Did you just get a root canal and have no idea when to eat? What’s worse is that you don’t even know what kind of food you’re allowed to eat. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We understand how frustrating it can be to not know whether you can eat your favorite food after the procedure. This article will help you navigate through all the FAQs that you may have about a root canal, and especially when you should eat after a root canal.
So, what is a root canal? Simply put, a root canal is a procedure that is performed when a tooth is damaged. This diseased tooth, mostly responsible for causing an infection in the mouth, is removed. The canals are then sealed, and the tooth is then repaired with a dental crown.
Even though a root canal is a common dental procedure, not many people know what to do after it. It has a short recovery period, but during this time, eating is prohibited. Once the local anesthesia has worn off, you can go back to eating some foods while avoiding others.
When You Should Eat After A Root Canal
When it comes to eating, most medical practitioners tell their patients to wait till the local anesthesia wears off and the gums and teeth do not feel numb. After a root canal is successfully completed, this recovery process can take a few hours.
Whatever you do, do not eat immediately after the root canal procedure has been completed. This is because the tongue and gums are numb. You could easily bite your cheek or tongue without realizing the intensity of the damage. You could also burn your mouth as you will not be able to feel how hot the food is. However, once the effects of the local anesthetic medication wear of, you will be in crippling pain.
Moreover, damaging your temporary filling is also a huge possibility. Usually, after a root canal, dentists place a temporary cap on top of the tooth until the permanent crown is ready to be placed on the damaged tooth.
Foods That Are Safe To Eat After A Root Canal
Once you regain feeling in your tongue, cheeks, and mouth, you should start by eating soft foods that will not cause too much strain on your teeth.
Savory foods that you can eat include:
- Well-cooked vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft scrambled eggs with some shredded meat
- Mashed potatoes and meatloaf
- Saltines or matzah
- Soft bread
- Soft cheese
- Pasta, noodles, quinoa
Sweet foods that you can eat include:
- Frozen yogurt with no sugar
- Peanut butter with some soft cheese
- Fruits, including banana and strawberries. These can be ripe, canned, or even cooked.
- Pudding or caramel
What To Avoid Eating After Getting A Root Canal
The above-listed foods are great to eat after you get a root canal. However, there are some foods that you must stay away from as they can wreck your filing or also cause choking if you are not careful. This includes foods that are difficult to chew. You should stay away from certain hard foods, such as nuts, candy, and seeds. Moreover, sticky foods are another no-no. Gum, caramel, and toffee must be avoided during the recovery period after getting a root canal.
Your dentist will also tell you to stay away from foods that have extreme temperatures, such as too hot or too cold foods and drinks. If you experience some tooth sensitivity during this time, don’t be alarmed. This usually happens when a temporary or permanent crown is placed on the tooth where the root canal was performed. However, this does not mean you have to avoid eating your favorite cookies straight out of the oven. You just need to wait a while till they cool, and they’re all yours!
After the permanent crown has been placed, it is recommended to avoid chewing gum. This is because the adhesive used can easily be dislodged, causing the entire filing to come out, especially if the gum sticks to the once-infected tooth.
How To Take Care Of Your Teeth After The Root Canal
Just because you have gotten a root canal does not mean that you do not have to take care of your other teeth. In fact, you need to be more careful. It is normal to experience some soreness in your teeth, gums, and mouth after getting the root canal procedure. In this case, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Your medical practitioner will probably also tell you to do the following to ensure good dental hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice a day to ensure that no plaque builds up and no cavity starts to form.
- Floss your teeth, except on either side of the temporary crown. Otherwise, you run the risk of dislodging the adhesive or the entire crown itself.
- Mix half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle with it thrice a day. This will help lower inflammation. Simply swish the water in your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Be careful not to swallow the saltwater.
- You may also have to take some antibiotics to avoid getting a tooth infection. In case your dentist recommends this, make sure to complete the entire course of medication. Antibiotics ensure that the infection will not return, keeping you safe from pain, fever, and inflammation of any sort.
A root canal procedure is not as complicated as it sounds. In fact, it is extremely common. The recovery period is fast and complication-free as long as you stay away from foods that are too hot or too cold or anything that would irritate the temporary or permanent crowns.
You can expect some sensitivity, but it usually goes away within a few days. Even though you may think that figuring out what you want to eat after a root canal is overwhelming, there are loads of options available. Remember to keep your dental health first!