Recovery is essential after a root canal procedure. Therefore, you should follow the aftercare tips that your dentist recommends. Aftercare is critical for root canal pain management and infection prevention.
Discover seven root canal aftercare tips below.
1. Get Adequate Rest
A root canal procedure is an invasive oral surgery that necessitates adequate rest. For example, you can take a few days off work as your dentist recommends. Resting helps your body recover from the root canal procedure pain and swelling to facilitate faster healing.
2. Take Pain Relievers
You will likely experience pain, inflammation, and swelling after a root canal procedure. Painkillers such as paracetamol will help relieve the pain. However, for severe pain, your dentist might prescribe stronger medication.
Ensure to take the pain-relieving medication and follow your dentist's instructions carefully. For example, some medication can make you drowsy, and your dentist might instruct you not to drive or handle heavy machinery.
3. Eat Soft Foods
Eat soft foods after a root canal procedure to avoid additional pain. Soft foods give your teeth a chance to recover faster. When recovering from a root canal procedure, your dentist will list approved foods to eat. These foods include:
- Fruits like bananas, mangoes, and peaches
- Soft salads
- Smoothies and yogurts
- Dairy products
- Pudding and hummus
4. Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth regularly to avoid infections, but take care when cleaning around the treated tooth. Gently brush around the root-canal area. This ensures that you don't irritate the area, aiding in faster recovery.
5. Avoid Cold/Hot Beverages and Alcohol.
The area around the affected tooth becomes sensitive after a root canal procedure. Therefore, you will irritate the root-canal area if you have relatively hot or cold drinks. In addition, you should also avoid alcohol for at least 3-5 days after the root canal procedure. Alcohol hinders recovery and might cause bleeding in some cases, especially if you get into altercations after drinking.
6. Avoid Using the Treated Tooth
If your tooth is yet to be filled or covered, you should avoid using it for chewing. Using the treated tooth increases your chances of infection. Instead, use the side of your mouth that didn't undergo the root canal procedure.
7. Follow-Up on Your Dentist Appointments
After your dentist completes the procedure, you should make a follow-up appointment for a final crown to restore your tooth fully. Make sure not to neglect this appointment. Follow-up dental visits will help you address root canal issues before they can escalate.
Follow the above recommendations to ensure a smooth root-canal recovery. However, as with any dental procedure, complications may occur. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience severe pain and visible swelling even after medication.