3 Tips For Maintaining Your Dental Crowns

When the surface of your tooth is damaged or worn down, but the root of your tooth is still healthy, your dentist may recommend a dental crown to repair the damage to your tooth without removing it or risking further damage. Crowns are a common solution to this type of dental problem because they work well, but they're not perfect, and they can weaken or break. If you're getting a crown put on to strengthen an already weak tooth, here are some tips that you can use to keep the crown in peak shape and prevent further problems with that tooth.

Wear a Mouthguard

Something caused the damage to your original tooth. It may have been an unavoidable accident, but if your tooth was weakened by something habitual, like nighttime tooth grinding, or because of an activity you participate in regularly, like playing baseball, then you can prevent damage to your new crown, as well as to your other teeth, by investing in a mouthguard.

A mouthguard is a flexible but tough dental appliance that you wear at night while you're sleeping (if you're a tooth grinder) or during an activity that could be dangerous to your teeth. There are many types of mouthguards available, including some that you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy or from a sporting goods store. But before you buy one, ask your dentist for recommendations – there may be a particular style that your dentist believes will suit your needs best. You can also have a mouthguard custom-made by your dentist – these are usually the best-fitting kinds.

Break Bad Biting Habits

Certain bad biting habits can wreak havoc on your teeth by putting too much pressure on your teeth. This is particularly damaging for dental crowns. To avoid doing damage to your crowns, you may need to work on breaking habits like biting your nails, chewing ice, or opening bottles or food packages with your teeth.

Additionally, you may need to avoid certain foods. Very hard or sticky foods can break your crown or pull it off of your tooth. A candy apple rolled in nuts may look good at the fair, but ask yourself if it's worth paying for a new crown at the dentist's office the next day.

Step Up Your Oral Healthcare Routine

The tooth or teeth that have been crowned now have two layers that need to be taken care of. The crown will do a good job of reinforcing the underlying tooth, but if that tooth begins to rot away or the root becomes infected, your crown will no longer help you. That means that after you have the crown put into place, you need to work extra hard to keep that underlying tooth clean and healthy.

Make it a priority to brush and floss after every meal, if you aren't already doing so. You may want to start carrying sugarless gum with xylitol for any occasions where you'll be eating out and unable to brush your teeth right away – xylitol helps keep your teeth healthy. Learn which foods are best for keeping your teeth strong (like apples and carrots) and incorporate more of them into your diet. There are many things you can do to maintain and improve your oral health.

Of course, you should also make sure to continue seeing your dentist twice a year, and follow any instructions or recommendations that your dentist gives you. If you suspect that there's a problem with your crowned tooth, don't wait – make an appointment to see your dentist without delay. You may be able to solve the problem easily if it's caught early. 

Contact a dental office like Milan Simanek, D.D.S. & Associates to learn more about dental crowns.