How to Prevent Root Canals
Despite their security and ease, root canals have a negative stigma in today’s culture. With advancements in modern dental technology, root canals have become somewhat of a routine operation for most dental practitioners. The use of effective local anesthetics and improved technique have made this dental procedure minimally invasive, causing little to no pain or discomfort — with a short recovery process.
Despite its safety, no one ever looks forward to this procedure. Root canal procedures are on the rise, with over 15 million performed every year in the United States alone. In this article, you will learn exactly what a root canal procedure is, what it treats and how to avoid them down the road.
What is a root canal?
Root canals are dental procedures that clean infections and decay from the pulp of your teeth.
Our teeth have three basic layers to them: enamel, dentin and pulp. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth that houses all of the nerves, soft-tissue and blood vessels needed to keep the tooth alive and well. The pulp also connects the tooth itself to the jaw.
This operation treats an infected or decayed tooth by cleaning bacteria, debris and damaged nerve tissue from the pulp. The tooth is then filled with a sealant to stop any further decay or infection from returning.
How to avoid ever needing a root canal
The first step in preventing root canals is understanding what causes them. Most of the time, a root canal addresses a tooth full of infection and inflammation. As a result, stopping the process of tooth decay in its early stages and preventing infections are critical for preventing a root canal operation. You can also avoid root canals through preventative measures that protect your teeth from chips and cracks.
Here are some of the best actions to take now in order to prevent root canals later:
1. Practice consistent oral hygiene
This should be an obvious tip, but one that is sadly overlooked by many. A good oral hygiene routine consists of brushing twice a day — once in the morning and once at night — for at least two minutes each time. You should also floss once a day, preferably at night, and use mouthwash daily. These habits are best for killing bacteria and preventing any sort of cavity or infection.
Fluoride is a mineral that naturally fights cavities by strengthening your enamel. Think of fluoride as the protein powder for your teeth. Just as protein helps build your muscles, fluoride helps repair and build your teeth’s enamel.
With strong and resilient enamel, your teeth are better protected against bacteria build up, called plaque.
You can increase your fluoride levels by drinking fluoride-fortified water (most water in the United States) and by using fluoride-enriched toothpastes and mouthwashes.
3. Wear a mouthguard
Unfortunately, breaking a tooth is a fairly common experience. Sports injuries, accidents and biting down on hard candies and food can sometimes result in fractured teeth. The fact is, this can happen to anyone and can lead to serious infection and inflammation.
Sometimes, the best way to protect your teeth is to wear a mouthguard — particularly when you are in a situation that could result in physical trauma.
4. See your dentist regularly
Going to the dentist every six months is crucial for preventing any serious oral disease or problem. Often, your dentist can spot and eliminate early warning signs, which you can address via better brushing and flossing. In other cases, your dentist can treat simple problems like cavities right away with fillings and other quick procedures. All of this works toward maintaining a healthy smile and preventing root canals.
If you need a dental checkup or notice decay and infection, make an appointment with us at Canyon Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, Las Vegas. Our in-house dental specialists can help you improve your oral health and restore your confident smile. Same day appointments are available today by calling (702) 899-0735.