While today’s root canals have an extremely high success rate and have very low levels of discomfort, there are things you can do to lessen the likelihood that you will ever need to be treated by an endodontist and have a root canal. Dr. Susan Wood, an endodontist at Phoenix Endondontic Group, recently shared three tips that can help keep your teeth healthy and avoid the need for a root canal.
How to prevent a root canal
- Brush and floss daily. Your oral health regimen is your best line of defense against tooth decay, which can fuel infection inside your tooth and cause a root canal treatment to be needed.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Dr. Wood noted that a significant advantage of visiting a general dentist for a checkup is the comprehensive examination that is conducted. The images taken of your teeth via X-ray or radiograph can show hidden infection or damage to your teeth, and the prophylactic cleaning helps reduce plaque, which reduces the chance of a tooth becoming infected.
- Protect your teeth from dental injuries. One common route to the need for a root canal is for a tooth to become cracked or chipped, then infected. Wear a mouth guard if you play contact sports, use a night mouth guard while sleeping if you experience bruxism (teeth grinding), and use care when eating hard or crunchy foods.
Dr. Wood concluded, “Because root canal therapy can be necessary for a host of reasons, there sometimes is no way to prevent one. However, regular checkups and radiographs at your general dentist’s office can catch some of those reasons, like decay or cracks, before they become an issue.”