The Complete Guide to Caring for Dental Crowns

Dr. Ash Sagar
Narre Warren Dental Care

When it comes to oral care, a dental crown can be just as important as your natural teeth. They are not only used for cosmetic modification, but they also protect the entire tooth from further damage.

Taking care of your dental crowns should not be taken lightly. Proper oral hygiene habits are needed to keep them looking and functioning well. This guide provides tips on maximising the longevity of your crowns and maintaining a healthy smile. Read on for the ultimate resource in caring for your dental crowns.

Narre Warren Dental Care
  • This guide provides tips on caring for dental crowns to maintain oral hygiene and prolong the longevity of the crowns.

  • After crown placement, patients are advised to avoid hard-to-chew foods and stick to soft foods for the first 24 hours, such as cooked vegetables, bananas, and soft cheeses.

  • Avoid crunchy and sticky foods, including nuts, chewing gum, and hard candy.

  • Brushing and flossing dental crowns is essential, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, non-abrasive toothpaste, and dental floss or interdental brushes.

  • Patients should visit their dentist two to four weeks after crown placement, followed by regular checkups every six months.

  • Dental crowns are not whitened with bleaching products, and patients should talk to their dentist about alternative options if they want to whiten their teeth.

  • Patients should avoid engaging in contact sports or going to the gym for at least 24 hours after dental crown placement.

What are Dental Crowns, and How are They Placed?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a damaged, decayed, or broken tooth to restore its shape, strength, and size and improve its appearance. A crown can also be used to cover a dental implant or to support a dental bridge.

The process of placing a dental crown typically involves two appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the tooth by trimming a thin layer of tooth enamel to make room for the crown. Then, they will take an impression of the tooth to create a custom-made crown. A temporary crown secured with temporary cement will be placed over the prepared tooth until the dental crown is ready.

During the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed, and the dental crown is cemented onto the tooth.

There are several types of dental crowns:

  1. Ceramic or porcelain crowns:
    These are made of porcelain and are the most common type of crown used for front teeth because they are very natural-looking.

  2. Porcelain fused to metal crowns:
    These are made of a metal base with a porcelain coating. They are very strong and durable but can appear opaque in certain lighting.

  3. Gold crowns:
    These are made of a blend of gold, copper and other metals. They are also durable but are more visible in the mouth.

  4. Base metal alloy crowns:
    These are made of non-noble metals that are resistant to corrosion and tarnishing. They also require less of the tooth to be removed for placement.

The type of crown used will depend on several factors, including the location of the tooth, the amount of damage, and the patient’s preferences and budget. Your dentist can help you decide which type of crown is good for your situation.

How Soon After Dental Crown Placement Can I Eat and Drink Normally?

As soon as the dentist places the crown, you may be eager to return to your normal eating and drinking habits. The good news is that you do not have to wait too long. Most dentists will tell you that it is okay to eat and drink normally after the crown placement, but you should take special precautions during the first 24 hours.

Cut tough foods into small pieces and chew on the opposite side of your mouth from where the crown was placed. Avoid hot beverages for 24 hours after treatment; sipping through a straw should help reduce any sensitivity caused by temperature changes. If pain or discomfort persists, consult with your dentist for additional guidance. With these simple tips and patience, you will soon enjoy your favourite meals again!

What Types of Food Should I Eat After Crown Placement?

A dental crown procedure is aims to preserve natural tooth structure. It restores and strengthens damaged and weak teeth and protects teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.

After placement of the dental crowns, patients are recommended to stay away from hard-to-chew foods for the first 24 hours to give ample time for the dental cement to set properly. In the meantime, stick to soft foods. Soft foods are easy to chew and will not strain the newly placed dental crown. Some examples of soft foods are listed below:

  • Cooked vegetables
  • Soups and stews
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
  • Soft cheeses

Are There Foods I Need to Avoid?

Dental crowns are essential to maintaining dental health, but they come with unique considerations. You must avoid crunchy foods because these can chip dental crowns. On the other hand, sticky foods can pull at the crowns, which may cause them to move in an undesirable position.

Examples of tough and sticky foods that need to be avoided are listed below:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy
  • Caramel
  • Chewing gum
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Citrus fruits
  • Ice
  • Raw vegetables
  • Hot foods or cold foods
  • Celery sticks

While dental crowns are durable, biting on hard and chewy foods can apply pressure to your newly installed crown and lead to loosening. Aside from that, frequent exposure to acidic and sugary foods and drinks can cause tooth decay, so they must be avoided. Although dental crowns cover the surface of the teeth, some areas may be slightly exposed, usually below the gum line. These areas are still prone to tooth decay.

Can I Brush and Floss My Dental Crowns in the Same Way as My Natural Teeth?

You can brush and floss your dental crowns in the same way as your natural teeth. Good dental hygiene is crucial for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums and the longevity of your dental restorations.

The chewing surface of dental crowns must be cleaned by careful brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes each time. The bristles should be angled toward the gum tissue to remove plaque below the gum line. Plaque in this area can cause gum disease, which can later lead to treatment failure.

Remember to use non-abrasive toothpaste to prevent scratching or damaging the dental crown. Abrasive toothpaste can remove the glaze covering the crown. This causes the crown to lose its lustre and become rougher, making it easier for plaque and food debris to attach.

Flossing is also important to remove any debris and plaque that may accumulate between the teeth and around the dental crowns. Use dental floss or interdental brushes to clean between the teeth and around the crown, taking care not to snag the floss on the crown edges.

How Often Should I Visit the Dentist for a Checkup After Crown Placement?

After getting a crown placed, you should follow up with your dentist 2-4 weeks later to make sure that the crown is fitting correctly and doesn’t require any adjustments. This follow-up checkup is important to ensure the crown isn’t causing discomfort or lasting damage. After this initial visit, it’s recommended that you return for a checkup every six months. A regular appointment allows your dentist to make sure the crown is in tip-top shape and can also help spot potential problems with your oral health, giving you a better chance of avoiding significant dental issues in the future.

Can I Use Whitening Products on My Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are made of materials resistant to staining and discolouration, and they also cannot be whitened with bleaching products or whitening toothpaste. Porcelain, which is commonly used to make dental crowns, is a non-porous material that cannot be penetrated by the whitening agents found in most bleaching products.

If you have dental crowns and want to whiten your teeth, talk to your dentist about alternative options, such as replacing the dental crown. Your dentist can help you find the optimal way to achieve your goal while also protecting the appearance and durability of your dental restorations.

Can I Play Contact Sports or Go to the Gym After Dental Crown Placement?

After dental crown placement, it is generally recommended to wait at least 24 hours before engaging in any strenuous physical activity or contact sports. This gives the dental cement used to bond the crown to your tooth time to harden and set fully. You should also avoid biting down on hard or crunchy foods on the crown for the first 24 hours.

After the first 24 hours, you can resume your normal activities, including going to the gym or participating in contact sports. However, it is important to take care when engaging in these activities to avoid any impacts or blows to the mouth that could damage the dental crown or the underlying tooth. If you participate in contact sports, it is recommended to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and dental restorations from damage.

Can Dental Crowns Be Used on a Tooth That Had Root Canal Treatment?

Dental crowns are a popular dental restoration option for weakened teeth, including teeth that had root canal treatment.

Root canal therapy saves an infected tooth by removing the inflamed tissues inside the tooth. However, since the blood supply is removed during treatment, the tooth becomes brittle. This makes dental crowns necessary. They will protect the tooth, reducing the risk of having chips, cracks, fractures, and other damages.

Can Dental Crowns Get Cavities?

It is a common misconception that dental crowns can’t get cavities, but that’s not necessarily true. If the crown does not fit properly, leaving gaps between the tooth and the crown, then food particles and bacteria that cause decay can find their way in, increasing the risk of infection and leading to cavities. Furthermore, maintaining good oral hygiene is also important to prevent bacterial plaque from building up around your crown. Bacteria in plaque can cause tooth decay which creates cavities.

Therefore, finding an experienced dentist who can fabricate dental crowns with precision and maintaining good oral hygiene are two of the most effective ways to prevent the teeth underneath the dental crowns from having cavities.

What Should I Do if I Feel Discomfort or Pain After Dental Crown Placement?

It is normal to experience sensitive teeth or uneasiness after dental crown placement. After all, the dental crown is a foreign material newly placed in your mouth. It will take some time to adjust to it. However, if the pain becomes overwhelming or it does not go away in a couple of days, you can do the following:

  • Contact your dental services provider and let them know about your pain.

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication to lessen the discomfort.

  • If there is swelling, use a cold compress to reduce it.

  • Mix one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water to create salt water. Rinse with warm salt water for 30 seconds every day. You can do this as a temporary measure of swelling.

  • Follow your dentist’s instructions and attend any follow-up appointments as scheduled.

  • If the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms like fever or swelling, seek emergency care.

Severe pain after your dental crown procedure could be a sign of infection or a dental emergency. Always reach out to your dentist so you can get professional help.

Will I Need to Have My Dental Crowns Replaced at Some Point?

Dental crowns are durable restorations that can restore and protect damaged teeth. Depending on the material used, different types of crowns can last for several years. Composite resin crowns usually last for three years. All-porcelain crowns or all-ceramic crowns usually last 10-15 years, while porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns may last up to 10-20 years. Metal crowns can last up to 25 years or longer.

While dental crowns are designed to be long-lasting, they can still be subject to wear and tear, damage, or other issues that can impact their function and appearance. Some common reasons why dental crowns may need to be replaced include the following:

  1. Wear and tear:
    Dental crowns can become worn down or damaged over time, affecting their fit and function. This can happen due to factors such as grinding or clenching your teeth, biting down on hard foods, or simply normal wear and tear from daily use.

  2. Decay:
    Although dental crowns cannot decay, the natural tooth underneath the crown can still be affected by decay. Severely decayed teeth lead to loose crowns, which must be removed and replaced if the tooth is still restorable.

  3. Gum disease:
    Gum disease can cause the tissues around the dental crown to be inflammed, leading to instability and the need for replacement.

  4. Cosmetic reasons:
    Over time, your natural teeth may shift or become discoloured, which can affect the appearance of your dental crown. If you are unhappy with the look of your crown, your dentist may recommend replacing it with a new one that better matches your natural teeth.

  5. Allergic reactions:
    In rare cases, patients may be allergic to the materials used in fabricating the dental crown. When this happens, the replacement of the crown with a more suitable material is needed.

If you have dental crowns, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing, and to see your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings. Taking good care of your dental crowns and natural teeth can help prolong the restoration’s life span and reduce the likelihood of needing replacement.

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns can significantly help maintain dental health, but it requires proper care and maintenance to keep them functioning well. After placement, it is advisable to avoid hard and sticky foods and stick to soft foods for the first 24 hours. It is also recommended to maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing regularly, using a non-abrasive toothpaste, and visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup. Gym workouts should also be avoided for the first 24 hours after placement. Also, it’s important to note that whitening products do not work on dental crowns. Taking good care of your dental crowns will help ensure they last a long time and protect your natural teeth.

If you’re looking for dental crowns to restore your teeth, there’s no better place than Narre Warren Dental Care. Our dental team stays up-to-date on the latest treatments and technologies so you can receive outstanding dental care whenever you visit. Book an appointment online with Narre Warren Dental Care today and get back to feeling confident about your smile!

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

Related Blogs

Book an appointment today!

Book an appointment today!

Whether you’re seeking a dentist for a general cleaning or are interested in major work and restorations, we’d love to speak with you about your options.
We look forward to meeting you!