Root canals are necessary to save your teeth in certain situations. However, there are several ways that you can protect your teeth and avoid root canal treatment.
Root Canal Treatment
The first step in understanding how to avoid root canals is to know why you might need one in the first place.
An accident or injury can result in needing a root canal, such as a broken tooth while playing a sport. A tooth can become severely cracked from biting hard objects or teeth grinding. However, many root canals become necessary after a tooth cavity has gotten so bad that the core of your tooth gets infected. If the cavity affects the nerve, we must remove the infected tooth pulp using root canal treatment.
In the past, most people considered root canal treatment quite painful. However, this is not the case with the use of modern technology and the advanced training of an Endodontist. Modern Care Endodontics uses advanced techniques, including The Gentlewave®. This technology is a minimally invasive alternative to standard root canal treatment. It uses sound waves and a stream of treatment fluid to remove the damaged tissue and bacteria thoroughly and painlessly.
Even though root canals can be miraculous in their results and the procedure is usually painless, no one would describe them as “enjoyable.” So, we would like to share ways you can protect your teeth from needing root canal treatment.
Tips to Avoid Root Canal Treatment
Preventive measures are the best to keep a root canal from ever becoming required to save your tooth.
1. Brush Your Teeth
The most important thing you can do to prevent root canals is to brush your teeth. You may have been told to brush your teeth a lot and are tired of hearing it, but it really is that important.
Brushing your teeth adequately at least twice a day, has significantly reduced the likelihood of needing a root canal later in life.
If you can’t brush after every meal, you should rinse your mouth out with water. Rinsing is not as effective as brushing, but it will still help remove food particles from your mouth and buffers the PH in your mouth.
Flossing goes hand-in-hand with brushing your teeth and is just as important. When you brush your teeth, there are areas between your teeth that you cannot reach with the brush.
Not flossing is like washing the front and back of your car but leaving the sides dirty. By flossing, you remove debris in between your teeth, so they do not sit between your teeth and cause cavities. Those cavities can later turn into needing a root canal.
3. Visit Your Dentist
Another thing that can go a long way toward avoiding root canals is to see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
Since most root canals result from a tooth being left unhandled for too long, regular visits to your dentist will help keep your teeth healthy and root-canal-free.
If you are experiencing any tooth pain, you shouldn’t wait for your next scheduled cleaning to have it checked out. Call your dentist and set up an appointment to have it inspected.
Catching tooth problems at the onset makes it much easier to handle them without resorting to more severe procedures.
4. Wear a Mouth Guard
If you play sports, ensure you always wear a mouth guard. Getting hit during sports and having your tooth crack, chipped, or knocked out is one of the reasons for needing a root canal.
Wearing a mouth guard helps protect your teeth during any contact sport, so don’t leave it out or forget it.
Some people also grind their teeth at night. Grinding your teeth can lead to significant damage, as well as added stress on your jaw. If you clench or grind your teeth, wearing a mouth guard when you sleep can prevent this damage and stress.
5. Watch the Foods You Eat
Diet is also a key factor in avoiding root canals. Sugary food or drinks will cause bacteria to grow in your mouth that will cause tooth decay. Another diet factor that is less well known is acidic food or beverages. Here is a list of some acidic foods and drinks you will want to have in moderation:
· Coffee and Tea
· Carbonated drinks
· Alcohol, especially wine
· Sports drinks
· Soda and soft drinks (even sugar-free types)
· Citrus fruits and juices
You should also avoid biting down on hard foods or candies. Biting down on something like ice, a popcorn kernel, or a hard nut can crack your tooth, which could require a root canal to protect against pain or infection with the tooth.
You should not avoid getting a root canal if you need one. The results and effectiveness of root canals are generally spectacular and we can resolve many problems, but it is still infinitely better to avoid ever needing one in the first place.
Dr. J.D. Simonton