What are some root canal treatment aftercare tips?
- Avoid lying down after the treatment
- Take your medications as directed
- Consume soft foods
- Avoid activities that promote inflammation
- Brush your teeth properly
- Return for a dentist visit
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that involves the removal of infected nerve tissue in the tooth root and pulp. If you’re advised to get this done, you might be wondering about the root canal treatment aftercare tips.
But first, you might be confused why you need a root canal treatment. To help you visualize this, think of your teeth as having multiple layers. The tough outer layer is the enamel, beneath this is the dentin, and the softcore inside contains the pulp, blood vessels, nerves, and tissues. A root canal is needed when the decay reaches the core, causing infection or inflammation.
If you want to know how to take care of your teeth after a root canal, keep on reading.
Avoid Lying Down After the Treatment
After a root canal treatment, you might be tempted to lie down immediately to rest. Although rest is recommended, keep in mind that you will experience swelling and pain in your mouth.
To promote healing, it’s recommended to elevate your mouth above the level of your heart while resting. This will help minimize the inflammation because the fluids will be drained away from the site where the treatment was done. Because of this, pain is also reduced.
If it’s time for bed, you can add another pillow to elevate your head. Do this for a few days while waiting for the swelling to improve.
Take Your Medications as Directed
One reason you might be hesitating to get a root canal treatment is the pain. Fortunately, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to minimize the pain during the treatment. But after the procedure, the effectiveness of the medication will wear off, so you might feel some mild aches.
To help remedy this situation, your dentist will prescribe pain medication to help with the aching and sensitivity. Other than pain relievers, your doctor might also require you to take other medicines, such as antibiotics. Make sure to follow the instructions for the best results.
Consume Soft Foods
Other than medications, you can also reduce the pressure on your mouth by choosing to eat softer foods. To give you an idea, here are some of the food that you should eat and not eat:
Foods to Eat:
- Fruit and vegetable smoothies
- Scrambled eggs
- Pasta, noodles, and rice
- Mashed potatoes
- Meatloaf or shredded meat
- Cooked vegetables
Foods to Avoid:
- Hard and sticky foods such as candy and gum
- Extremely hot or cold foods and drinks that can trigger sensitivity
After the treatment, wait for the numbness to go away before eating so you can avoid biting your tongue or cheeks.
Avoid Activities That Promote Inflammation
Your goal after the treatment is to reduce as much swelling and decrease the pain level you’re experiencing. The best way to do this is to give your mouth time to heal.
After the root canal treatment, some activities can promote pain and swelling, such as consuming hot drinks. But aside from that, smoking and alcohol consumption is also an issue. These will affect your recovery and make the site of treatment more painful.
To allow your mouth to recover, make sure to take a rest from exercising and strenuous activities too. If you exercise after the treatment, you might risk bleeding and increased pain. Ask your dentist when you should resume your normal activities.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
After the root canal treatment, you might find it more difficult to perform your dental regime at home. But your daily care routine is essential to prevent infection.
While it’s safe to return to your routine of brushing and flossing, make sure to be gentle when doing it around sensitive areas. Increase your use of non-sting mouthwash or lukewarm salt water to get rid of any unwanted particles in your teeth and gums. When using floss, make sure to do it carefully to prevent the temporary filling or crown from being pulled out.
Return for A Dentist Visit
Your dentist will tell you when to return for a follow-up visit. After sealing the root canal with a filling, you will be asked to come back for the crown placement. This usually happens after 1 to 2 weeks of root canal treatment.
After that, your dentist will ask you to return for a consultation and x-ray 6 months after. This is necessary to check up on the condition of the treated area. Other than that, you can also use this opportunity to have your teeth and gums checked so that other problems are spotted and decay is treated early.
Root canal aftercare is key to a speedy and comfortable recovery after the procedure. To do this, make sure to elevate your head for a few days while sleeping. Consume soft foods to reduce the pressure on your mouth. Other than that, avoid activities such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and strenuous exercises which can affect your recovery. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth gently and go back to your dentist for a follow-up.
If you still have questions, you can ask your dentist here at Elevate Dental for root canal treatment aftercare tips. They can answer all your questions and make sure that your experience will be as comfortable as possible.
If you want to book an appointment for a check-up to know if you need a root canal treatment, you can contact us here.