health of your natural teeth and crowns.
  • It removes food particles:
    Sticky and chewy food items can get stuck between your teeth and crowns. Flossing helps remove these food particles, reducing the risk of tooth decay and crown damage.
  • It protects your gums:
    Regularly flossing can prevent gum disease, a common issue affecting both the gums and jawbone holding the tooth underneath. Healthy gums are essential for maintaining the longevity of your dental crowns.

Now, let’s go through the steps on how to floss properly with dental crowns:

  • Use a gentle touch:
    When flossing around your dental crowns, be gentle to avoid causing any damage. Do not forcefully insert the floss to avoid traumatising the gums.
  • Use the right floss:
    Use non-shredding dental floss to avoid leaving behind any debris that could lead to plaque build-up.
  • Follow the curve of your teeth:
    When flossing, make sure to follow the curve of your teeth and floss beneath the gum line, not just between the teeth.
  • Don’t forget the back of your last tooth:
    Often, people forget to floss the back of the last tooth, but it’s just as important as the rest.
  • Rinse after flossing:
    Rinse your mouth with warm water or a mouthwash to remove any dislodged food particles or plaque.

The Role of Mouthwash in the Care of Dental Crowns

Mouthwash, an often overlooked component of dental hygiene, plays a significant role in the care of dental crowns. Here’s how:

  • Antibacterial properties:
    Mouthwash, particularly those with antibacterial properties, can help eliminate bacteria that may lead to tooth decay or gum disease. This is especially important for those with dental crowns, as decayed teeth under the crown can lead to more serious dental issues.
  • Fluoride content:
    Many types of mouthwash contain fluoride, a mineral that can help strengthen the entire tooth surface. This can help prevent tooth decay and prolong the life of your dental crowns.
  • Fresh breath:
    While not directly related to the health of your dental crowns, using mouthwash can help keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh. This can contribute to your overall oral health and confidence.

However, while mouthwash can be a helpful addition to your dental hygiene habits, it should not replace regular brushing and flossing. These are still the most effective ways to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth and gums.

Also, remember that not all mouthwashes are created equal. Some may contain alcohol or other ingredients that can cause a burning sensation or dry out your mouth. Consider using a gentle, alcohol-free mouthwash if you have sensitive teeth or gums. Your dentist can provide recommendations based on your specific needs.

Diet Considerations for Those with Dental Crowns

Diet plays a significant role in maintaining the health and longevity of dental crowns. Here are some key factors to consider:

Foods to Avoid

Certain foods can potentially damage or dislodge dental crowns. These include:

  • Sticky Food:
    Foods like caramels or gummy candies can stick to the crown and pull at it, potentially causing it to become loose.
  • Hard and Crunchy Food:
    Hard foods like nuts or hard candies can cause damage to dental crowns, especially if they are made of porcelain.
  • Hot Food and Cold Foods:
    Extreme temperatures can cause discomfort if you have sensitive teeth under your crowns.

Foods to Incorporate

On the other hand, some foods are beneficial for oral health with dental crowns. These include:

  • Soft Foods:
    Immediately after dental crown placement, it’s recommended to stick to soft foods to avoid putting too much pressure on the new crown.
  • Foods Rich in Calcium:
    Foods like milk, cheese, and leafy greens can help strengthen the natural teeth underneath the crowns.
  • Foods High in Fiber:
    These foods stimulate saliva production, which can help wash away food debris and bacteria.

Regular Dental Check-ups: A Must for Dental Crown Maintenance

Regular dental check-ups are a cornerstone of dental crown maintenance. Here’s why:

  • Early detection of issues:
    Dentists can spot potential problems with your dental crowns early before they lead to severe dental issues. This includes detecting any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or issues with the crown itself.
  • Professional cleaning:
    During your regular appointment, your dentist can professionally clean your teeth and dental crowns. A dental cleaning allows for a more thorough cleaning than what you can achieve at home and can help prevent plaque build-up and staining of the crowns.
  • Crown inspection:
    Your dentist will inspect the dental crown and its placement, checking that the dental restoration is still functioning as it should. They can check for any signs of wear and tear on the dental crowns, including any chipping or cracking.
  • Review of oral hygiene habits:
    Your dentist can review your oral hygiene habits and provide guidance on how to improve them. This could include demonstrating the correct use of a gentle soft-bristled toothbrush or recommending a non-abrasive toothpaste.

Recognising and Managing Potential Issues with Dental Crowns

Dental crowns, whether temporary or permanent, can help address compromised teeth. However, like any dental restoration, they can sometimes present issues. Recognising these problems early and managing them effectively is crucial for maintaining oral health with dental crowns.

Here are some common issues and how to manage them:

  • Sensitivity:
    After the dental crown procedure, you might experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. This could be due to the enamel layer being trimmed or the prepared tooth adjusting to the new crown. Using a non-abrasive toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help manage this issue. If sensitivity persists, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
  • Loose Crown:
    A crown might become loose due to various factors, including the natural wear and tear of the dental adhesive. If your crown feels loose, it’s important to avoid using the tooth for chewing and contact your dentist right away. They can assess the situation and decide whether the crown can be re-cemented or if a new crown is needed.
  • Chipped or Broken Crown:
    Dental crowns, especially porcelain crowns, can sometimes chip or break. This could be due to bad habits such as grinding teeth or biting on hard foods. If this happens, avoid chewing on the side of the damaged crown and get to the dentist as soon as possible. Depending on the extent of the damage, the dentist might smooth out minor chips, make a new crown, or opt for a more durable crown material.
  • Gum Disease:
    Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which can affect the health of your crowns. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent gum disease. Regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleaning are also crucial for maintaining gum health.

Long-term Options for Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Dental Crowns

Maintaining oral hygiene with dental crowns is a long-term commitment. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Regular professional cleanings:
    Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist for professional cleanings is a cornerstone of dental care. These cleanings can help maintain the health and longevity of temporary crowns and final dental crowns.
  • Nightguards:
    A nightguard can be a lifesaver if you habitually grind your teeth at night. This custom-made device protects your crowns and natural teeth from damage caused by grinding.
  • Healthy diet:
    A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low in sugar can contribute to overall oral health. It’s also important to avoid hard and sticky foods that can dislodge crowns.
  • Proper home care:
    Brushing twice a day with a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help keep your mouth healthy. It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals to help remove food particles.
  • Regular use of fluoride:
    Using fluoride toothpaste every day can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Avoiding bad habits:
    Habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and consuming sugary drinks can harm your oral health and should be avoided.
  • Regular check-ups:
    Regular appointments with your dentist are essential for maintaining oral health with dental crowns. Your dentist can provide high-quality treatments, spot potential issues early, and give advice tailored to your needs.

Remember, maintaining oral hygiene with dental crowns is a long-term commitment, but with the right care and habits, your crowns can last for a long time.

Final Thoughts

Dental crown maintenance isn’t a one-time event but a long-term commitment. It involves daily habits, regular check-ups, and a proactive approach to your oral health. It’s about making choices that benefit your oral health, like using a non-abrasive toothpaste, opting for a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoiding bad habits like smoking.

And while this guide provides a comprehensive overview, it’s important to remember that everyone’s oral health needs are unique. What works for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s crucial to have regular appointments with your dentist, who can provide personalised advice and dental treatments.

If you have any concerns about your dental crowns, whether it’s sensitivity issues, a loose crown, or questions about dental crown maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Maylands Dental Centre. Please book a consultation appointment through our website, or you may also call our dental clinic. Our team of experienced dentists is here to help you every step of the way on your journey to better oral health.

Maylands Dental Centre
Maylands Dental Centre
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