How to Protect Your Natural Tooth from Decay After Having a Dental Crown Installed

A dental crown is used to protect damaged teeth and restore your natural smile. Dental crowns are extraordinarily strong, but they still require cleaning. While the crown itself is impervious to tooth decay, there's a small gap between the crown and your gums where bacteria can collect and cause tooth decay. Allowing bacteria to build up in this area can lead to gum disease—it can also lead to tooth decay that spreads underneath the crown. When your natural tooth under the crown begins to decay, your dentist will usually need to remove the crown in order to clean under it and remove the decay.

To prevent this expensive procedure, it's important to care for your dental crown after you have one installed. Here's how.

Pay Special Attention to Your Gumline When Brushing

Prevent tooth decay from spreading underneath your crown by brushing at least twice a day, paying special attention to your gums. The mechanical action of brushing removes plaque buildup from your gumline, preventing bacteria from building up near your natural tooth and contributing to decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching your gums and causing them to bleed, which can lead to an increased risk of gum infection.

If You're Not Flossing, Start Now

Flossing is vital to maintaining good oral health, although few people take the time to do it daily. It becomes especially important after you have a dental crown put in, as it's difficult for a toothbrush to fully clean the small areas on either side of your crown near your gumline. Be gentle when you floss the areas around your crown, as the edges of a dental crown are sometimes sharp enough to rip and shred your dental floss. This leaves annoying bits of floss between your teeth that can contribute to bacterial buildup.

Use Mouthwash to Kill Remaining Bacteria

While mouthwash shouldn't be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing, an alcohol-free mouthwash is a great addition to your normal oral hygiene regimen. Mouthwash helps to kill bacteria that can build up near your gumline and cause decay to spread underneath your crown. Make sure you use an alcohol-free mouthwash to prevent your mouth from becoming too dry, as a dry mouth actually leads to an increased risk of tooth decay.

One of the reasons why it's important to visit a skilled cosmetic dentist to have a dental crown installed is that he or she can give you a tightly-fitting crown. This reduces the surface area of your exposed natural tooth, reducing the risk of tooth decay spreading underneath your crown. If you're thinking of getting a dental crown to protect your tooth and rejuvenate your smile, find a dentist with the necessary expertise to fit the crown tightly to your gums.

If you have further questions about cosmetic dental procedures, contact services such as Royal Oak Dental.