After a root canal, there are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to what to eat and drink. Aftercare is important to ensure you feel minimal pain and do not stop the natural healing process of the tooth. You should always follow any advice from your dentist following on from your root canal. Read on to find out more about what to eat after having a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
To understand the importance of what you consume after your root canal, you must understand the procedure. A root canal involves removing infection from a tooth. This means the tooth will need to be opened, so your dentist can get rid of the infection inside. A filling or crown will then be placed over the tooth to protect it. This means aftercare is important to keep the tooth from becoming reinfected, or the filling or crown coming loose.
This area will be very sensitive after the procedure, meaning you should stick to cold, soft foods. It is important to still eat after your root canal, as we need the nutrients from food so our body can heal the wound properly. While it can be daunting to eat following on from your root canal, following these dos and don’ts can help you stick to safe foods and take the best care of the procedure site.
Dos and Don’ts After a Root Canal
Before we look at what foods and drinks to consume, and which to avoid, there are some general rules that you need to follow after a root canal. When you eat something, make sure to:
- Eat slow, to avoid pain and get used to eating
- Eat on the other side of the mouth to the canal, so you do not bite down on your tooth or cheek
- Eat soft foods – anything that does not need much chewing
- Stay away from anything that is too hot or too cold, as the tooth will still be very sensitive to temperature
What to Eat After a Root Canal
The following foods are some great examples of what to eat after your root canal:
- Fruits, especially smoothies, bananas, pears, peaches, mangos, or applesauce
- Ice cream
- Mashed foods, such as mashed potato
The best foods to eat once you have feeling in your mouth are yogurts and smoothies, as these can help to fill you up, while also soothing the area. They are also easy to wash down, meaning food will not linger in the mouth and cause infection.
What to Avoid After a Root Canal
There are some things you should avoid immediately after your root canal, and for a few days afterwards. These include:
- Chewy foods, like bread, candy, or gum, as this could pull out the crown or filling
- Hard foods, such as nuts or ice cubes, as you could cause more pain and damage the site of the procedure
- Spicy foods
- Any food that is very hot
- Crunchy foods, such as corn on the cob or carrots, as these may damage the tooth while it is healing
- Alcohol, especially if you are taking painkillers
You should be able to reintroduce these things back into your diet as your mouth heals. You will be able to tell when you can start eating harder and more chewy foods. Your dentist will discuss with you how long to stay on a soft diet for. Taking ibuprofen can help with pain when eating. If you experience a lot of pain when eating, make sure to take a dose around an hour before you eat.
Further Aftercare Advice
While eating and drinking the correct things are important, there are other ways you need to look after your mouth following on from your root canal. This includes regular dental hygiene as food can become stuck in the mouth and lead to bacterial infections. You can take over-the-counter medications for pain.
If you are experiencing pain after eating, you may want to wash your mouth out with saltwater. Make sure to sterilize the water first by boiling it and allowing it to cool down to room temperature first. You should begin brushing your teeth and flossing again. Be careful around the procedure area and do not brush down too hard. Make sure to avoid flossing around the crown or filling until it has healed.
Sticking to soft, cold foods will ensure you do not cause any damage to the mouth whilst your tooth is healing. As it can be painful for a few days after your root canal, sticking to these foods will alleviate some of the pain associated with chewing and eating. Make sure to still eat as you need food for your body to effectively heal the wound. If you have any worries about eating after your root canal, speak to your dentist.
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