It may take two to three weeks before your permanent crown is ready. What should you do about oral hygiene while you wait?
Dr. Stephen Hiroshige and his staff always want you to practice flawless dental hygiene because it’s crucial for a healthy smile. But we know you may have some trepidation about caring for your temporary crown. In this post we offer some tips that may help while you wait for your permanent crown.
Before we talk about how you can best care for your temporary crown, we should address why you have it at all. When you have certain procedures, such as a root canal or a dental implant, Dr. Hiroshige may recommend a crown to protect your natural tooth or to serve as a prosthetic tooth. A crown can also be used to protect a weak or cracked tooth.
When you need a crown, we take impressions of your teeth and order a crown that will fit perfectly in your mouth both in size and color. We then send the exact specifications of your crown to a lab that specializes in making them. The entire process can take a few weeks.
A temporary crown is a sort of off-the-shelf crown that’s placed in your mouth while you wait. Dr. Hiroshige uses a type of dental adhesive to secure your temporary crown in your mouth rather than the stronger cement used to permanently place a crown.
You will want to continue brushing twice a day and flossing once while you have your temporary crown, but there’s an important step involved: Be very careful! Brush gently around the crown, using a soft-bristled brush.
When you floss, you probably use an up-and-down motion most of the time. While you have a temporary crown, you may find that a sliding motion works best around the crown. Use a shorter piece of floss than usual, slip it between the crown and the tooth next to it, then gently slide the floss out from between your teeth instead of pulling it back up.
Try to avoid eating sticky foods such as toffee or caramel while you have a crown. The food could stick to the crown and pull it off. Don’t use chewing gum for the same reason.
Hard foods could dislodge or break your temporary crown so use caution! Generally speaking, try to chew on the other side of your mouth as much as possible.
The tooth with the temporary crown may be sensitive. Hot or cold beverages could cause discomfort. Dr. Hiroshige may recommend special toothpaste.
If you have pain when you bite down, you should schedule an appointment with us because your crown may have become dislodged and be too high up on your tooth.
Another potential problem is if your temporary crown becomes loose. In that case, schedule an appointment, so that we can re-secure it.
Your temporary crown needs a little extra care, but by avoiding a few foods and beverages and being gentle during your oral hygiene routine, it will work well until your permanent crown arrives.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your temporary crown, schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to answer your questions in the context of your situation.