Dental crowns are a general dentistry tool used to cap a natural tooth that has suffered substantial trauma- or decay-related damage. Crowns are available in full metal, which looks far from natural, or full porcelain, which looks natural but isn't as strong as full metal. There are also metal-backed porcelain crowns, which have the strength of the metal backing but the natural yet somewhat weaker porcelain surface material.

If you have decided to get either a full porcelain or metal-backed porcelain crown, there are a few oral health tips that can help protect and extend the lifespan of your new crown.

Increase Attention on Gums and Flossing

You will want to use a soft toothbrush and gentle toothbrush to prevent premature erosion to the surface of your porcelain crown. Erosion can lead to early failure or staining, which would also require your dentist to replace the crown as porcelain can't be bleached like natural teeth.

Make sure your oral healthcare routine also includes enough focus on flossing between teeth and gently brushing the front and back of your gums. Bacteria that can take hold between teeth and in the gums at the base of the teeth can cause infection. The infection can get inside the tooth and start causing further structural damage before you even notice it.

An infection in the root canal will require your dentist to remove your existing crown in order to scrape out the infected pulp. Try to avoid any infections to the best of your ability, which should also include regular visits to the dentist for routine cleanings.

No Hard Biting

Porcelain crowns are more susceptible to bite force related chipping or breakage than full metal crowns. For this reason, your dentist will advise against using full porcelain crowns on teeth that naturally take on a lot of bite force such as the molars. But you can protect crowns on even less forceful teeth with some mindful chewing habits.

Try your best not to use the crowned tooth for hard biting tasks such as chomping into an apple or mindlessly chewing ice out of your drink. If you tend to chew on items as a nervous habit, try to replace harder items with soft items such as gum or softer candies.

Mouth Guard for Grinding

Do you grind your teeth when stressed or as you sleep at night? The grinding causes premature erosion of a porcelain crown and causes the crown to crack or fail. Visit your dentist or orthodontist for treatment for teeth grinding before any problems can develop.

You will likely receive a rigid mouth guard to wear while you sleep. The mouth guard will keep your upper and lower teeth propped away from each other so that contact is impossible. You might also need to see a physical therapist to learn stretches and other techniques to make you less likely to grind your teeth in the first place. To find out more, speak with a business like DSW Dental.