How to Care for Crowns and Bridges
You now have a crown or a bridge or both. You’ve expended plenty of time, effort and expense in that dental work so you surely don’t want to fail to take care of it properly. But how DO you take care of it?
You actually have two separate dental appliances to care for. First is the temporary crown or bridge, and then the permanent one. There are important things to remember about cleaning both the temporary and the permanent crown or bridge.
You’ve finished the dental procedure to grind down your original tooth and prepare it for the permanent crown. But the dentist first has to cap your natural tooth with a temporary crown until your permanent one is ready, in a couple of weeks.
At home, you need to be extra careful with that temporary crown. You’ll have to avoid chewing on anything hard, like ice or hard candy. And avoid those Tootsie Rolls, or anything else “sticky” like caramels. Brushing and flossing should be done gently, using a soft-bristled toothbrush—with extra care not to dislodge the temporary crown with the dental floss.
And, by all means, if that temporary crown does become loose or uncomfortable, call your dentist immediately.
Now you have your permanent crown cemented on. And you can treat it just like you do your natural teeth. Again, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should floss, at least once a day, if not two times, gently easing the floss between your teeth, and scraping it several times against the sides of your teeth. Avoid chewing on ice or hard food. Your crown isn’t invincible. Neither are your natural teeth, for that matter. Since your crown is cemented on, you may eat sticky foods, but be careful.
Bridges should be cared for about the same as with a crown. Especially since you’ll have crowns on either side of the bridge, to support it. Once more, when it’s a temporary bridge, it can become loose very easily. Take extra care to softly brush and floss. In two or three weeks your permanent bridge will be cemented in. Then you still want to be reasonably gentle, but you won’t have to be so concerned that the bridge will be loosened.
A Water Pik is an excellent choice, especially if you use it with antibacterial mouthwash. Ask your dentist about which antibacterial mouthwash to get.
An electric toothbrush is preferable.
Good oral hygiene is vitally important if you want to keep your crown or crowns and bridge for a long time. Flossing can’t be emphasized enough. Just be careful flossing with your temporary crown and bridge. But DO floss, and brush. And brushing your gums and tongue along with your teeth will keep your mouth healthy.
Be sure to keep all your scheduled dental appointments, and call your dentist if anything becomes loose, uncomfortable or your bite isn’t right.