(BPT) - The human body is something to marvel at, but sometimes we take it for granted. Some things, like your natural teeth, are truly worth the effort to take care of and preserve. And most Americans agree.

A recent survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists revealed that over 95% of Americans believe it’s important to save your natural teeth. The top two reasons people gave are that it’s healthier and gives you a better appearance. The survey found that young people value saving their natural teeth as much, if not more, than any other aspect of their body. Nearly a quarter of millennials rank their teeth as the number onesave your teeth 1 thing they would save or maintain about their body, compared to baby boomers’ preference for saving their eyesight (37%).

“We tend to take our bodies for granted, so it’s wonderful that younger people understand the importance of dental health,” said Dr. Patrick Taylor, president of The American Association of Endodontists (AAE). “Endodontists take pride in using advanced training, specialized techniques and superior technologies to perform root canal treatment to help people keep their natural teeth.”

Endodontists are considered the experts in performing root canal treatments. They complete two to three additional years of training related to the interior of the tooth after completing dental school. They know how to use the most advanced and specialized technology, and have greater precision and skill in hand-eye coordination to perform even the most complex treatments.

Here are some important tips from endodontists to help protect and save your natural teeth:

Observe oral health care best practices. Daily brushing and flossing are vital to caring for your teeth. Visit your dentist for regular checkups, X-rays and cleanings.

Act on tooth pain. Whether you have cracked or injured teeth, signs of infection, excessive sensitivity to heat or cold, or other persistent pain in or around your teeth, consult an endodontist right away. Endodontic treatment can save a diseased tooth or treat abscessed, cracked or dislodged teeth, but these issues need to be addressed quickly.

Don't rush to extract. If a dentist recommends extraction for a diseased tooth, ask for a referral to an endodontist to consider treatments to save your tooth. If you think that getting a tooth pulled is easier or less expensive, think again. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, affect your ability to chew properly and ruin your smile. Tooth extraction can be more painful than the infection itself, and replacing an extracted tooth with an artificial one requires additional dental visits that can be costly. Even more importantly, with proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

Eat a well-balanced diet. To ensure the health of your teeth and gums, eat healthy food and avoid drinking excess alcohol, sugary sports drinks or sodas. If you smoke, quit now, as smoking can have a negative impact on your oral health.

Wear a mouthguard for protection. If you participate in sports, from karate and boxing to football, hockey or lacrosse, wear a mouthguard that fully covers your teeth whenever you are practicing your sport. Many teams, particularly those for youth, require mouthguards to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongues of players, and for good reason.

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