Root canals are very common procedures in the dental office and provide patients pain relief from inflamed or infected tooth pulps. Once you undergoing a root canal treatment, you will need to take specific measures to ensure that the tooth heals quickly and properly, avoiding possible complications. Here are a few dos and don'ts for post-care treatment.
Do Eat Only Soft Foods
For the first few days after the root canal treatment, you will want to opt for softer foods only. Eating softer foods will help protect the tooth that is healing. As soon as you feel better or your dentist has given you the green light, you can begin eating solid foods.
Don't Chew on the Side of the Mouth with the Root Canal
The best way to protect the site of the root canal treatment is to avoid causing stress to it. Therefore, try your best to chew on the opposite side of the mouth so as to avoid pulling out or breaking the temporary crown. You will eventually receive a permanent crown once the site heals better, and this permanent crown will have more stability for chewing. In the meantime, though, avoid chewing on that site of the mouth.
Do Take the Recommended Pain Medicine
Your dental professional is likely to prescribe painkillers that you can pick up at your pharmacy and recommend that you take over-the-counter pain relief as well. Make sure that you follow your dentist's directions carefully to avoid overdose. More than likely, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic as well. Make sure to take this as directed to help prevent an infection from forming.
Don't Ignore Any Swelling, Pain, Etc.
If you notice an increase in swelling, pain, etc., phone the dental clinic immediately. These symptoms may be letting you know that you have an infection. If the tooth cracks, the filling falls out, or you have a high fever, call the clinic. You will likely need to go in for an exam.
Do Brush Your Teeth—But Gently
While it is true that you just had an oral procedure, you still need to make sure that your teeth and gums are kept clean. You need to be brushing your teeth twice a day as you normally would, but it is imperative that you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You also want to ensure you're being extra gentle around the tooth that just had the root canal procedure. When you go to floss, be gentle as well.
Don't Skip Your Post-Op Appointment
When you leave the dental clinic after having the root canal treatment, you will schedule a follow-up appointment. It is imperative that you keep this appointment since this is when you will be examined for any problems and the permanent crown will be placed. If you skip this appointment, you are delaying your healing and putting yourself at risk of complications.
For more information about root canal treatments, reach out to a dentist in your area.