If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of questions about what to eat (and not eat) after a root canal. Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will answer how long after a root canal you can eat and what you can eat at each stage of healing after your surgery. Keep reading for more information about how long after a root canal you can start eating again, what foods to avoid, and more!
The 3 Stages of Eating After a Root Canal
Stage 1: After Your Root Canal, But Before Your Dental Crown
Typically, there are two stages to a root canal procedure: the actual root canal and then the placement of a dental crown. The root canal part of the procedure involves removing the damaged or infected tissue inside your tooth and filling it with a special material. Once your root canal is finished, your dentist will place a temporary filling in the tooth. While this filling is weaker than dentists like, it still provides protection until you can get a crown.
Usually, on another day, a permanent dental crown will be fitted on top of the tooth. This crown allows the tooth to be stronger and more durable, especially on your back teeth, which receive a lot of force when chewing. Note: A root canal without a dental crown is possible (for example, if the root canal is on your front tooth).
After your root canal, but before you have had your crown placed, it’s important to stick to soft, easily-digestible foods. This includes foods like applesauce, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies and soups. You’ll want to avoid crunchy or hard foods that could damage the temporary filling and irritate your healing tooth. If the temporary filling is damaged or cracked, bacteria can enter the tooth, cause an infection, or require further treatment.
Stage 2: After Your Dental Crown Is Placed, But Before Fully Healing
Once your dental crown is placed, your tooth will structurally be able to handle any food that you eat without the risk of damaging it. However, there is still some time in which root canal recovery is not fully complete. During this time, patients can experience swelling, tenderness, and discomfort. Typically, this pain is the strongest during the first 24 hours after a root canal and will slowly dissipate over the next week.
In the week following a root canal and crown placement, it now becomes important to listen to your body’s own cues. You can technically eat any food you would like, but if a food is too hard or causes any pain or discomfort when chewing, stop, reassess, and try a different food. For example, when eating something extremely chewy, such as steak, you may notice a dull pain due to the force used when chewing. If this is the case, try something softer such as a piece of fish or chicken.
The second stage of recovery will vary depending from person to person. This may involve sticking to softer foods for the first day or two until your mouth is fully healed. For others, you may be able to eat like normal right after receiving a crown.
Stage 3: After Your Mouth Fully Heals
Once your mouth is fully healed, it’s time to start eating like you normally would. Most root canal patients will be able to eat anything after the first week of recovery, but it’s important to continue to monitor your tooth for anything out of the ordinary.
It’s important to also maintain a healthy, balanced diet during this time. This includes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Eating a balanced diet helps promote overall dental health, and can also help speed up the healing process after a root canal.
If pain continues to bother you after 7 days, or you notice any unevenness when biting down, contact your dentist, and they will be happy to help you out. Dentists always have your best interests in mind and can provide you with helpful advice unique to your situation.
In conclusion, you can absolutely eat after a root canal; however, what you can eat depends on what stage of recovery you are in. During the first stage, you should stick to soft foods and avoid hard or chewy food that could damage your temporary filling. After you have had your dental crown placed and your mouth starts to heal, you can go back to eating as normal. However, it is important to pay attention to how your body responds and avoid any foods that cause discomfort. If you experience any pain or prolonged swelling, it is best to contact your dentist for advice. With proper care, you can be back to eating the foods you love in no time.
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No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.