How to floss around a crown: oral hygiene tips

How to floss around a crown, oral hygiene tips

No one can argue the importance of flossing, whether you use traditional methods such as string floss or floss picks. Or even the most advanced piece of tech such as water flossers.

The important thing is that you keep at it.

We all learn how to floss at a tender age, either from our parents or our dentist and hygienists. As we age, the environment inside our mouths changes as well.

We get fillings, root canals, teeth removed and of course crowns and bridges. Which is why it is important to update our flossing technique, and learn how to floss around a crown the right way.

Correcting the myth about dental crowns

First things first, you have to remove the idea that since crowns are artificial, they don’t need proper care, maintenance and hygiene. Crowns cause as much problems as natural teeth and need to be very well cared for as you would your other teeth (and sometimes even more so). Knowing how to floss around a crown will solve this issue.

Although they are not liable for decay and they cannot feel pain, they trap food remnants just the same. Which could be the starting point for gum disease as well as other problems like periodontitis and bone loss.

But fear not, with proper care, the chances for all that is minimized greatly. Not only that, but when a problem actually starts to appear, it would present no symptoms. So you may not even realize you have a problem until it is too late.

Therefore it is better to take care of your crowns on a regular basis by know exactly how to floss around a crown.

Understanding the structure of a dental crown

Before we learn how to care for dental crowns, we must first understand their structure and how they are made.

Dental crowns are needed to cover the tooth when it is in need of protection. Such as when it receives a root canal treatment or has been destroyed by decay. Especially when traditional fillings are just not enough to replace the lost parts.

After the tooth is prepared (which means making them smaller so that the crown will not be large, bulky and unnatural) molds are taken and sent to the laboratory to fabricate the crown.

How dental crowns are made

These days digital cameras are used instead of molds which makes the whole situation a lot faster and a lot more comfortable. When the crown is returned to the dentist, they make final adjustments and the crown is cemented in place.

There are 3 materials from which a dental crown could be made:

  1. 1
    Metal: Which is very strong but unsightly, and it's use is decreasing nowadays.
  2. 2
    Porcelain: Which looks great and very natural, but lacks the strength. So is limited to areas where pressure is minimum and to small spaces.
  3. 3
    Zirconium: The best of both worlds. With strengths similar to metal and a white color similar to porcelain, Zirconium can be used anywhere and with great success.

Brushing dental crowns

The principle is to treat dental crowns as natural teeth, so brush accordingly. Brush twice daily with a fluoride containing toothpaste and mouthwash helps a great deal too.

No need for electric toothbrushes (unless instructed by your dentist) as a crown covers a tooth becoming part of the mouth’s environment.

How do you floss a crown?

Flossing is another matter. Flossing is difficult even in normal circumstances and with crowns it becomes even more so.

If you received a single crown, then you would feel little or no difference as you pass that piece of string between the crown and the natural tooth. But beware not to pull the string out of the contact area with force. Because if you’ve ever wondered “can flossing pull out a crown?”. Well, it is possible if you are too forceful.

The correct way is to insert the string as normal, but after you clean pull it outward instead of upward (meaning towards the outside of your mouth rather than towards the opposite jaw).  Other than that, it is pretty much business as usual when it comes to flossing.

How to floss multiple crowns

However, if you received multiple crowns, the situation becomes quite different.

If you placed multiple separate crowns adjacent to each other, their contact points are much stronger than natural teeth. Making it very hard to pass the string between them, which is why more often than not you would need a different method of flossing. Such as interdental brushes or water flossers.

To make matters worse, it is normal for the porcelain layer covering the crowns to become rougher with age. Which means that they would trap more and more food remnants, and the roughness could even tear the string as it passes between them.

Therefore it is highly advisable that you seek another more efficient method of flossing between crowns.

Flossing with bridges

Bridges are no picnic either. Bridges are multiple crowns joined together via welding, meaning no space exists between them at all.

String floss will not work, as well as most other methods, except of course for water flossers. Which are made exactly for situations like this and are more than capable of cleaning those impossible areas under bridges and crowns with extreme efficiency.

How to care for your dental crown, answered!

A very important part of taking care of your crowns and bridges is visiting your dentist frequently for check-ups.

Dental check-ups should be a regular part of you taking care of your health and it becomes an absolute necessity when you received a large restoration such as crowns and bridges

As we established, crowns are incapable of feeling and you would not sense the presence of problems. But your dentist can detect them early and the intervention then becomes minimal. Crowns and bridges have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years. It is more likely that you reach the 12 year mark (and sometimes more) when you frequently check-up with your dentist.

So when the question beckons “how to floss around a crown” or “is flossing crucial around the crown area?”. I think this article has answerd those questions quite substantially. All you have to do is treat them as you would your natural teeth.

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