Do you indulge in your favorite candy bar other sugary treats? If you have a crown or bridge, eating that piece of candy can be disastrous for expensive dental work. In general, it should be avoided.
Dental crowns are used for various reasons, including rebuilding lost tooth structure, root canal treatment, or cosmetic improvement. Dental bridges are implants meant to span the gap left by missing teeth. Both are expensive and there is a lot of work and discomfort that goes into having them installed.
What Candy Does to Dental Crowns and Bridges
Apart from the destruction that sugar has on your teeth and gums, candy can cause a number of problems for people that have a crown or bridge. These include but are not limited to:
- Breaking or Chipping the Porcelain: Porcelain crowns and bridges are made to sustain the normal forces that are common with eating, but certain types of candy can cause the porcelain to chip or break when you try to bite down on hard candy. Hard mints, candy covered nuts, and peanut brittle are especially damaging because they require a great amount of force to break apart the candy. A fractured piece of porcelain off a crown or bridge requires making a new restoration, which can be costly, and quite painful when the breakage occurs.
- Lifting or Loosening of the Crown or Bridge: Sticky candy, such as caramels, toffee, and gummy-type candy can stick to the teeth while you are biting down on them. In some cases, the force it takes to pry the teeth apart can loosen the bond between the crown or bridge and the cement used to secure the restoration onto your teeth. Even if the candy doesn’t dislodge them, a loose crown or bridge invites bacteria and sugars into the space between the tooth and crown, possibly causing the prepared tooth underneath to decay.
- Losing the Crown or Bridge: Besides tooth decay, a loose crown or bridge will eventually completely loosen, causing the restoration to fall off the tooth. Depending on when the crown or bridge falls off, such as while you are sleeping or eating, you may risk choking or chipping your other teeth.
In addition to the cost of replacing a dental implant such as a bridge or a crown, which can range from hundreds to a few thousand dollars depending on the work being done, the act of replacing them can have damaging effects on the mouth as well. Any restoration work the dentist has to do can mean damage to the pulp of the tooth. But it’s definitely better to replace damaged dental work than to let it decay and possibly become infected.
The Bottom Line
It is best to select soft candy if you are seeking a sweet treat. Always remember to brush and floss your teeth after eating candy, especially in the case of a bridge. Flossing underneath a bridge after eating soft candy will remove any extra sugars from the area under the bridge where the teeth are missing.