Karrinyup Dental Centre

The Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Dental Crowns

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

The Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Dental Crowns

A smile is a powerful tool in everyone’s life. It can open doors of opportunities, create friendships, and even brighten someone’s day. Dental science often plays a role in creating great smiles, especially with the use of dental crowns.

Dental crown treatment plays a big part in keeping our smiles bright and functional. They serve as protective coverings for broken, worn-out, or weak teeth. However, like anything valuable, proper care is essential to maintaining the functionality of dental crowns.

This guide is packed with easy-to-follow advice that’s as beneficial for your crowns as it is for your oral health. Let’s look into the world of dental crown care together.

Summary of The Content

  • Like a wide range of restorative treatments, dental crown procedures protect, restore, and enhance natural tooth structure.
  • A daily oral hygiene routine involves brushing, flossing, avoiding hard foods, using a mouthguard if necessary, and limiting staining foods.
  • Dental crown cleaning should be done gently to avoid scratching the crown. Another important aspect of dental crown cleaning is to rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash to remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas.
  • To preserve crown durability, having regular dental check-ups, using non-abrasive cleaning products, and avoiding hard and sticky food items are advised.
  • Soft-bristled toothbrushes, fluoride-based toothpaste, and fluoride-based mouthwash are safe cleaning products, while abrasive toothpaste and hard-bristled brushes should be avoided.
  • Learning how to care for dental crowns also means avoiding hard and sticky foods that can dislodge or damage them.
  • Factors affecting dental crown lifespan include the material of the crown and oral habits. With diligent care and maintenance, the lifespan of dental crowns can be significantly increased.

The Role of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are key to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Let’s take a closer look at what these dental restorations do for our oral health.

  • Protection:
    Crowns encase decayed or damaged teeth, protecting them from further damage.
  • Dental Restoration:
    They help restore a tooth’s shape, size, and strength, allowing it to function just like before.
  • Aesthetic Improvement:
    Crowns offer a cosmetic boost to poorly shaped or discoloured teeth, enhancing the smile’s appearance.
  • Support:
    Crowns are used to support teeth that are weakened by decay or large fillings, helping them withstand daily use.
  • Bridge Anchoring:
    Crowns serve as vital anchor points for dental bridges, which fill the gaps left by missing teeth.

Dental crowns play a pivotal role in preserving and enhancing oral health. With proper care, they can be a long-term investment in your smile.

Material Matters

Selecting the appropriate material for a custom-made crown is crucial for ensuring its durability and performance. The key is to strike a balance between strength and aesthetics. Here is a comparison of different crown materials.

  • Porcelain crowns:
    These offer a natural look and closely match the colour of your teeth. They are ideal for front teeth, but they might wear down opposing teeth a bit more than metal crowns.
  • Zirconia crowns:
    Similar to porcelain, zirconia crowns provide a natural appearance, but they are more durable than porcelain. They are suited for patients who want the strength of metal but not its metallic colour.
  • Base Metal Alloy crowns:
    These crowns are extremely strong and highly resistant to corrosion. They require the least amount of tooth reduction, and they are more durable than ceramic crowns. Also, unlike porcelain and zirconia crowns, these crowns have a metallic colour.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal:
    This type of crown consists of a metal core and a layer of porcelain on top. It offers a stronger alternative to porcelain crowns since it has a metal core supporting it. However, this metal core may show a metallic line along the gum tissue.
  • Resin Crowns:
    Made from a blend of plastic and fine glass particles, resin crowns provide a good match to the natural colour of your teeth. However, they might not be as durable as porcelain or metal crowns.

The material you choose impacts how your crown looks, how well it performs, and your dental crown lifespan. Working closely with your dental team can help you pick the material that suits your needs.

Common Issues and How to Navigate Them

Dental crowns may experience issues despite being well-made. Understanding how to handle these common issues can help maintain a healthy smile and good oral health. Here are a few potential issues and tips on handling them:

  • Discomfort or Sensitivity Issues:
    You may experience sensitive teeth during the initial period after the dental procedure. If the crown feels too high or you experience discomfort when biting, contact your dentist for adjustments.
  • Chipped Crown:
    Porcelain crowns can sometimes chip. Small chips might be restored, but larger or multiple chips could require a new crown.
  • Loose Crown:
    A crown can become loose, often due to the weakening of the cement. If your crown is moving, it’s important to see your dentist to determine the cause and to prevent further damage to the underlying tooth.
  • Dislodged Crowns:
    Sometimes, a crown can come off entirely. If this happens, keep the crown safe and contact your dentist promptly so they can determine if it can be reattached.
  • Allergic Reaction:
    Though rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to the metals in alloy crowns. If you suspect an allergy, discuss alternative materials with your dentist.

When issues arise with dental crowns, the appropriate course of action is to consult your dentist. They’re equipped to address problems efficiently.

Daily Care Routine

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is important for the health of your dental crown. It helps your crowns stay strong, keep your mouth clean, and let your smile shine bright. Here are steps to properly care for and maintain your crown on a daily basis:

  • Regular brushing:
    Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Gentle brushing around the crown area can prevent plaque build-up.
  • Daily Flossing:
    Daily flossing is crucial, especially around a crowned tooth. It helps remove food debris and plaque from the area where the gum meets the crown. This preserves gum health and prevents gum disease.
  • Avoid Hard Foods:
    Chewing on hard and crunchy foods like ice or hard candies can damage your crown. Opt for soft foods to protect it.
  • Wear a Mouthguard:
    Grinding your teeth at night and playing contact sports can result in damage. Consider wearing a mouthguard to protect both your natural teeth and crowns.
  • Limit Staining Foods and Drinks:
    Coffee, tea, red wine, and certain fruits can stain your crowns, especially if they are made of resin. Limiting the consumption of these items can help maintain the appearance of your crown and teeth.

Learning how to care for dental crowns requires little effort and following your dentist’s aftercare instructions. By incorporating these steps into your daily routine, you’ll keep your breath fresh and the health of your teeth and entire mouth.

Recommendations for Preserving Functionality and Durability

Understanding how to maintain the functionality and longevity of dental crowns is important for oral health. Here are some tips to help you achieve just that:

  • Regular Dental Check-ups:
    Visiting your dentist regularly for follow-up appointments and dental crown check-ups allows early detection and management of any dental issues. A professional cleaning is also advised during your visits.
  • Proper Brushing Technique:
    Dental crown maintenance requires careful cleaning. Dental crown cleaning is essential to prevent potential decay around the crown’s edges. Brush gently but thoroughly, especially around the crown area, to avoid gum recession and exposure of the crown’s base.
  • Use Fluoride Rinse:
    Dental crown maintenance should include mouthwash. A fluoride mouthwash can strengthen the teeth surrounding your crown, and offer added protection against tooth decay.
  • Avoid Sticky Foods:
    Sticky and chewy foods like caramel or chewing gum can pull on your teeth and potentially cause crown dislodgement.
  • Do not Use Teeth as Tools:
    Avoid using your teeth as tools. Opening packaging or cracking nuts with your teeth can damage crowns. Reach for the proper tools instead.
  • Balanced Diet:
    Eating a diet rich in essential nutrients supports overall oral health, which in turn helps maintain your crown and surrounding teeth. Essential nutrients for oral health include calcium and vitamin D, which strengthen teeth and bones. In addition, vitamins A and C support gum health and healing.

By following these recommendations, you’re protecting your dental crown and investing in long-term dental health. With the right dental hygiene habits, your crown can be durable, functional, and aesthetic for years.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups are the cornerstone of keeping your dental crown in good condition. These visits play a crucial role in the long-term health and functionality of your crowns.

During these check-ups, an experienced dentist can closely examine your crown and your natural teeth. Regular visits and crown inspections are important for catching dental issues. These include wear and tear or slight shifts in dental crown placement. Moreover, your dentist can provide personalised advice on caring for your crown based on its condition and your oral health.

Keeping up with regular dental check-ups is a simple yet effective way to preserve your crowns. By making these visits a priority, you’re taking a proactive step towards maintaining the health and radiance of your confident smile.

Cleaning Products to Use and Avoid

Choosing the right cleaning products is vital for maintaining the integrity and appearance of teeth and dental crowns. Here’s a guide to what you should use and what to avoid to keep your crown clean and safe:

Safe to Use:

  • Soft-Bristled Toothbrush:
    Gentle on your crown and effective at removing bacterial plaque.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste:
    Helps prevent decay around the crown’s margins without being abrasive.
  • Gentle, Alcohol-Free Mouthwash:
    Anti-bacterial mouthwash that’s free of alcohol reduces the risk of dry mouth, which can affect the crown’s adhesion.
  • Floss or Water Flossers:
    Essential for cleaning around the crown, especially at the gum line, to prevent plaque build-up.

Avoid Using:

  • Abrasive Toothpaste:
    They can scratch the surface of your crown.
  • Hard-Bristled Toothbrushes:
    Can cause gum recession and wear at the crown edges.
  • Sticky or Hard Cleaning Tools:
    Picks or other hard tools can dislodge or cause crown damage.

Using the right products for dental crown maintenance can make a big difference in dental crown lifespan. By choosing gentle and effective cleaning tools and avoiding those that can cause damage, you’re taking proper care of your crown.

What to Do in Case of Damage

When a dental crown gets damaged, knowing the steps to take can prevent discomfort and further oral health issues. Here’s what to do:

  • Don’t Panic:
    Keep calm. Most crown issues can be addressed.
  • Keep the Pieces:
    If the crown has come off or is broken, keep any pieces. Your dentist might be able to reattach or restore them.
  • Contact Your Dentist Immediately:
    Explain the situation. Most dental offices will provide emergency care, especially if you’re in severe pain.
  • Avoid Certain Foods:
    Until you see your dentist, avoid chewing on the side of the compromised teeth to prevent further damage. Avoid extremely hot and cold food as well to prevent tooth sensitivity.
  • Clean Gently:
    Keep the area clean, but be gentle. Rinse with warm salt water to reduce the risk of infection.

Taking swift and appropriate action during dental emergencies is key to addressing the problem efficiently. Your dentist is the right resource for advice and dental treatment. Reaching out to them should always be your first step.

Final Thoughts

Your diligence in dental crown maintenance plays a crucial role in their longevity and functionality. By following the advice we’ve shared, you’re setting yourself up for a brighter, healthier smile that lasts.

If you have concerns or want to learn how to care for dental crowns, Karrinyup Dental Centre is here to help. Our team of caring professionals is dedicated to providing you with the proper care.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation appointment. Whether you’re a new patient or an existing member of our dental family, we’re here to support your journey. You can call our dental clinic directly or visit our website to learn more and book your dental appointment.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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