While nothing is as good as your natural teeth, a dental crown is an investment and one of the best restorative options in dental care.
A dental crown is a prosthetic device placed over a tooth to improve its shape and strength. It serves as a protective cover and conceals a worn-down or cracked tooth. These dental restorations require regular maintenance, so dentists recommend them as a last resort, usually after severe tooth decay or a large filling. There are a number of ways you can prevent getting a crown, however. Here are six steps you can take to avoid ever having to ask your dentist about a dental crown.
1. Wear a Mouthguard for Contact Sports
A dentist might recommend a crown after someone has been involved in a serious sports injury. Athletes who wear a mouthguard, however, can reduce the likelihood of a fractured or broken tooth. These plastic applications cover the teeth and gums and limit tooth-related injuries from contact sports such as football and hockey.
The best mouthgaurds are those you get directly from your dentist. They will be able to provide a custom fit that will best protect your mouth. However, if that is not an option, there are various types of mouthguards available on the market to protect the teeth, lips, gums, arches and jaw during sports.
2. See a Dentist About Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is a common problem for many Americans and is associated with conditions such as jaw soreness and loose teeth. Moreover, constant teeth clenching over a long period of time could wear down the teeth significantly, resulting in a crown restoration.
If you grind your teeth, make an appointment to see a dentist. Cures for tooth grinding include stress management, more sleep and wearing a mouth guard.
3. Brush Your Teeth Properly
Poor oral hygiene could result in tooth decay and even gum disease. That's why it's important to maintain your dental health by brushing your teeth properly. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends you gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristle brush and a fluoride toothpaste, using small circular movements along your teeth and gum line.
Failing to brush your teeth regularly often leads to plaque buildup, which could then cause gum disease and destroy the structure of your teeth. In some circumstances, poor brushing habits increase the likelihood of having to wear a crown.
4. Floss Your Teeth Regularly
Flossing removes plaque buildup and prevents tooth decay, which is one of the main reasons for crown restoration. Still, 18 percent of people would rather wash dishes than floss their teeth, according to one study. Moreover, just over half of all Americans floss every day, while 18.5 percent don't floss at all.
Experts suggest you floss at least once a day. While this practice might be boring and time-consuming, it could reduce your chances of having to wear a crown in the future.
5. Don’t Use Your Teeth as an Instrument
Certain activities could damage your teeth and require you to wear a crown. For example, think twice before the next time you use your teeth to open a bag or a bottle. Using your teeth to open something, or as an instrument, can damage your teeth more than you know.
6. Don’t Wait to Have Cavity Filled
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances at needing a crown. If a cavity becomes too big to fill or further damage to the tooth is caused by an untreated cavity, your need for a crown increases dramatically.
Dental crowns are not ideal. However, wearing a mouthguard for contact sports, seeking out tooth grinding treatments, brushing your teeth properly, flossing, among other good dental habits could prevent you from ever having to wear a dental crown.