How Can I Avoid a Root Canal?
Root canals have a pretty negative reputation for most people, but in reality, this process can be a great way to stop advanced decay and salvage a damaged tooth. Still, most people would rather avoid having a root canal done if they can.
While root canals help many patients with painful tooth problems, we also understand that prevention is always better than having to undergo an involved dental procedure like a root canal. It is always a better option to keep your smile healthy and beautiful than to try to fix your teeth after an injury or decay has damaged them.
Regardless, sometimes, a root canal is simply the best or only option for saving your tooth. Today, we’ll take a look at the best methods to prevent the need for a root canal.
Prevention is Key to Avoiding a Root Canal
A root canal can be required when a tooth becomes decayed or damaged through an accident or injury, or when a deep cavity or issues from a previous filling has dictated it. However, many root canals could be avoided with preventive care and caution when you’re in situations where your teeth are at risk.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing are the two most straightforward ways to prevent issues that can lead to a root canal. A healthy mouth starts with keeping your teeth clean, so aim to brush at least twice a day. If you can brush after every meal or snack, that’s even better.
Don’t skip flossing. Food that remains trapped between your teeth can not only lead to bad breath, but it can also lead to decay that may damage your tooth. Floss daily to keep root-damaging bacteria out of your mouth.
Avoid Sticky or Hard Foods
Sticky foods, especially those made from sugar, tend to hang around longer on your teeth. Sugars in these sticky foods can feed the bacteria living in your mouth and lead to tooth decay.
Hard foods can be just as bad as sticky, sweet ones, because biting down on hard foods like candies and ice cubes can cause teeth to crack. Small cracks in the surface of your teeth allow bacteria to grow inside the teeth, leaving them prone to decay and infection.
If you know that you have weakened teeth, you may even want to skip eating hard, crunchy vegetables like raw carrots and apples, too. Nuts, seeds, and popcorn kernels are all well-known offenders when it comes to cracked teeth, so be careful what you eat if you want to avoid a root canal later on.
Wear a Mouthguard
If you play sports, don’t forget to wear a mouthguard. As we mentioned earlier, trauma injuries are one of the leading causes of route canals. A mouthguard can protect your teeth from getting cracked, chipped, or even knocked out, so don’t skip using one if you are involved with active sporting hobbies.
In addition, if there’s a chance you grind your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to bed. Sleep bruxism, or grinding of the teeth at night while you sleep, is more common than many realize. It can damage your teeth, but a mouthguard can stop the damage, so speak to your dentist about having a mouthguard made to fit your mouth.
Watch What You Drink
You probably know that sugary drinks and sodas are bad for your teeth, but did you know that fruit juices, especially citrus ones, can be just as bad? Acids in citrus fruits can damage your teeth, and the sugar in most fruit juices feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Even the sparkling water you sip can wreak havoc on your teeth. Carbonic acid in carbonated beverages can erode your tooth enamel and weaken your teeth.
Alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer can be acidic, which can damage your teeth. If you drink alcoholic drinks, be sure to rinse your mouth with water between sips or between beverages to help keep the acidity down.
Get Regular Checkups
Bad teeth don’t just happen overnight. Decay has a progression that can be hard to recognize on your own, but your dentist can see the warning signs earlier than you can. Make sure you get regular checkups and cleanings so that your dentist can spot any problems before they require severe treatments like a root canal or extraction and dental implants.
If you do experience tooth pain, don’t ignore it. Pain is a sign that there is something wrong in your mouth, and if you ignore it, it could worsen. Have your teeth checked out immediately if you feel pain, or you could require a much more serious treatment later on.
Let Us Help Keep Your Smile Healthy
Although procedures like root canals and crowns aren’t what anyone wants, sometimes they’re unavoidable.
Carrie Muzny DDS offers the highest-quality dental services for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our highly acclaimed dentists are not only exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, but also have attained academic honors and continue to refine their craft year after year in preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry.
With our state-of-the-art technology and vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay atop the field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas!
To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today. You can even request a virtual consultation!
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