As we mentioned in discussing porcelain veneers, modern ceramics are very strong. So when you have a ceramic dental crown, it’s likely going to last you ten years or more. That is if you take proper care of them. Here are some things that you should avoid so you don’t have to visit a dentist in Rochester, NY for a dental crown replacement.

young woman chewing on a pen while looking at her cell phone

1. Biting Non-Foods

Your teeth are very good for chewing food. But they’re not so good for chewing other things. Why should they be? There’s no good reason to chew on non-food objects.

If you have the habit of chewing on hard objects like fingernails, pens, pencils, shirts, or other hard objects, you should try to break yourself of the habit so you can avoid damaging your dental crowns (and your teeth). If you can’t break the habit on your own, try getting professional help–it works!

Need more incentive to stop chewing non-foods? Chewing on hard, non-food objects can increase your risk of developing TMJ.

2. Using Your Crown as a Tool

Our primitive ancestors used their teeth as tools all the time, especially as a vise to grip objects they were working on, such as animal hides. But like many things our ancestors did (such as charging an elephant), it’s best to leave that kind of habit in the past.

Today, you should avoid using teeth or crowns as a tool, which means don’t use them to tear open packages, open bottles, crack nuts, or break ice.

3. Poor Oral Hygiene

It’s important to remember that most dental crowns don’t fail on their own. Instead, it’s the tooth under them that fails. One thing that contributes to tooth failure is poor oral hygiene.

Typically, your dental crown will cover the entire surface portion of a tooth. The gums will close up around the crown itself so there’s very little risk that your tooth will develop cavities. However, it’s still possible to experience a cavity under a crown if you take poor care of your teeth or if your dental crown isn’t fitted properly.

Poor oral hygiene and other factors can contribute to receding gums around a dental crown, which can expose the vulnerable tooth underneath. This may even include the tooth root, which is very susceptible to tooth decay.

If you notice a black gum line around the crown, extra sensitivity, bleeding with brushing or flossing, pain or toothaches, or brown or grey spots on tooth material around the crown, you might have a cavity or gum disease. Although gum inflammation after crown placement is normal, if it persists or happens months or years after placement, it’s likely gum disease.

Always brush twice a day and floss every day (yes, even on weekends). Floss carefully around your crowns to make sure you’re cleaning all the plaque out from around it.

To ensure you don’t have a cavity on your tooth under your crown, we recommend not skipping your regular dental cleanings. We will take x-rays once a year to look for signs of decay that we can’t see with our naked eye.

4. Too Aggressive Hygiene

When you’re taking care of your crowns, it’s important not to overdo it. Aggressive tooth brushing is actually almost as bad a cause of receding gums as gum disease. Don’t brush your teeth too many times a day, and when you brush it’s important to make sure you aren’t pressing too hard.

Another concern when brushing your teeth is your toothpaste. Abrasive toothpaste can wear away the protective glaze on the surface of your crowns. This can lead to staining of your dental crowns, which will make them unattractive.

5. Playing Sports without a Mouthguard

Sports can be very bad for teeth and just as bad for dental crowns. Wearing a mouthguard keeps your teeth from hitting one another, and protects them from incidental contacts with balls, bats, and sticks.

Any time you are engaged in a competitive sport, you should wear a mouthguard. You definitely want to do this for any kind of contact sport such as football, hockey, or martial arts. However, don’t forget that noncontact sports like cycling can also result in serious tooth injuries.

Problems With Your Dental Crowns You Shouldn’t Ignore

Now that you know how to prevent problems with your dental crowns, it’s important to know when to visit our Rochester dentist to treat problems with dental crowns. Here are some symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

  • Gums receding around crowns
  • Temperature Sensitivity
  • Inflamed gums
  • Black line on gums around the crown
  • Gross smell or taste near crown
  • Loose crown
  • Damaged crown
  • Crown that’s fallen out
  • Pain

Receding gums around the crown can indicate a bruxism habit, be a sign of gum disease, or an ill-fitting crown. Inflammation, pain, and odd smells can all be signs of tooth decay under the crown or gum disease. If your crown is loose, damaged, or has fallen out, you need to seek dental care as soon as possible. At Contemporary Dentistry, we can fix or replace your crown and also treat underlying conditions. The longer you wait to fix your crown and address other dental issues, the more damage that can occur.

Make Your Smile Last With Dental Care in Rochester

A ceramic dental crown can restore the health and beauty of your smile. If you take proper care of it, you can enjoy those benefits for years, even decades.

To learn more about the proper care of your dental restorations like crowns in Rochester, NY, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Contemporary Dentistry.