If you’ve never had endodontic treatment before, you may be wondering what to expect from the recovery. Generally speaking, the recovery from a root canal procedure is less uncomfortable than that of a tooth extraction, but you may still wish to stock up on soft foods for the days after your treatment to minimize stress on the treated tooth.
Eating Guidelines After Root Canal Treatment
Local anesthetic is used to numb the treated area during your root canal procedure. This can take up to two hours to wear off, so we ask that you avoid hot liquids and chewing food until the area is no longer numb. Chewing while your mouth is numb can cause soft tissue injury.
Avoid sticky foods like jelly beans or gum after your endodontic treatment; these can loosen or remove the temporary filling in your tooth. It’s best to eat soft foods that require little chewing; your tooth is likely to be sensitive in the days after your treatment, and hard or hot foods can cause irritation. When eating, favor the side of the mouth opposite your treated tooth.
You should brush and floss as you regularly would to keep the treated tooth free of food particles and bacteria.
Foods to Eat After a Root Canal Procedure
Most patients can eat soft foods comfortably after a root canal treatment as long as they avoid chewing or biting down with the treated tooth. Use this list of soft foods to build your meals after your root canal procedure:
- Soft cheeses
- Cottage cheese
Fruits and Vegetables
- Pureed soup
- Ripe pears
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Pureed winter squash
- Canned tuna or chicken
- Nut butters
- Legumes (beans, lentils, split peas)
- Cream of Wheat
After your appointment, your doctor will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions and answer any questions you might have.
Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal Procedure
There are also some categories of food that should be avoided after a root canal treatment, either because they can aggravate any sensitivity you’re experiencing or because they may compromise your temporary filling. As time passes, you can carefully reintroduce them into your diet.
We recommend avoiding:
- Very hot and very cold foods and beverages, which can irritate sensitive teeth
- Sticky foods like gum, caramels, and other candies
- Chewy foods like steak and crusty bread
- Hard foods like nuts
- Crunchy foods like pretzels and tortilla chips
Once your permanent restoration is placed, you can return to your normal diet, but use your best judgment—if you find that your treated tooth feels tender when eating a particular food, stop eating it and try again another day.
If you continue to experience sensitivity and soreness after a week or more has passed, call our office.
Learn More About What to Do After a Root Canal
Do you have questions about root canal aftercare? Contact us today to get answers from our team of endodontic specialists.