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How to Safely Clean Your Zirconia Crowns at Home

Zirconia crowns have revolutionized dental restoration, offering a blend of durability and aesthetic appeal that closely mimics natural teeth. Crafted from zirconium dioxide, these crowns are valued for their strength, longevity, and their ability to transmit light, giving them a lifelike translucency.

Why choose zirconia crowns over metal-supported porcelain?

  • Zirconia crowns resist corrosion and oxidation
  • Zirconia crowns do not cause dark gum lines
  • Zirconia crowns are an excellent choice for patients with metal allergies

Benefits of Zirconia Crowns

  1. Durability: With their smooth and impenetrable surface, zirconia crowns are less likely to harbor plaque and bacteria, making them a favorable option for maintaining oral health.
  2. Stain Resistance: This also means they’re less prone to staining – a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine is less likely to diminish their sparkle.
  3. Gum Health: Cleaning zirconia crowns effectively is not just about preserving their pearly whiteness; it’s also about safeguarding the health of the surrounding gums and natural teeth.
  4. Longevity: Regular brushing and flossing play a pivotal role in preventing gum disease and ensuring that your zirconia restorations maintain their structural integrity and flawless appearance for years to come.

When it comes to maintaining your zirconia crowns, an effective home care routine can make all the difference. This includes using the right brushing techniques, incorporating flossing into your daily routine, and exploring additional cleaning methods to ensure your crowns remain in top shape.

Brushing Techniques for Zirconia Crowns

Taking care of your zirconia crowns begins with proper brushing techniques. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to brush your crowns gently yet thoroughly:

  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The soft bristles are gentle on the crowns and won’t cause damage to its polished surface. Brands like Oral-B and Colgate offer high-quality soft-bristled toothbrushes suitable for zirconia crowns.
  2. Apply a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps strengthen the underlying tooth structure, while non-abrasive formulas protect the crown’s surface from scratches.
  3. Brush using gentle, circular motions. Rather than brushing back and forth vigorously, use light pressure and move the brush in small circles over each crown.
  4. Don’t forget to clean all surfaces of the crown. This includes the outer surface that faces the cheek or lip, the inner surface that faces the tongue, and the chewing surface.

Importance of Flossing

Flossing plays a crucial role in cleaning around zirconia crowns and preventing gum disease. It removes plaque and food particles trapped between teeth and along the gum line – areas your toothbrush can’t reach effectively.

Here are some helpful tips on flossing with zirconia crowns:

  1. Choose a soft, shred-resistant dental floss like PTFE floss. This type of floss slides easily between teeth and won’t snag or catch on your crowns.
  2. Use a gentle sawing motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Avoid snapping the floss into the gums as it may cause injury.
  3. Form a ‘C’ shape with the floss around each tooth and crown. Sliding it under the gum line and along each side of the tooth.

Additional Cleaning Methods

To enhance your oral hygiene routine, consider incorporating a mouthwash or water flosser.

Mouthwash helps eliminate bacteria in the mouth that can lead to plaque build-up and gum disease. Look for alcohol-free formulas that are gentle on your mouth tissues and won’t dry out your mouth.

A water flosser, also called an oral irrigator, uses a stream of pulsating water to clean between teeth and below the gumline. It’s an excellent tool for cleaning around zirconia crowns as it can reach areas regular flossing might miss.

Remember, these are supplementary tools and should not replace regular brushing and flossing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While maintaining your zirconia crowns, it’s equally vital to be aware of harmful cleaning practices that could potentially damage them. Here are some pitfalls to sidestep:

  1. Using abrasive products or techniques can lead to scratches or a dull surface on your crowns:
  • Toothpastes containing harsh abrasives
  • Toothbrushes with hard bristles
  1. These culprits can erode the polished surface of the zirconia crowns, diminishing their shine and smoothness. To avoid this, opt for a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  2. Exposure to harsh chemicals is another danger zone:
  • Toothpaste or mouthwash that contains sodium bicarbonate
  • Toothpaste or mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide
  • Toothpaste or mouthwash that contains alcohol
  1. These ingredients have been known to cause damage to dental restorations, including zirconia crowns.

In essence, when caring for your zirconia crowns, gentle is the way to go. Treat them as you would your natural teeth – with care and respect. Avoid anything that might be too rough or harsh, as it could lead to unnecessary damage.

Long-Term Maintenance Strategies

When it comes to keeping your zirconia crowns looking their best for years to come, there are a few simple steps you can take. By following these strategies, you can minimize the risk of stains and damage, and keep your crowns in pristine condition:

1. Avoid Highly Pigmented Substances

Certain foods and drinks can cause stains on your zirconia crowns, leading to a dull appearance over time. To prevent this, try to limit your consumption of:

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Tea
  • Dark sodas

If you do indulge in these beverages, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards to help remove any potential stains. Additionally, it’s best to stay away from tobacco products, as they can cause significant discoloration.

2. Physical Protection During Activities

While zirconia crowns are known for their durability, they can still be susceptible to physical stress. Here are some ways you can protect them during certain activities:

  • If you participate in sports or activities where there’s a risk of impact to your mouth, consider wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard. This will provide an extra layer of protection for your crowns.
  • For individuals who grind or clench their teeth (a condition known as bruxism), wearing a night guard while sleeping is essential. This device helps prevent potential fractures or chips that could occur from the excessive force exerted on the crowns.
  • Lastly, it’s important to be mindful of how you use your teeth. Avoid biting into hard foods or using them as tools (like opening packages), as this can put unnecessary pressure on the crowns and potentially damage them.

Adopting these habits not only maintains the aesthetic appeal but also ensures that your zirconia crowns continue to function as intended, without the need for premature repair or replacement.

The Role of Professional Care

Professional maintenance plays a crucial role in taking care of your oral health, especially if you have zirconia crowns. Regular visits to your dentist are important not only for your natural teeth but also for the long-term health of your crowns. Here’s why these appointments should be a priority:

Why Professional Care Matters

  • Professional Cleaning: While taking care of your teeth at home is essential, there are certain areas that can only be reached with specialized tools. Dental professionals use instruments specifically designed to clean zirconia crowns without causing any damage.
  • Examination: Dentists are trained to detect any changes in your oral health. By identifying and addressing minor issues early on, they can protect both your crowns and natural teeth from further damage.
  • Early Detection: Catching problems at an early stage can make a big difference in the type of treatment needed. Regular dental visits allow for prompt intervention, potentially preventing more extensive dental work in the future.

What to Expect During a Visit

During your dental appointment, your dentist or hygienist may perform specific cleaning and polishing procedures tailored to zirconia crowns:

  • Using ultrasonic scalers with soft tips to gently remove tartar buildup without causing any harm to the crown.
  • Applying polishing pastes specially formulated for zirconia to restore shine and maintain a smooth surface, which helps prevent plaque from accumulating.

These professional interventions work hand in hand with your home care routine to keep your zirconia crowns looking beautiful and functioning properly. By staying consistent with professional maintenance and regular check-ups, you are investing in the long-term durability of your smile.


Remember, the splendor of zirconia crowns lies not just in their natural appearance and durability but also in the meticulous care that they receive. It’s crucial to:

  1. Brush gently yet thoroughly with a medium-bristle toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
  2. Use dental floss to clean around the crowns, preventing gum disease.
  3. Keep your crowns shiny and bright by avoiding highly pigmented foods and drinks.
  4. Protect your crowns from physical damage with strategies like wearing a night guard.

Don’t forget, regular professional dental care plays a significant role too. Your dentist not only ensures perfect cleaning but also early detection of any issues.

So here’s the last nudge, keep up with the maintenance routine for your zirconia crowns for their long-lasting beauty and function. Remember, when it comes to dental care, consistency is key!

Dt. Arzu Uluköylü Arı, a member of the Turkish Dental Association, has focused her practice on composite fillings, composite laminate veneers, porcelain laminate veneers, and empress (full porcelain).

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