A root canal is a procedure done by an experienced dentist or an endodontist, a specialist at
saving natural teeth. During root canal therapy, damaged or infected nerve tissue is removed
from the center of the tooth, enabling the patient to keep their natural tooth and avoid an
Root canal therapy can help restore a weakened or damaged tooth. During your procedure,
your tooth will be numbed and your dentist will clean out the affected tissue and seal your
tooth, therefore helping to prevent any further problems. But what can you expect after the
procedure? Here’s how to care for a tooth after a root canal.
Use Caution When Eating
It’s important not to attempt to eat until the numbness has worn off from your mouth after
your root canal procedure. When you do eat, do your best to resist chewing on the side of your
mouth that contains the tooth that just had the root canal. Until you receive your permanent
restoration—a porcelain dental crown—you’ll want to put as little stress as possible on your
You’ll also want to stick to softer foods during this time. It’s likely your mouth will be tender in
the hours and days after your root canal procedure, so be sure to have softer foods on hand.
It’s essential to avoid crunchy, hard, or sticky foods that could quickly damage your newly
Keep Up with Your Oral Hygiene
While your tooth is healing, you’ll still need to brush and floss your teeth as normal. In fact,
keeping up with your oral hygiene will help to prevent an infection in your tooth, which is a
complication you’ll want to avoid following your root canal.
Although cleanliness is important, you should also be gentle when brushing your teeth. If your
dentist hasn’t yet advised you to, take this opportunity to get a soft-bristled toothbrush. You
can still brush gently while being thorough during this time of healing for your tooth.
Be Prepared for Some Discomfort
You can and should expect some soreness in the mouth following your root canal. For many
people, over-the-counter pain medication can help manage this discomfort. Your dentist will
prescribe something stronger if necessary.
Eating soft foods and keeping your mouth clean can also help to manage your pain or soreness,
but always follow up with your dentist if you’re concerned about your level of pain.
Always Ask Your Dentist
Keeping in touch with your dentist following your root canal if you have any questions or
concerns can help you have a speedy recovery. Calling your dentist is especially important if you
have increasing pain, swelling, or bleeding following the procedure, all of which should be
addressed by your dentist.
Getting root canal therapy can help save your tooth and alleviate pain from an infected or
damaged tooth. Taking proper care of your tooth following a root canal procedure can help you
recover quickly to enjoy a pain-free smile for life!