It is recommended and generally safe to use a mouthwash with a temporary crown. However, you should avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol or peroxide. The presence of these active ingredients can irritate your gums and cause discomfort or sensitivity. Do consult your dentist on caring for your temporary crown as well as recommendations for the a suitable mouthwash.
In general, it is important to be gentle when caring for a temporary crown. Avoid biting down on hard or sticky foods and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and temporary crown. You should also avoid using floss to clean around the temporary crown, as it can cause the crown to come loose or fall off. Instead, use a water flosser or interdental brush to clean between your teeth and your temporary crown.
What Is a Temporary Crown?
A temporary dental crown is a short-term, tooth-shaped placeholder that covers a tooth that has just undergone a root canal or any other dental treatments.
While there are technologies that enable a permanent, custom-made dental crown to be produced in a day or two, it typically takes a dental clinic anywhere between 10 to 21 days to construct. During the period, a temporary crown is used in place of a permanent crown to protect the damaged tooth or implant site, while restoring some of its form and function such as chewing and biting.
A temporary crown is made from less durable materials such as poly-ethyl methacrylate or bis-acrylics and are glued to your gums using a temporary dental cement. As such, they typically last for 3 to 5 weeks before needing replacement with a new temporary or permanent crown.
Your dentist will make sure that the temporary crown matches the shape, color, and size of your natural teeth. However, it will not be as accurate and perfect as the permanent crown as the temporary crown is meant to be a ‘quick fix’ while the former is being produced.
It is important that the temporary crown be replaced whenever the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are made from metal and porcelain crowns and are much more durable and aesthetically accurate than temporary crowns. If properly maintained, permanent crowns can last anywhere from 5 to 20 years.
Caring for Your Temporary Crown
It is important to take care of a temporary crown to ensure that it stays in place and protects the tooth until the permanent crown can be placed. Here are some tips for caring for a temporary crown:
- Avoid eating hard, crunchy or sticky foods: These types of foods can cause the temporary crown to become loose or fall out. Stick to a soft food diet for the few weeks and be careful when biting.
- Avoid sugary or acidic food: A temporary crown may not be perfectly fitted, leaving a gap between the crown and the gum or tooth. This may lead to sensitivity in the gum or tooth decay if the food particles can find its way into the gap.
- Be gentle while brushing the crown: Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and gently brush around the temporary crown.
- Avoid flossing or be cautious when flossing: Avoid using a floss threader or regular floss to clean around the crown as this can cause it to become loose. However, if you must floss around the temporary crown, be gentle and use a piece of waxed floss. Slide the floss gently between the tooth and the crown, being careful not to catch the crown with the floss.
- Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth: This can put extra pressure on the temporary crown and cause it to become loose or fall out.
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste: Most patients will experience mild sensitivity in the first few days after the temporary crown is installed. To reduce sensitivity and discomfort, opt for a desensitizing toothpaste; these toothpaste contains active ingredients such as potassium nitrate and fluoride that help to block the transmission of ‘pain messages’ from the nerves to the brain while strengthening the tooth enamel.
- Use a water flosser: A water flosser is a great replacement for flossing as it helps to remove any food particles in areas where flossing may not reach. However, do turn down the setting as a strong jet of water can dislodge the temporary crown.
Best Mouthwash for Temporary Crown
As mentioned above, it is perfectly safe to use a mouthwash with your temporary crown while your permanent crown is being made. That said, you should avoid swishing your mouthwash too vigorously to avoid dislodging the crown. Here are the top 5 mouthwash recommended by dentists for patients who have a temporary crown:
1. Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash (Alcohol Free)
2. Listerine Cool Mint (Alcohol Free, Less Intense)
3. Sensodyne Mouthwash Cool Mint (For Sensitive Teeth)
4. Listerine Sensitivity Mouthwash (For Sensitive Teeth, Alcohol Free)
5. CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash (For Sensitive Teeth, Alcohol Free)
If you are experiencing gum soreness or bleeding, avoid mouthwash and rinse your mouth with warm salt water instead. The solution, which contains half a teaspoon of salt for every glass of warm water, helps to sooth the tissue around the swollen area. Rinse your mouth with salt water up to three times a day to speed up the healing process.