When a tooth’s pulp becomes infected or otherwise compromised, patients are usually recommended for root canal treatment to alleviate pain and preserve the tooth. While the procedure is common and effective, there are steps you can take to further support proper healing and prevent complications. Below are some do’s and don’ts for proper aftercare below.
Brush and floss gently.
Unless otherwise instructed, continue with your normal oral health regimen after your root canal procedure. Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush twice a day, and floss your teeth daily to prevent infections. Be extra gentle around the treated area to avoid irritation.
Take the recommended medication.
Your dentist may recommend over-the-counter medications for your first days of recovery. Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication could help you heal more efficiently. Your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic, in which case it’s crucial that you take it to minimize the risk of infection.
Eat soft foods.
As you recover from your root canal, stick to a soft food diet for 24 hours. Soft foods and liquids will be more comfortable to eat, as chewing harder foods could put pressure on sensitive areas. Eat solid foods upon your dentist’s approval.
Chew on the treated area.
When you do decide to eat after a root canal, start by chewing on the opposite side of your treated area. Avoid crunchy foods, especially on the site of the temporary crown. Once your permanent crown is placed, you can resume chewing hard or crunchy foods. If you chew on the treated area, the impact could damage or even infect it.
Use tobacco products.
It’s important to avoid smoking and using tobacco products after your procedure. Tobacco products increase tartar and plaque, which put you at a greater risk of infection. This can also delay the healing process.
Overlook unfamiliar symptoms.
During your recovery, be sure to pay attention to any severe pain, swelling, or other unusual symptoms. If you experience pain out of the ordinary, call your dentist. They will likely want to check your tooth to ensure it’s healing properly or to treat any issues as needed.
While root canals may sound intimidating, there’s nothing to fear when you’re having the treatment performed under the gentle care of an experienced dentist. For patients in the Dallas, TX area, Dr. Connie J. Smith, DDS, is the trusted source for these and other dental procedures. Utilizing innovative technology and a compassionate approach, Dr. Smith and her staff are committed to making oral care as comfortable as possible for patients. To learn more about this dental practice, visit the website or call (972) 975-8335 to schedule an appointment.