Tips to avoid breaking your dental crowns

If you have a damaged tooth, it can impact your smile as well as your oral health. Many people choose dental crowns to protect their teeth from damage. With this cap that is placed over your tooth, it protects your tooth, and it looks completely natural. However, it requires regular care, just like any other tooth.

Let’s look at how you can prevent your dental crowns from breaking.

Why Do Dental Crowns Break?

Dental porcelain is a very durable material, but dental crowns can still be weakened over time, eventually causing them to break. The most common reasons that dental crowns break are:

  • Bite problems: Grinding or clenching your teeth can put a lot of pressure on your natural teeth and crown. Additionally, if your crown is not correctly fitted, it could break or fall out much sooner than anticipated.
  • Decay: The crown itself will not erode due to tooth decay, but the natural tooth underneath is still vulnerable. Brushing and flossing regularly will keep your gums healthy and protect the natural tooth. If the gum recedes due to infection, decay can sneak under the crown and damage the tooth, possibly requiring further treatment such as a root canal.
  • Bad habits: Biting your fingernails, chewing on ice, and using your teeth to open packages can make the porcelain break or chip.

How Can I Prevent My Dental Crown from Breaking?

Crowns are meant to last several years, but there are ways you can protect them and keep them for much longer than that. Here are some ways to prevent crowns from breaking or falling out:

  • Avoid hard or sticky foods: This is the most common reason that crowns have broken. Avoid hard foods like nuts and sticky foods if you have a crown. If you can’t avoid these foods, don’t chew or bite them in the area where you have your crown.
  • Get tested and treated for bruxism: Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a bad habit that can damage your crown and natural teeth. Many people with bruxism don’t know they have it, as it only happens in their sleep. Ask your dentist to check if you grind your teeth. If you do, they might recommend a custom-made nightguard to protect your teeth from the grinding.
  • Practice good oral health habits: Brush and floss your crown as you would a regular tooth. Be sure to visit us at least every six months for a dental check-up and cleaning. We can also check on the status of your crown.

What Should I Do If My Crown Breaks?

If your crown breaks, the first thing you should do is contact us and schedule an appointment. We will do whatever they can to reattach your crown before any damage is done to your natural tooth. However, if you lose a crown when we are not available, there are a few things you can do until you can get an appointment:

  • Have a friend or family member examine the area. See if the crown is loose or pieces are missing from the tooth. If possible, pull it off entirely so you don’t swallow it.
  • Gently run your tongue along the affected tooth to check for sharp edges that could cut your tongue or soft tissue in your mouth. If the area is smooth, it is less of an emergency, but you should still see us as soon as possible.
  • If your pain level is mild, try over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate it. If you have severe pain, sensitivity, or bleeding, make an emergency appointment. 

Dental crowns are a great way to heal and protect broken teeth, as long as you ensure the crown itself doesn’t get broken! Take extra care of it like a normal tooth, and you should be fine. If you have more questions, we are always happy to help.