While you may be focused on the root canal procedure itself, it’s important to take some steps in the days before your procedure to plan for aftercare. Having everything you need ready at home will make your recovery easier. One of the ways you can prepare is by stocking your pantry and refrigerator with soft foods that require little chewing to reduce stress on your treated tooth.
Eating Guidelines After a Root Canal
Recovery from a root canal is not anything like recovery from a tooth extraction or other oral surgery. You can return to work or school immediately after your procedure and there’s no need for a prolonged period of rest. That said, your tooth may be sensitive for a few days and you’ll need to avoid chewing with the treated tooth until your final restoration is placed.
You can eat 30 to 45 minutes after a root canal, which is enough time to allow your temporary filling to fully harden, but it’s generally recommended that patients wait to eat until after the anesthetic has worn off to prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to keep the area free of food debris and plaque.
Foods to Eat After a Root Canal
As long as you avoid chewing or biting down with your treated tooth, you should be able to eat soft foods without any issues. This list of soft foods will help you put together well-rounded meals that won’t irritate your tooth:
- Canned tuna
- Peanut butter
- Soft cheese
- Cottage cheese
Fruits and Vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked sweet potato
- Pureed winter squash
- Soft bread
Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal
After your root canal, there are two concerns when it comes to eating: first, you need to be careful not to damage your temporary filling, and second, your tooth may be sensitive or sore, so you’ll also need to avoid foods that could aggravate this. Avoid eating:
- Very hot and very cold foods and drinks
- Sticky foods like gum and candy
- Chewy foods like crusty sourdough bread or certain cuts of meat
- Hard foods like nuts
- Crunchy foods like pretzels and chips
When can you start eating these foods again? Once your permanent crown or restoration is complete, you can go back to your normal diet, with caution—if, for example, you notice your treated tooth feels sore after chewing on dried apricots, you may wish to hold off on chewy foods for another day or two.
Use common sense, and if you feel that your tooth is still sore and sensitive longer than it should be, give our office a call. Most patients are back to normal after a few days.