What Can You Do to Prevent a Root Canal?
A root canal is a routine procedure that isn’t any more painful than having a cavity filled. But it’s perfectly normal to dread the thought of needing one, even if you’ve already had one in the past. Thankfully, a root canal can be avoided with proper dental care. Here’s how you can keep your teeth healthy and prevent the need for a root canal.
How to Prevent a Root Canal
Brush and Floss Your Teeth Every Day
Tooth decay is caused by a buildup of bacteria that eats away at your tooth enamel. When the enamel becomes too weak, harmful bacteria can reach the inside of your tooth, causing severe damage or tooth infections that only a root canal can treat.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to take excellent care of your teeth and gums. An effective hygiene routine starts with brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and flossing once daily.
Using a fluoride toothpaste (or a beneficial alternative) also helps strengthen your enamel and fight tooth decay. You can add mouthwash to your daily routine to take advantage of its antibacterial properties and eliminate even more plaque.
Avoid Sugary, Hard, and Sticky Foods
Many types of foods can damage your teeth. For instance, bacteria thrive on sugar, so sugary foods or drinks can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Sticky foods and candies stay in your mouth longer, which also increases your risk of tooth decay. And chewing hard foods like nuts, ice, and popcorn can actually chip or crack your teeth. Since broken teeth are another reason you might need a root canal, it’s best to avoid hard foods as well.
Don’t Drink Acidic Beverages
It’s not only sugary drinks that can damage your teeth—acidic drinks can also erode tooth enamel. To protect your teeth and prevent a root canal, avoid drinking acidic drinks like coffee, soda, wine, and fruit juices. If you just don’t want to cut these drinks out of your diet, try at least to limit your intake. Drinking through a straw can also help minimize tooth exposure to acidic beverages.
Wear a Mouthguard for Sports or Bruxism
If you play contact sports or if you grind your teeth at night (bruxism), it’s crucial that you protect your teeth with a mouthguard. Injuries and grinding can both lead to chipped or cracked teeth, and possibly a root canal. Wearing a mouthguard at night or whenever you play sports will help prevent unnecessary damage.
Visit Your Dentist at Least Twice a Year
No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, you still need to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Regular cleanings are necessary for eliminating plaque and bacteria that brushing and flossing can’t reach. And an oral exam allows us to catch and treat dental problems early on, before they can become serious enough to require a root canal. If you’re due for a cleaning, schedule one today!
Holistic Dentistry in Prescott, Arizona
As a holistic practice, we always keep prevention in mind. Prescott Dentistry offers a wide variety of preventative treatments that can help you avoid a root canal and other, more invasive procedures.
But when a root canal is necessary, we do everything in our power to help you feel comfortable as possible, from answering your questions to providing a complimentary comfort menu.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 928-445-1660 today.