A root canal is an invasive dental procedure that involves the removal of an infected or diseased section of a tooth, closing the pathway to the tooth, and, finally, repairing it with a dental crown. A root canal is one of the best preventative dentistry procedures used to fix various oral conditions.
However, many patients need some clarification about what to do after getting a root canal treatment, especially concerning what to eat, when to eat, and even what to drink after getting a root canal. Our Pineville dentist, Dr. Raynald L. Desameau, DMD, has outlined some root canal procedure aftercare instructions to help you easily and quickly return to your daily oral routine without worry.
Keep reading to learn more about the root canal aftercare practices you can engage in to maintain your oral health.
Root Canal Aftercare Instructions from Your Pineville Dentist
The truth about root canals is that even after the procedure and the anaesthesia has worn off, you’ll still experience minor pain. This is why proper aftercare is important to relieve pain and prevent infections.
The discomfort you will experience from getting a root canal treatment is minimal. However, your dentist will provide NSAID prescriptions, such as ibuprofen, to keep the pain at bay. Even if you’re not experiencing pain, taking the prescribed medications is essential, as a root canal procedure will cause some inflammation.
Our root canal aftercare instructions can be categorised into three stages:
Immediately After the Treatment
During this period, your mouth will still feel numb from the procedure, which will last for a few hours. Hence, you must be careful not to consume anything chewy and avoid drinking anything hot. Doing any of these things puts you at risk of biting your tongue or burning your mouth.
This is also the best time to take your pain medication if you already have a prescription. If you take the medicine while still numb, you may not feel much pain for the rest of the day.
Over the Next Few Days
For the next few days following your procedure, you must ensure that you continue taking the medication prescribed by your dentist. In addition, eat soft foods but avoid sticky foods, such as gum and taffy. Also, you must chew your food with the part of your mouth that didn’t get the treatment and brush your teeth gently.
Hopefully, by now your pain has subsided. Yet, if your tooth was severely infected or decayed, you may need a second visit to your dentist to remove the infected pulp entirely.
In the Future
Even if you don’t feel any more pain and can now consume your favourite foods without discomfort, you must still attend your future appointments. This is because the amalgam filling used during a root canal treatment is only intended for short-term use and eventually, you may need a crown.
What Can You Eat After a Root Canal Treatment?
While you might be mostly focused on the actual root canal procedure in the days that precede it, it’s also crucial to prepare for aftercare. Your rehabilitation will go more smoothly if you have everything you require at home. Stocking your cupboard and refrigerator with soft foods that need little chewing is one way to prepare to lessen stress on your teeth after treatment.
Foods to Eat After a Root Canal
You should have no problems eating soft foods after your treatment since they don’t require you to crunch or bite down with your treated teeth. Here are some examples of soft foods that you should ensure you have at home:
- Proteins: eggs, tofu, hummus, peanut butter, canned tuna, meatloaf, and beans
- Fruits and vegetables: applesauce, smoothies, mangos, mashed potatoes, pureed winter squash, bananas, pears, and baked sweet potatoes
- Fats: yogurt, soft cheese, avocado, and cottage cheese
- Grains: oatmeal, soft bread, pasta, couscous, quinoa, and polenta
Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal
Following a root canal treatment in Pineville, NC, you must be careful what you eat.You must be cautious not to damage your temporary filling, and your tooth may be sensitive or sore, so you must also avoid foods that might enhance the soreness and sensitivity. Do not eat:
- Food and beverages that are extremely hot or extremely cold
- Sticky foods, such as candy and gum
- Chewy foods, such as specific kinds of meat or crusty sourdough bread
- Hard foods, such as nuts
- Foods with a crunch, like pretzels and chips
When Can You Eat After a Root Canal Treatment?
After a root canal, most dentists advise waiting to eat until your teeth and gums are no longer numb. One of the reasons for this is because if you can’t feel that your food is too hot, you could accidentally burn your mouth.
You should ease into eating your favourite foods again so you don’t risk breaking your temporary filling. After a root canal, dentists frequently place a temporary crown over the tooth to shield it until the permanent one is prepared.
Other Aftercare Best Practices
After a root canal, It’s normal for you to experience post-procedure soreness. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are common OTC painkillers that you can use to manage this. Your dentist might also make the following suggestions:
- Brush your teeth, as usual, to keep your mouth healthy.
- Gargle with salt and water three times a day to reduce inflammation. You can mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt and warm water, swish it in your mouth for about a minute, and then spit it out.
- Ensure that you don’t floss on both sides of a temporary crown to prevent removing the crown or the material used to make it.
- Take your medication as directed if your dentist has prescribed antibiotics to lower your risk of developing a tooth infection. This is especially true if you’ve been prescribed antibiotics due to an existing infection.
Schedule a Root Canal Treatment at Radiant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
At Radiant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide Pineville residents with affordable oral care for various dental issues. Our root canal procedure aftercare instructions in Pineville, NC, will ensure you have all the information you need to recover after getting a root canal treatment.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms that indicate you need a root canal treatment, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with our dentist today, and let’s improve the quality of your dental health. We will be happy to guide you on the best post-procedure practices to expedite your healing.