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What Is a Root Canal? 5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Needing One

Most people immediately shudder as soon as they hear these two dreaded words: root canal.

With continually improving technologies and practices, the procedure has become much less painful and now requires much less downtime. As such, a root canal is not something that should fill people with fear. However, it still is not a particularly pleasant experience.

A root canal is a common practice that many dentists prescribe when a tooth becomes diseased or infected. During the procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp of a tooth is removed. The pulp is replaced with a material called gutta-percha to ensure that the tooth continues to function in a healthy manner. Root canals are a great option to treat damaged teeth without requiring the tooth to be pulled and replaced.

When described in technical terms, root canals are far less scary. Yet it is still something that should be avoided if possible. So, here are some tips to help you to reduce the risk of needing a root canal.

1. Use a Night Guard If You Grind Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth while you sleep can cause significant damage to them. While many people grind their teeth unknowingly, they can still take measures to mitigate the damage. One way is to utilize a night guard. A night guard helps to ensure that your teeth will not grind together. It greatly reduces the injury caused by this bad habit.

2. Always Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

Sometimes we get lazy and think that it is not a big deal to skip a few brushes. However, the results of that can be devastating. Brushing twice a day should be the bare minimum. Even more so, it would be advantageous to brush your teeth every time you consume a meal.

Some people carry travel toothbrushes so that they can easily brush their teeth at work or on the go. Additionally, try to floss your teeth once a day. This helps to make sure that your teeth stay as clean as possible.

3. Wear a Mouth Guard If You Play Sports

When playing contact sports like football, soccer, and baseball, it is imperative that you always try to wear a mouth guard. Blunt force from other players, the ball, or the ground can be devastating to healthy tooth development.

Similarly, to a night guard, these guards will ensure that your teeth do not experience any stress or trauma due to intense contact. Mouth guards will allow you to have fun out on the field without fear of oral injury.

4. Avoid Processed Foods

Aside from the fact that processed foods are detrimental to your overall health, they are also bad for your teeth. These types of foods can aggressively promote tooth decay. They hurt your teeth much more than unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and other fresh options. Try to limit how many frozen dinners you eat and instead increase the proportion of home cooked meals that you make.

5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Always make sure to visit your dentist for a routine cleaning at least every six months. This is especially important because dentists can often identify small problems. They’ll detect issues that you may not even realize exist. In the end, they’ll notice anything going on well before they become huge problems. They can keep you from requiring a procedure such as a root canal. Dentists also clean your teeth more thoroughly than is generally possible on one’s own.

Dental care is critical to your overall health. It is something that should be taken very seriously. Additionally, dental procedures tend to be rather costly, so it is also in your best financial interest to have excellent oral hygiene. Make regular trips to great dentists you can trust, like the folks at Dentrix DentalCare. It is one of the best ways to make sure that your dental problems never reach a level that requires a remedy as intense as a root canal. If you can institute all the small changes listed above, then you will have a much better chance of avoiding a root canal.