Are you scheduled for a root canal? Or perhaps you just got home after having one. A root canal is a common dental procedure that many people require at some point in their lives. It is not necessarily painful, but you may have some tenderness or soreness afterwards. You’ll want to be careful what you eat for a few days while you’re recovering. Eating is a big part of the instructions following root canal therapy.
Why is it Important to Be Careful What You Eat and Drink?
A root canal procedure, though minimally invasive, can leave your mouth feeling a little sensitive. The dentist will usually apply a local anesthetic to numb the area first, and you may have some soreness in the soft tissues of your mouth in that spot. Then the dentist will access the root canal of your tooth through the crown and remove all of the soft pulp from inside the tooth. The inside of your tooth is then filled with composite resin and sealed.
A root canal procedure also removes the nerves from the inside of the tooth, which is what stops the pain coming from the tooth itself. But the area around the tooth could still be sore for a day or two. You want to eat foods that will soothe your mouth and aid in healing.
Foods and Drinks That Are Good After a Root Canal
Eat soft foods that are cold to soothe and reduce swelling, such as:
- Ice cream
When you’re in the mood for something warm, try these foods, but be sure they are not too hot:
- Mashed potatoes
Foods and Drinks to Avoid After a Root Canal
Some foods and drinks may make you feel worse after a root canal or irritate the area, such as:
- Nuts (hard nuts can hurt or even damage your tooth)
- Chips (chips are rough and can scratch your mouth)
- Corn on the cob (if your root canal was on a front tooth it can affect your ability to bite)
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables (these can cause irritation or pain when biting)
- Hot coffee (let your coffee cool some or drink iced coffee)
- Alcohol (alcohol increases bleeding)
- Spicy food (can cause irritation)
- Chewing ice (you can put ice in a drink to keep it cold or apply an ice pack to your cheek, but don’t chew on ice)
Avoid Chewing on the Tooth that Received Treatment
An important part of your follow up instructions is to chew on the opposite side from where your root canal was performed. There are a few different reasons for that.
- Avoid Pain. If the tooth and the tissue around it are sore, chewing on that side of your mouth could be painful. It is recommended that you chew on the opposite side of your mouth to avoid discomfort.
- Prevent Further Irritation. Chewing food on the tooth that received the root canal can cause it to become inflamed and irritated beyond what was caused by the procedure itself.
- Avoid Damage to the Tooth or Crown. If your tooth is still intact, the filling will need some time to harden after a root canal, so it is best to avoid chewing on that side so you won’t damage it. If you were fitted with a temporary crown, it is not as strong as the permanent crown you will receive, so it is best to avoid chewing directly on it.
Root Canal Treatment at Contemporary Endodontics of Oklahoma
If you’re in need of a root canal, trust the experts at Contemporary Endodontics of Oklahoma to provide your therapy. We do our best to restore your tooth with root canal treatment so that you can keep your natural tooth, if possible. We use state of the art technology to make the procedure minimally invasive for greater comfort and faster recovery.