Untreated tooth decay is one of the most common reasons a patient may need root canal therapy to save a natural tooth. Although modern root canal treatment is effective and virtually pain free, we feel that the best treatment for any dental condition is prevention. Good oral hygiene and regular dental care can help you avoid potential pain and complications of cavities. The following tips can help avoid tooth decay:
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste a minimum of twice daily. Brushing after every meal is even better, but if you cannot brush, at least rinse thoroughly. If you have consumed highly acid food or drink, rinse immediately and wait 20 to 30 minutes to brush your teeth. Acid softens dental enamel, and this gives the enamel time to harden, so the toothbrush will not damage the enamel.
- Clean between your teeth with dental floss at least once daily. Flossing removes debris and plaque from the areas a toothbrush cannot reach. Many different types of floss are available, fine, regular, wide, unwaxed, waxed, flavored, and more, to meet patients’ individual needs. Dr. Koppikar or a member of the team can recommend the type that may work best for your teeth.
- Fluoride mouth rinses help protect tooth enamel from decay. Antibacterial rinses can reduce harmful bacteria in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the type that would be most beneficial to you.
- Avoid frequent snacks and beverages. When you snack throughout the day and drink anything other than water, you are fueling acid-creating bacteria and allowing them to launch a constant attack on your teeth.
- Talk to your dentist about sealants and fluoride treatments. The center for disease control recommends sealant for all children of school age, but some adults may benefit from sealant treatment as well. A fluoride treatment may be recommended, especially if you do not have fluoridated drinking water.
- Maintain regular dental visits for professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar, and exams to spot any problems early.
Dr. Sameet Koppikar and his talented team focus on protecting Phoenix smiles from decay and other dental problems, and providing quick, effective treatment when an issue does arise. Protect your smile – call (602) 954-8200 and schedule an appointment today.