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How to Prevent Dental Crowns from Falling Off
April 03, 2024  |  Dental Crown

How to Prevent Dental Crowns from Falling Off

Dental crowns are a popular and versatile dental restoration option used to repair, protect, and enhance teeth. These tooth-shaped caps, typically made of porcelain or metal, are cemented onto the underlying tooth structure, restoring functionality and aesthetics. While dental crowns in Grand Prairie, TX, are incredibly durable, they aren't invincible. Over time, due to various factors, they can become loose or even fall out. This blog post delves into the world of dental crowns, exploring ways to prevent them from falling out and ensuring a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Understanding Dental Crowns

Before diving into preventative measures, let's gain a basic understanding of dental crowns. These are custom-made to fit snugly over a prepared tooth. The preparation process involves removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. As a result, it creates a space for the crown to be securely cemented. There are several types of dental crowns available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Porcelain crowns: These are known for their excellent aesthetics, mimicking the natural appearance of teeth. However, they may be more prone to chipping or breaking with excessive biting force.

  • Metal crowns: Highly durable and long-lasting, but the metallic color might need to be more aesthetically pleasing for some.

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns: A combination of the two, offering a balance between aesthetics and strength.

The Key to Longevity: Excellent Oral Hygiene Practices

The foundation of preventing dental crown issues lies in maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Here are some crucial practices to follow:

  • Brushing: Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay close attention to the area around the crowned tooth to ensure thorough cleaning.

  • Flossing: Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles from between teeth, including the area where the crown meets the gum tissue. This helps prevent decay that could weaken the underlying tooth structure.

  • Antiseptic mouthwash: Consider using an antiseptic mouthwash as an additional step in your oral hygiene routine. It can help reduce bacteria and freshen your breath.

Dietary Choices Matter: Be Mindful of What You Eat

Dental crowns in Grand Prairie are a fantastic restoration option, offering strength, durability, and a natural look. But just like your natural teeth, they require some care to ensure they last for years to come. Here's how your dietary choices can impact your crowns and what to keep in mind:

Protecting Your Crown's Strength

  • Beware of Biting Forces: Hard foods like nuts, hard candies, and ice cubes can cause cracks, chips, or even fractures in your crown. Opt for softer alternatives like nut butter or chopped nuts.

  • Avoid Sticky Situations: Sticky candies, caramels, and taffy can get lodged around your crown, potentially dislodging the cement that holds it in place. If you do indulge, be sure to floss thoroughly afterward.

  • Chew Wisely: While raw vegetables are great for your overall health, be mindful of excessive chewing force on the crowned tooth. Consider cutting them into smaller pieces or steaming them for a softer texture. Bagels and other chewy breads can also put undue stress on crowns, so enjoy them in moderation.

Maintaining a Bright Smile

  • Staining Powerhouses: While not directly affecting the crown's stability, certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, red wine, berries, and curries, can stain the crown material. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming these, or use a straw to minimize contact with the crown.

  • Brushing and Flossing: Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is crucial for both your natural teeth and your crowns. Brush twice daily and floss once a day to remove food particles and prevent plaque buildup, which can contribute to staining and gum disease.

Habits to Break: Protecting Your Crown 

Unconscious habits can unknowingly put stress on your dental crowns, jeopardizing its longevity. Here are some everyday actions to avoid to keep your crown shining bright:

Chewing on Hard Objects

  • Ditch the Bottle Opener: This might seem obvious, but using your teeth to pry open bottle caps is a recipe for disaster. Opt for a dedicated bottle opener or the built-in openers on many bottles themselves.

  • Nutcracker, Not Naw-Breaker: Avoid the temptation to crack nuts with your teeth. The intense pressure can chip or even dislodge your crown. Invest in a nutcracker—your teeth will thank you!

  • Beware of Hidden Hardness: Be mindful of seemingly harmless snacks. Hard candies, popcorn kernels, and even certain ice cubes can put undue stress on your crown.

Beyond Chewing

  • Nighttime Grinding: If you grind your teeth at night (bruxism), you might not even be aware of it. This habit can cause significant wear and tear on your crown and other teeth. Talk to your dentist about a custom-fitted night guard to protect your teeth from unconscious grinding.

  • Using Teeth as Tools: Your teeth are not built for ripping open packages, tearing off tags, or holding objects. These actions can cause cracks, chips, or even loosen the crown. Use scissors, openers, or your hands for these tasks.

If the Unfortunate Happens: What to Do If Your Crown Falls Out

Don't panic! While a dislodged crown can be inconvenient, it's a treatable situation. Here's how to navigate this dental mishap:

Find Your Fallen Friend

Gently explore your mouth with your tongue or finger (washed beforehand!) to locate the crown. If you can't feel it, tilt your head back and use a mirror for a visual inspection. Look for the crown on your tongue, cheek, or even the floor. Once you find the crown, rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Store it in a safe container, like a denture case filled with water, to prevent damage.

Contact Your Dentist ASAP

The exposed tooth is vulnerable to infection and sensitivity. The sooner you see your dentist, the better. Call your dentist and explain the situation. They will likely schedule you for an emergency appointment to reattach the crown or discuss the next steps.

Temporary Measures (Use with Caution)

Do not attempt to re-cement the crown yourself with glue or any other substance not recommended by a dentist. This can damage the crown and tooth. If your dentist approves, consider using a temporary dental cement (found at most pharmacies) to hold the crown in place until your appointment. Remember, this is a temporary measure to protect the exposed tooth. It's not a permanent fix, and the crown should only be re-cemented by a dentist.

Preventing crowns from falling off starts with maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Avoiding hard foods and habits like teeth grinding can also help prolong the lifespan of your dental crown. If you do experience a loose crown, it's important to see your dentist promptly to prevent further damage or complications. By following these preventive measures and seeking timely professional care, you can ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your dental crowns.