The joint holding the jaw to the skull is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. It is a complex system of bones, muscles and tendons that must work in sync to ensure the jaw can move and function properly. When one of the components has a problem, it may turn into a TMJ disorder that…
Avoiding a Root Canal Treatment: Preventive Dental Tips
Getting a root canal is never fun. Even though technology has advanced and the procedure is much more comfortable and pain-free than ever before, it is still a significant reason why people hate going to the dentist. When things go wrong inside a tooth, a root canal may be the only solution to save the tooth. A root canal is also a possibility for those who elect not to have a tooth extracted.
Preventative dental tips
The obvious way to prevent needing a root canal is by having good oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing will lessen the chances of getting a root canal in the future. However, some of these additional tips may come as a surprise when it comes to maintaining good oral health.
Take extra care of the back teeth
Believe it or not, the back teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay than the rest of the teeth. Why? The back teeth have pits and fissures. Any sugar or acids that lead to tooth decay will most find their way into these small crevices. Bacteria can develop, which increases the risk of a cavity forming inside the tooth that is only visible with x-rays. These can be particularly hard to diagnose since they are difficult to find.
Here is another piece of uncommon knowledge. A manual toothbrush may not always do a thorough job of cleaning to prevent cavities from forming. That is why using an electric toothbrush is often recommended. The extra movement of the bristles gives an electric bush a better chance of removing plaque and bacteria from the back teeth, in turn preventing any potential cavities.
Stay away from hard foods
That means no hard candies, but it can also include chewing on ice. Biting down on hard candies like lollipops or Jolly Ranchers can cause teeth to crack. These cracks will serve as an entryway for bacteria to enter the root system and lead to all kinds of damage. Other hard foods can include things like popcorn kernels or bones in meat.
Avoid acidic beverages
Beverages like soda and even citrus juices break down tooth enamel and cover the tooth in sugar. Bacteria loves sugar, and they thrive on it, setting the stage for future tooth decay.
Schedule regular checkups
Of course, this final tip is a no-brainer. Schedule a dental appointment every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. Also, make sure to get regular x-rays. Aside from brushing and flossing two to three times a day, this is another primary preventative measure to follow. Catching and fixing a cracked tooth early can prevent the need for a dreaded root canal later on.
Keep good oral health to avoid needing a root canal
Avoiding a root canal is possible. Just follow the four tips above regularly to maintain excellent oral hygiene. A dental office can offer additional suggestions that can help you stay away from the dreaded dental drill.
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