How to Avoid a Root Canal Infection

Believe it or not, most dentists share a common goal, and that’s to keep you from spending too much time in our chairs. And this holds true here at Meadowbrook Dental Care. While we love seeing our patients in Mineola, New York, our goal is to preserve and maintain the health of your natural teeth with the least amount of dental work possible.

To that end, we’ve pulled together a few tips for avoiding a root canal infection. While modern dentistry has made a root canal procedure no more uncomfortable than a having a cavity filled, there’s still time and expense to consider, as well as the overall integrity of your teeth.

From the beginning

As with any health issue, the best way to avoid a problem is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. In the case of a root canal infection, we need to wind the clock back to before your tooth became compromised.

An infection in your root canal happens when bacteria gets into the pulp, which houses your nerves deep inside your tooth. That means bacteria somehow got through the outer protective layers of your teeth, which is what good preventive dentistry can help you avoid.

In order to ensure that your tooth’s protective surfaces remain intact, you should follow the typical standard of care, meaning you should brush at least twice daily, floss once, rinse often, and keep up with your regular dental cleanings.

Enemy No. 1

There are a few foods that have more of an impact on your teeth than others, and sugar is Public Enemy No. 1 in this regard.

The natural bacteria in your mouth have a field day when you introduce sugar, and they gobble it up. In the process, the bacteria produce acid, which deteriorates the enamel on your teeth -- getting one layer closer to the inside of your tooth.

By avoiding sugary drinks and hard candies, you deny the bacteria in your mouth a chance for a destructive feeding frenzy. If you do drink or eat something sugary, rinsing your mouth immediately after is very helpful.

Go softly

One of the more destructive things you can do to your teeth is to crunch down on hard foods. The two best examples of this are ice and popcorn kernels. These hard foods have a way of chipping or cracking your teeth and wreaking havoc on existing dental work, which can lead to a breech in your teeth’s defenses.

So, instead of battering your teeth with hard candy and popcorn the next time you’re at the movies, stick to water and the piece of fruit you’ve stashed in your pocket.

They’re not tools

As long as we’re addressing undue stresses on your teeth, it’s worth reminding you that your teeth shouldn’t be used as bottle openers, tag rippers, nail clippers, or anything else outside of chewing. All too often we see patients who’ve weakened a tooth thanks to performing tasks that a simple tool could have taken care of.

Remember, bacteria will seize on any chance to get inside your tooth and cause a root canal infection, so you should do everything in your power to avoid loosening or chipping your teeth.

Don’t delay

If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth or lost a filling, don’t delay in seeing us. The sooner we can correct the issue, the less chance you’ll have of developing an infection in your root canal.

In fact, in addition to addressing immediate dental issues, keeping up with your regular visits, especially your dental cleanings, is one of the best ways to avoid a root canal procedure. That way, we still get to see you, and our visits will be far more pleasant.

If you’d like to find out about more great preventive dental tips, call us at Meadowbrook Dental Care, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Miguel Casanas, Jr. Dr. Casañas has worked and trained extensively to build a practice that exceeds your expectations of trusted, personalized dental care. He consistently brings his patients only the best that modern dentistry has to offer by keeping himself and his staff informed on the latest advances and available techniques.

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