Root Canal Post Treatment Care

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Just had a root canal and not sure what to expect next? Have no fear, root canal treatment aftercare can be straight forward. If you had root canal treatment performed, your dentist or endodontist removed the inner layer of the tooth, referred to as dental pulp. Once cleaned, the tooth’s root is sealed off using a dental material. Finally, a temporary filling or crown may be placed prior to permanent restoration of the root canal treated tooth.
Immediately following the procedure your tooth and surrounding gums may feel sensitive for a few days. Your dental professionals may recommend over-the counter pain medications and/or rinsing with warm saltwater to help alleviate discomfort.

According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), if you experience any of the following symptoms, it will be important to contact your provider right away:

  • Extreme pain or pressure that persistsVisible swelling inside or outside of the mouth
  • An allergic reaction (rash, hives or itching)
  • Uneven bite/occlusion
  • Dislodged temporary crown or filling
  • An abscess on the gums

Your dental professionals will provide you with specific post-procedure instructions and may schedule you for a follow-up visit. Root canal treatment can be a tooth-life saver, and with proper care can last a lifetime. It is both safe and necessary to continue to practice good oral hygiene habits including brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily. Typically after having a root canal, soft foods will be recommended while your mouth is healing. Be cautious when eating if you still feel numbness from the dental anesthetic given during the procedure.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), here are some delicious soft tooth-friendly foods to enjoy after having a root canal:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • soup with soft vegetables or pureed or cream soups
  • soft cheeses
  • smoothies and milkshakes
  • pudding and custard
  • meatloaf
  • mashed potatoes
  • soft breads
  • Shredded chicken and meat
  • tofu
  • soft fruits
  • couscous, quinoa, bulgur, soft-cooked rice
  • pasta and noodles
  • peanut butter
  • chicken or tuna salad
  • refried or mashed canned beans
  • avocado
  • applesauce
  • pancakes
  • Soft vegetables (squash, green beans, spinach and other greens)
  • hummus

Try avoiding hard, sticky, and chewy foods which can potentially dislodge temporary restorations or harm/fracture the tooth. It is also best to avoid foods or beverages that are extremely cold or hot, as you may experience tooth sensitivity temporarily after a root canal.