Taking care of your teeth following root canal surgery involves a few dos and don’ts. Our advice to patients is to eat soft foods and avoid anything too sweet or dense.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure where the dentist removes the soft centre of the tooth, known as the pulp. The procedure is intended to save the tooth by removing any infected tissue that is damaging the tooth.
After the dentist removes the pulp, they protect the tooth by applying a temporary sealant or a crown. Your dentist will completely numb and sterilize your mouth before the procedure begins to protect the health of your teeth and prevent you from feeling any pain.
Root canals can leave the patients’ teeth and gums feeling sore and vulnerable to further infection if not cared for correctly.
What Foods to Eat After a Root Canal
In general, eating hard foods that are hot, sugary or sticky can cause damage to your root canal and make it difficult to chew. It is important to keep the mouth as clean as possible and drink plenty of room-temperature water in the hours following your root canal.
The dentists at Dental On York recommend the following foods:
- Mashed potatoes
- Smoothies and Yoghurts
- Soft Cereals
- Pasta and Noodles
- Bananas, mangos and pears
- Tuna and Sushi
Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal
You should not eat any foods that can cause further damage to your gums or anything hot or sticky or that causes pain to chew.
This is because your gums will be sensitive from the root canal surgery and vulnerable to further infection. This can lead to pain or dislodge your temporary filling.
It is best to avoid the following foods after any kind of dental treatment and only eat food recommended by your dental practice.
The dentists here at Dental on York recommend you avoid the following foods:
- Hard, crunchy cereals
- Thick meats (e.g., steaks)
- Fizzy drinks
- Hot drinks like coffee and tea
- Apples, grapefruit and peaches
Root Canal Aftercare Tips
Following a root canal treatment, you should keep your mouth as clean and comfortable as possible. Your mouth will probably feel numb a few hours after the treatment, but all feeling should return within a few hours.
- Chew gum or caramels
- Drink hot or fizzy drinks
- Take any narcotic pain medication, unless prescribed by your dentist
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Eat soft, mashed foods
- Seek over-the-counter pain medication (paracetamol, ibuprofen)
- Call your dentist if you experience swelling or redness in the mouth
- Floss daily to avoid further infections
It is normal to experience some mild pain for a few days after the surgery, but the pain should subside after 2 or 3 days.
You should not feel any pain caused by eating, but if you are feeling mild discomfort, rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water to cleanse the area.
When Can I Eat Normally After a Root Canal?
Patients should wait at least 2 to 3 days after surgery before resuming a normal diet. This gives the tooth and the surrounding gums plenty of time to heal.
If you have had a crown, the material will need time to harden so you should wait at least 45 minutes to an hour before eating any solid food.
How Do I Know If My Root Canal Has Healed?
When there is no longer any sensitivity or discomfort, your root canal has healed.
As long as the gum around the tooth is not swollen or red and you are not having any difficulty chewing, you can resume a normal diet.
If your root canal has failed at all, you will experience the following symptoms.
Symptoms of a failed root canal treatment:
- Pain, redness and swelling
- Bleeding from the gums
- New abscess under the gum
- White or creamy discharge from the tooth
If you experience any of the above, contact your dentist immediately
To find out if you need a root canal, or for emergency help in the case of a failed treatment, contact Dental On York immediately.