A dental crown is sometimes a necessity that allows you to keep your natural tooth. Crowns can last many years, even a lifetime, if properly cared for. The following tips can help you avoid the premature loss or breakage of your crown.
Tip #1: Seek help for grinding
Tooth grinding can wear down or crack a crown. Unfortunately, most people that grind do so in their sleep and are unable to consciously control it. If you are a grinder, make sure to ask your dentist for help. You may be a good candidate for a night guard, which will protect both the crown and the rest of your teeth while you sleep. They may also recommend that you talk to your doctor to work on other causes of grinding, such as stress or muscle tenseness. Massage and learning relaxation techniques can solve the issues that lead to grinding in the first place.
Tip #2: Avoid certain hard foods
You don't have to give up the foods you love, but you do need to avoid certain problematic foods. For example, if you enjoy chewing on ice you may want to stop, since this can wear down or crack a crown. Hard candies, as well as very sticky candies, can also damage or pull off a crown. You can still enjoy them, just don't chew them on your crown side. Popcorn is also a major concern, since unpopped kernels often lead to broken crowns. Be cautious when eating popcorn so you don't chomp on a hard kernel.
Tip #3: Keep non-food items out of your mouth
With the exception of dental hygiene equipment, if it's not food, don't stick it in your mouth. Chewing on pen caps, biting fingernails, or using your teeth as tools can lead to damage. If you must put certain items in your mouth, such as a mouthguard for sports, take care not to chew on them. It's even better to have equipment like this specially fitted by a dentist, so you know that it is going to provide adequate protection without posing a damage concern.
If you have trouble with a crown or if it does fall off, contact a dentist right away. Often, an undamaged crown can be replaced upon the tooth. This can save you the cost of having to have a new crown made. You also don't want to leave the tooth exposed for long, as this can lead to pain or even infection. Contact a dentist, like Hyten David W DMD, for help.