We love seeing you in our office, but we wish we didn’t have to! Root canal treatment is a wonderful tool, and often the best tooth-saving tool that is available. Advancements in treatment have increased the success rate of endodontic treatment, while modern techniques and tools have decreased recovery time and pain. However, in spite of the advancements that excite us as professionals, we understand that most people would prefer to never experience root canal treatment!
If you are one of those people, read on for our top ten tips to avoid having to have a root canal down the road:
- Brush twice daily. Sounds simple, but far too many adults and children skip this step at night. Brushing your teeth before bed should be just as automatic as turning off the light.
- Floss once daily. Skipping the floss is like only washing 70% of your body when you shower. This doesn’t just contribute to bad breath – it also gives root-damaging bacteria a place to hide and thrive!
- Avoid hard foods such as hard candies and lollipops. Both of which cause cracks that allow bacteria to enter your root system.
- Weak teeth be wary. If you already have weak teeth or restorations, you should also skip crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots and apples, which just so happen to be two of the biggest tooth-crackers.
- Back away from the ice! Many people are tempted by the cool, fresh taste of ice at the end of a beverage. But chewing on ice can easily fracture, crack or break a tooth or filling! Once that happens, bacteria have an easy route into the nerve center of your tooth.
- Wear a mouth guard at night. If you are a grinder or clencher, make sure that you wear a night-guard to protect teeth from fractures, which eventually can expose the tooth’s roots.
- Wear a mouth guard while playing sports. No longer just for football and hockey players, mouth guards are an important part of equipment for nearly every sport, from soccer to snowboarding.
- Avoid acidic drinks and foods like soda and citrus juices. These beverages present a double whammy to teeth: First, they break down enamel. Then, they saturate the tooth in sugar for bacteria to feast on!
- Have regular dental checkups and cleanings. A cracked tooth found early can often be spared root canal treatment.
- Get your tooth pain checked out immediately! Any pain is a sign that something is amiss in your mouth and ignoring it will only make treatments more serious down the road.