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 when you have dental crowns.
Your teeth are very good for chewing food. But they’re not so good for chewing other things. And why should they be? There’s no good reason to chew on nonfood 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). And 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.
Using Your Crown as a Tool
Our primitive ancestors used to use 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 it to tear open packages, open bottles, crack nuts, or break ice.
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. And 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.
But 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.
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.
Too Aggressive Hygiene
But when you’re taking care of your crowns, it’s important not to overdo it. Aggressive toothbrushing is actually almost as bad as gum disease as a cause for receding gums. 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.
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 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–but don’t forget that noncontact sports like cycling can also result in serious tooth injuries.
Make Your Smile Last
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.