Statistics prove that root canal treatments save millions of teeth each year. It’s one of the most common outpatient dental procedures, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t properly prepare for aftercare.
Once the local anesthetic fades away, your mouth is sore, and your gums are irritated. What can you eat after getting a root canal? What foods and activities should you avoid?
For a root canal to provide the intended long-term health benefits, you must follow a few aftercare instructions.
What You Can Eat After a Root Canal
Root canal treatment is when a dentist removes the inflamed pulp of an infected or abscessed tooth. The inside of the tooth is disinfected and cleaned, and filling seals the missing space. There is generally little pain during the procedure. However, your mouth is irritated afterward, and it takes time to recover fully.
So, what can you eat after a root canal? We recommend soft and pureed foods from an approved list. Some of these foods include:
- Soft fruits (bananas, pears, peaches)
- Mashed Potatoes
Here are a few simple meal ideas involving these foods:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with soft bread, pancakes, a healthy breakfast smoothie, cream of wheat, or yogurt and fruit.
Lunch: Soup and a soft salad, mashed potatoes, mac-and-cheese, cooked vegetables with hummus.
Dinner: Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, shredded meat, pasta, or noodles.
Dessert/Snacks: Ice cream, frozen yogurt, pudding, or applesauce.
Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal
To help with recovery, it’s important to avoid all foods or activities that would remove or chip the new temporary crown on the tooth. This includes sticky foods like gum and candy, hard foods like ice, extremely hot or cold drinks or foods, and spicy foods like irritated gums.
Other activities to avoid after a root canal include:
- Brushing your teeth hard.
- Chewing on the side of the mouth where there was root canal treatment.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol.
Avoiding these foods and activities is not forever – just long enough for the irritation and swelling to subside and the crown to adjust to its new home.
Knowing how to properly care for yourself after a root canal is essential for a full recovery. Your dentist will provide a list of instructions for aftercare but you also need to prepare yourself with any concerns or questions you have.
Once the numbing medication wears off, you can begin eating soft foods. It’s important to make a detailed list of the foods you like and can eat so that you can have them ready for after the procedure. Keeping your nutrition in mind will help you feel better and heal faster.
If you notice side effects such as fever, worse swelling, rash, severe pressure, or pain in your mouth, contact your dentist immediately. You should also call your dentist if you feel that the temporary crown is loose or chipped.