If you get a dental crown placed in a highly visible position, such as on your front teeth, matching its color to your natural tooth color will be important. Some technicians even go as far as placing light staining on the crown to help it match your natural teeth. While the crown may look perfect when it is first placed, over time your natural teeth will likely stain and change color, making the crown stand out in your mouth. Luckily, you have many options for preventing this or fixing it if it has already happened.
To ensure that your crown continues to look good in your mouth, you should concentrate on preventing staining on the teeth around it. There are three main ways to prevent stains.
- Limit your intake of substances that stain your teeth. This includes drinks such as coffee, teas, wines, and sodas as well as foods such as beets and berries. Surprisingly, eating too much acidic fruit can also make your teeth look stained by removing parts of your enamel.
- Limit the length of exposure of staining foods on visible tooth surfaces. You may choose to drink with a straw and place foods directly on your back teeth to prevent long contact with your front teeth. You should also avoid snacking for extended periods of time or taking a long time to finish a drink that could cause stains.
- Practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss regularly. Additionally, after eating you should rinse your mouth with water.
If your teeth have already become stained, you may be able to remove some of the staining to help your teeth return to the shade they were when you had your crown placed. Regular brushing with an electric toothbrush may help remove stains. A mild whitening toothpaste is also a good option. You may also increase the frequency of your professional cleanings with your dentist.
For stubborn stains, you may want to use a teeth bleaching kit. If you decide to bleach your teeth, you should do so with the help of a professional dental hygienist or dentist. It can be difficult to predict the exact shade your teeth will become after bleaching, and it is possible to over-bleach, making your teeth whiter than your crown. Additionally, over-bleaching can erode your enamel, making your teeth sensitive. A professional will be able to help you mitigate these risks.
Covering Stains With Veneers
If your teeth have drastically changed color since you had your crown placed, you may not be able to get them back to the exact shade of the crown. One of your options for getting a consistent color is to use a veneer. While most dentists will not want to cover only the crown with a veneer, as this can add bulk to the crown, making it look out of place, you may get a full set of veneers placed over your front teeth and the crown. This not only gives you a matching color, but protects your teeth from staining in the near future.
Replacing Your Crown
Crowns are generally viable for 5-15 years. If it has been longer than 5 years and your crown no longer matches its surrounding teeth, you may want to consider getting it replaced. Although this can be a more expensive option, it will ensure a good color match. Additionally, it will allow your dentist to adjust the contours of your crown to compensate for any shift in your teeth or receding of your gum line.
If you have a crown, it is important to get a good color match before it is placed. Once it is placed, there are several ways to keep it looking natural in your mouth for many years. For more information, contact a practice like Maplewood Dental Associates, PA.