Root canals are often necessary when decay reaches the pulp inside your tooth. But they can be expensive, uncomfortable, and time consuming. The good news is that preventing tooth decay and cavities in the first place through good oral hygiene is the best way to avoid a root canal. Your choice of toothpaste can play an important role.
Why Root Canals Are Needed
Root canal treatment involves deep cleaning out the root canal system inside your tooth, then sealing up the space. It is needed when bacteria cause infection and inflammation of the pulp. This often happens when a cavity is left untreated and decay reaches the pulp.
Cavities form when plaque buildup on your teeth releases acid that erodes tooth enamel. If the decay isn’t stopped, it progresses through the hard enamel into the softer dentin. Eventually it penetrates down to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Infection and swelling of the pulp can be extremely painful and requires root canal treatment.
Key Toothpaste Ingredients to Prevent Decay
Certain ingredients in toothpaste can help strengthen enamel, reduce plaque, inhibit bacteria growth, and avoid cavities that lead to the need for a root canal. Look for these ingredients on your toothpaste’s label:
- Fluoride – This fortifies enamel and prevents mineral loss in teeth. Fluoride helps reverse early decay by remineralizing weakened areas so cavities don’t form.
- Xylitol – A natural sweetener that inhibits the S. mutans bacteria that are most responsible for causing cavities and tooth decay.
- Tea tree oil – Contains antimicrobial compounds called terpenoids that fight tooth decay causing bacteria.
- Clove oil – Another antimicrobial that’s been shown in studies to have cavity-fighting properties.
- CoQ10 – This antioxidant protects gum tissue from inflammation and boosts the immune system against harmful bacteria.
- Calcium – Along with phosphate salts, calcium strengthens weakened areas in enamel to prevent cavities.
Top Toothpaste Choices to Avoid Root Canal
Here are some of the top toothpastes containing these key ingredients to help avoid cavities and tooth decay:
Here are reviews of 6 toothpastes that help avoid cavities and tooth decay:
1. Jason Healthy Mouth Anti-Cavity & Tartar Control Gel
Jason’s anti-cavity gel contains tea tree oil, aloe vera, and grapefruit seed extract to fight bacteria while also neutralizing plaque acids. The gel formula coats the teeth well and leaves a refreshing minty taste. While it lacks fluoride, the natural antibacterial ingredients make this a good cavity fighter for those who prefer fluoride-free pastes. The affordability is also a plus.
2. Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening
With calcium and silica gently polish teeth, Tom’s of Maine delivers whitening without harsh abrasives. It also contains xylitol and natural oils for antibacterial protection. Users report this paste strengthens enamel and keeps breath fresh for hours. The lack of fluoride means it’s less effective for cavity prevention than some pastes though. Overall, a great natural formula suitable for sensitive teeth.
3. Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste
For those with tooth sensitivity, Sensodyne Pronamel soothes and protects while also strengthening enamel against acid attack. It contains stannous fluoride for extra antibacterial power plus potassium nitrate to calm nerve reactions. While gentle, it still whitens effectively by removing stains. Patients say it noticeably decreases sensitivity pain while making teeth stronger.
4. Colgate Total Advanced Deep Clean Toothpaste
Colgate Total contains dual fluoride systems of sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride for superior defense against bacteria and cavity formation. It deeply penetrates enamel for 12 hour protection. Many users report this paste has stopped recurrent cavities and gingivitis. The invigorating mint foam keeps breath fresh for hours. It’s an effective mainstream choice.
5. Hello Antiplaque and Whitening Fluoride Free Toothpaste
With a formula made from soothing aloe, tea tree oil, and coconut oil, Hello whitens while detoxifying the mouth from bacteria. Users praise its non-irritating formula that still reduces plaque and strep mutans bacteria. The paste is vegan and never tested on animals. Lack of fluoride means it’s best for those at low cavity risk or for alternating use.
6. Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste
Squigle Enamel Saver remineralizes enamel while inhibiting acid production and biofilm bacteria with CoQ10 and xylitol. The rich paste draw out toxins and users say it leaves their mouth feeling amazingly clean. Made in the USA, its formulated specifically to restore weak areas prone to decay. Patients report Squigle stopped their cavity progression.
Tips for Root Canal Prevention
Along with choosing a highly effective toothpaste containing enamel strengtheners and antibacterial ingredients, here are some additional tips for avoiding root canals:
- Brush properly twice per day for 2 minutes and floss once daily
- See your dentist every 6 months for exams and cleanings
- Limit sweets and acidic drinks that erode enamel
- Drink fluoridated water and eat fluoride-rich foods
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily
- Don’t smoke, as this increases root canal risk substantially
Take Preventative Action
While genetics can play a role, the vast majority of painful and expensive endodontic treatments can be avoided through diligent oral hygiene. Brushing properly with a toothpaste containing fluoride and other strengthening and antibacterial ingredients is one of the best preventive measures you can take. Protect your smile and bank account by taking steps each day to care for your teeth.