Dental crowns are one of the most versatile dental restorations. Dental crowns support and protect a tooth that has been damaged by injury, decay, or erosion. A crown can also be attached to a dental implant to completely replace a tooth that has been lost.
While we want all our patients at Ridgewood Dental Associates to be able to use their crowns just as though they were a natural part of the smile, there are precautions that should be taken to prolong the lifespan of these restorations.
For instance, there are certain foods and drinks to avoid with dental crowns. By adhering to these guidelines, our Ridgewood, NJ patients can enjoy the benefits of their dental crowns for many years.
Nuts, Chips, and Popcorn
Nuts, chips, and popcorn are tasty snacks, but they are also hard on the teeth. Any hard or crunchy foods should be limited when a dental crown is in place.
The problem with hard foods is that they require a lot of force to bite and breakdown. Although we use strong materials to fabricate the dental crowns for our patients, they are still susceptible to damage.
Repeatedly eating crunchy foods, or biting on hard non-food objects (like pens, bottle caps, or fingernails) can wear down dental crowns so that they chip or fracture more easily.
Gum, Caramel, and Sticky Foods
Chewy, sticky foods also pose a threat to dental crowns, especially in the weeks immediately following dental crown placement. During dental crown treatment, the natural tooth is reshaped and the dental crown is bonded over it, acting as a cap to the natural tooth.
The bonding material that holds the crown in place is long-lasting, but the bond can be broken. If chewy foods continually pull at the dental crown, it could become loose or come out of place.
Avoiding sticky foods is the best way to keep the bonding material secure.
Even when a patient has their natural teeth, it is best to minimize sugary foods. Sugar attracts bacteria, which is the cause of tooth decay. As bacteria build up, they damage healthy tooth enamel and expose the inner layers of the tooth.
Because dental crowns are made of porcelain, they will not decay like the natural teeth. However, if enough bacteria build up around the teeth and gum line, they can work their way beneath the crown and cause an infection in the underlying tooth. Similarly, gum disease can develop.
If an infection develops either within the gums or in the tooth beneath a crown, the crown will likely need to be removed so that restorative dentistry treatment can be administered.
Cola, Coffee, Wine, and Tea
These beverages are different from one another, but the thing they have in common is that they can all stain the teeth. With enough exposure, they could stain a dental crown as well.
We use materials that are resistant to discoloration when fabricating dental crowns, but that can only protect the crown so much. Occasional exposure to dark-colored foods and beverages should be fine, but it is best to consume these in moderation.
The teeth and dental crowns should also be brushed whenever these types of beverages have been consumed so they don’t have a chance to sit on the teeth.
If you have questions about how to best care for your dental crowns, or would simply like to learn more about the dental services offered at Ridgewood Dental Associates, contact us at your earliest convenience. You can reach our practice by calling (201) 652-2474.