Can an Electric Toothbrush Loosen a Crown?

After getting teeth whitening and new crowns, I invested $150 in an electric toothbrush in July, and I think it loosened my crown. I received two crowns in May, and one is loose. I intended to take good care of my teeth and minimize cavities because I want to stay out of the dental office unless it’s necessary. But within the past two weeks, I’ve felt my crown loosening. The loose one is a crown on a post. I stopped using the toothbrush already, but are the vibrations known to loosen crowns? I wish I had asked about this before spending money on the toothbrush. Thank you. Giada B. from NJ


Sonic vibrations in electric toothbrushes help loosen plaque, but they are not strong enough to loosen the cement from your dental crown.

Dentists use high-powered ultrasonic scalers to remove a cemented dental post from a tooth. But the tip is rigid and transfers the full strength of the vibrations wherever a dentist applies it. Even with this instrument, a dentist must press firmly on the post for an extended period to loosen a post.

The vibrations of an ultrasonic or sonic toothbrush are gentle. If your post and crown are cemented properly, the toothbrush will not loosen them. But a loose dental crown is a problem. Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. He or she will remove your new crown and determine why it is loose.

You received your crowns in May—so they are not old or worn and should not be loose. It seems that something went wrong in the cementing process, and your dentist must stabilize your crown to prevent damage to it, your bite, and other teeth.

If your dentist can’t resolve the issue, schedule a second opinion with an advanced cosmetic dentist with training in occlusion and bite. Hopefully, it will not be long before you can enjoy your brighter smile and new crowns.

This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.