Invisible braces are orthodontic appliances that are often impossible to notice when worn. The term is often used to describe clear aligners, which are transparent plastic trays used to straighten teeth, but invisible braces can also be used to describe subtler types of braces like lingual and ceramic braces. Invisible braces are typically used for cosmetic…
Do I Need to Make Eating Habit Changes After Getting Dental Crowns?
Installing dental crowns is one of the most common procedures performed by dentists. Crowns can be placed over natural teeth or over a dental implant to address common problems such as a chipped tooth or severe tooth decay. While these prosthetics can help restore plenty of strength and functionality to a patient’s damaged tooth, they are susceptible to breaking or falling off if not cared for properly. To increase the lifespan of a dental crown and avoid needing to replace one prematurely, there are a few recommended eating-habit changes patients should be aware of.
Post-operative dietary changes
Immediately following a dental crown procedure, the patient is most often given a temporary crown to wear while a permanent crown is made. Temporary crowns are more easily dislodged than permanent crowns, so it is very important that the patient is careful to avoid food that can damage the prosthetic. This includes very sticky food such as gum or caramel that can pull out the crown and hard foods such as ice or hard candy.
Some patients might notice some discomfort around the area where the temporary crown was placed. For this reason, it is often recommended that patients stick to a soft diet until the crown feels more comfortable in the mouth. This can mean avoiding chewy foods such as steak or bread. Additionally, the patient’s nerves may be exposed due to gum recession, which can cause sensitivity to cold and hot food items. To avoid unnecessary pain and to prevent damage to the crown, patients should try to chew food on the opposite side of the mouth until a permanent crown is placed.
Caring for permanent dental crowns
Permanent dental crowns are much more resilient to damage than temporary crowns, but patients should still take extra care to not eat food that could cause the crown to crack or fall out completely. When eating sticky foods, patients should chew away from the crown if possible. Additionally, hard snacks such as nuts or pretzels can potentially chip the crown. Patients should be wary of kernels when eating popcorn, and it is important to stop chewing on ice. It is also a good idea for patients to cook hard vegetables, such as carrots, or to cut them up.
When porcelain crowns are made, the material is designed to look as much like a natural tooth as possible and is colored the same shade as the patient’s other teeth. Porcelain is stain and chemical resistant and cannot be whitened following the procedure. Patients should avoid dark-colored drinks or always use a straw since this can cause the surrounding natural teeth to become darker than the crown.
Making a few changes to one’s diets can significantly reduce the wear and tear placed on dental crowns. In addition to making the eating habit changes described, patients should also avoid teeth grinding, using teeth to break open packaging and nail-biting. Regularly brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and daily flossing is essential for keeping the site clear of harmful bacteria.
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