When you get a dental crown over one of your teeth, it should last for a long time — provided that you carefully follow your dentist's advice for caring for the crown. One issue that can lead to the temporary removal of the crown, however, is getting a cavity beneath it. This problem is fairly rare, but can definitely happen — and, if it does, you'll be in for more dental work that you may have been able to prevent. Fortunately, if you take a conscientious approach to prevent a cavity from forming beneath your dental crown, it's unlikely to happen. Here's how to do it.
Brush It Properly
Don't fall for the misconception that because a dental crown is not a natural tooth, it doesn't require proper care. You should continue to brush your dental crown as though it's one of your natural teeth. This means trying to brush it after each meal, but certainly after breakfast and dinner. You'll also want to brush with your toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to help lift bacteria away from the crown and prevent tartar from forming. Keeping bacteria at bay will prevent it from getting under the crown and harming the tooth that is hidden.
Monitor It for Looseness
Crowns have a very low incidence of failing, but a variety of mistakes that you make can sometimes put this type of dental work in jeopardy. For example, if you were to bite on a hard piece of food with the pressure directly on the crown, you could loosen it. Always be cognizant of the fit of your crown. If it appears to be loose, you'll want to see your dentist promptly. Bacteria can easily get underneath a loose crown and lead to a cavity. You can avoid such a risk by having the crown repaired as quickly as possible upon it becoming loose.
Watch What You Eat
Your dentist will give you a list of foods that you should try to avoid when you have a dental crown, and you should heed this advice. Many types of food can be problematic for the crown, causing it to loosen or otherwise break. When this happens, the tooth beneath it becomes partially exposed, and a cavity can soon result. This is especially true if you weren't aware of the damage to the crown. Avoid chewing hard things such as ice cubes, and particularly sticky things such as candy, and you'll lessen this risk.
If you need dental crown services, contact a dental office near you to learn more.