Root canals are incredible procedures that can often save injured, damaged, or heavily decayed teeth that would otherwise have to be extracted. They are also some of the most involved dental procedures that most people will ever undergo.
If you’re preparing for a root canal, your dentist has probably already warned you won’t be able to eat normally for a while after the procedure. But just how long is a while, and how should you work your way back to your normal diet again? Keep reading to find out.
Immediately After Your Root Canal
You cannot eat for the first 30 minutes to one hour after your root canal is complete. During this window, the resin used to fill the space where your tooth was drilled is still hardening. Food and drink can disrupt this process, so it’s best to let the filling harden completely.
Most dentists also strongly recommend that you do not eat until your mouth is no longer numb. The local anesthetic injected into your mouth as part of the treatment process makes it difficult for your tongue and gums to provide the same sensory feedback they usually would. This makes it much easier for you to accidentally bite your cheeks and tongue while eating. Some people bite down so hard that they cause severe and permanent damage. If you must eat during this time, it’s best to stick to liquid items like smoothies or protein shakes.
The Following Days
For the first few days after your root canal, you’ll need to stick to a special diet. Soft foods like applesauce, cooked cereal, or pancakes are your best options. You’ll find them easy to chew even with some lingering root canal pain.
Avoid any food and drink that is very hot or cold – your tooth will still be very sensitive for a few days, and any temperature extremes will aggravate it. Likewise, stay away from hard, crunchy foods like apples, carrots, or popcorn until your newly treated tooth has a crown on it. Biting down too hard on an unprotected tooth will hurt and could severely damage the tooth.
After Your Tooth Has Been Crowned
Once your treated tooth has a crown on it, you can resume your normal diet. Continue to avoid chewing extremely hard or sticky foods, like tough caramels, on the side of your mouth where the crown is placed. This will keep your crown intact for longer and help your teeth stay as healthy as possible for many years.
Trust Us for All Your Dental Needs
Whether you need a root canal or a simple checkup, you can trust our staff here at Coscarella Dentistry to deliver a great experience and lasting results. Contact us at 519-969-8171 or book an appointment online today to get started on the road to better oral health.