A root canal is perhaps the only way in which you could save your severely infected tooth. It definitely hurts to have a root canal, but trust me it would have been worse if you had not undergone the root canal treatment. A root canal treatment does not completely protect you from further infections, but it surely helps. To avoid more damage to your tooth, you should take good care of it.
Your dentist might have already given you instructions on brushing teeth after root canal, but I know that you would have hardly paid any attention to what he said, as you were just concentrating on the numbness in your mouth. Once your tooth is crowned, you can brush your teeth normally, but you should take extra care while brushing in the phase between the root canal and the installation of the crown.
Brushing Teeth Post Root Canal
Generally, after a root canal treatment, people fear that they might damage their tooth, their fear is totally justified, but this should not stop them from brushing their teeth properly. When I say "properly", I do not mean that you should keep brushing your teeth for hours (it will do you more harm than good), but you should brush them clean, so that you avoid any infection.
Usually, you won't experience pain after the endodontic treatment (if you experience persistent pain, visit the dentist as soon as possible!), but there is a risk of damaging the tooth (as the temporary filling will wear out if you do not take care). You should pay heed to the following points, so that you avoid causing more harm to your tooth.
Get a Soft Head Brush
Brushes are available in many varieties. The brush that you generally use does not have a soft head. The objective behind using a soft head brush is to minimize any possibility of abrasion while brushing. If you use a hard head brush, the probability of eroding the temporary filling is more, and once the temporary filling breaks, your tooth becomes susceptible to infections.
Be Gentle While Brushing
You might be used to applying all your strength while brushing your teeth, but now that you have had a root canal, you should change that habit. Be as gentle as possible (apply minimum pressure) while brushing the tooth which has undergone a root canal, this will help prevent the erosion of the temporary filling.
Use the Right Technique
When you brush your teeth, you might be used to moving the brush back and forth on your teeth (well, everyone tends to do that). I advice you to reduce the frequency of the back and forth motion, and use circular motion of the brush to clean your teeth. The gentle circular motion will lead to better cleaning of your teeth, and it can also lower the risk of tooth abrasion.
While you follow the above brushing tips, you should also avoid any hard or sticky food. Restrict your chewing in the side opposite to the tooth which has undergone the root canal treatment. Your tooth will become weak and brittle after a root canal, so it is very important to crown it, this would help prevent the cracking of the tooth.
Care for your teeth should not begin only after a root canal treatment, if you have good eating habits, and you keep your teeth clean, you may never have to face a teeth problem. I recommend you to go for periodic dental checkups to detect any infection at any early stage, and do install the crown at the earliest!