Although we have come a long way in the world of dentistry when it comes to root canals, it’s probably not how anyone would prefer to spend an hour of their day. Whether caused by an injury or a severe cavity, once the center of your tooth becomes infected, in order to save the tooth and treat the infection, your dentist will probably recommend having a root canal. Fortunately, today we are sharing our top five tips that may help reduce your chances of ever needing a root canal.
The absolute best way to avoid a root canal or any other unpleasant dental procedure is to practice good dental hygiene, and the best way to practice good dental hygiene is to brush and floss your teeth every single day. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Pay special attention to the back, hard-to-reach teeth and the areas around fillings or crowns. When brushing near the back upper cheek, close your mouth slightly instead of opening up all the way. This will give your toothbrush more space to clean this hard-to-reach area. When you’re done brushing, spit out the toothpaste, but don’t rinse! While any soft bristled toothbrush will work, to experience the most effective brushing we recommend an electric toothbrush.
Flossing is often neglected when it comes to dental hygiene, but flossing every day will ensure that you are ridding your teeth of the cavity-causing germs that linger even after brushing. When flossing, wrap the floss tightly around your middle fingers, then gently move the floss between each tooth, creating a C-shape with the floss. Make sure to move the floss back and forth and up and down before moving to the next section. While an easy area to miss, don’t forget to floss behind the last teeth in each row because it helps to break up the biofilm there.
3. Drink more water and less sugar.
Water is great for your oral health because it helps wash away germs and bacteria that could linger on teeth and gums. Conversely, most other beverages such as juice and soda contain sugar, and sugar is not good for your teeth. Sugar causes bacteria to grow on teeth which in turn produces acid that causes tooth decay. When tooth decay goes untreated, it travels deeper into the tooth and eventually will require a root canal to fix.
4. Protect your mouth.
Experiencing an injury to your mouth can lead to a root canal if the injury causes a tooth to become severely chipped or cracked. If you play a contact sport, consider protecting your teeth with a mouth guard, even if it isn’t required.
5. Visit your dentist.
It is imperative to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and dental cleaning. Some dental issues are painless at first, so visiting your dentist regularly will allow your dentist to identify potential decay or problem areas and help you avoid unwanted dental procedures like root canals.
Whether you think you may need a root canal or are just looking to avoid one at all costs, it’s never too late to start practicing good dental hygiene. At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, we would love to help you have clean and healthy teeth, so make an appointment with us today!