5 Root Canal Aftercare Practices Patients Should Observe

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5 Root Canal Aftercare Practices Patients Should Observe

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure for treating an infected or inflamed tooth. The process involves removing the nerve and pulp inside the tooth, cleaning the infected area, and filling the tooth with protective material. Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to tooth decay, trauma, or gum disease.

The treatment is essential to save the tooth and prevent further damage to the gums and surrounding teeth. After the root canal treatment, caring for the affected tooth is crucial to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. But which root canal aftercare practices should patients observe? Here are some ideas.

1. Do Not Eat or Drink Using a Numb Mouth

After the root canal procedure, the patient’s mouth will be numb due to the anesthesia used during the treatment. It is essential to avoid eating or drinking anything until the numbness wears off completely. Eating or drinking with a numb mouth can lead to biting or burning the inside of the mouth, which can cause further pain and discomfort.

Patients should wait at least two hours before eating or drinking anything after the procedure. Soft foods like soup, yogurt, and smoothies are recommended for the first few days after the treatment. Patients should also avoid hot or cold foods and drinks as they can cause sensitivity and pain in the affected tooth.

2. Chew on the Opposite Side of the Mouth

Patients should avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the root canal treatment was performed. Chewing on the affected side can cause pain and discomfort, further damaging the tooth and surrounding tissues.

Patients should chew on the opposite side of the mouth until the tooth is fully healed. Soft foods that require less chewing, like mashed potatoes, boiled vegetables, and scrambled eggs, are recommended during healing.

3. Avoid Strenuous Activities

Patients should avoid strenuous activities after the root canal procedure, like lifting, running, and playing sports. Strenuous workouts can increase blood pressure and cause bleeding in the affected tooth area, leading to pain and discomfort. Patients should rest and allow their bodies to heal after the procedure. Light activities like walking and stretching are recommended to improve blood circulation and promote healing.

4. Reduce Swelling

Swelling is a common side effect of root canal treatment. To reduce swelling, patients should apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10-20 minutes, with breaks in between. The ice pack should be wrapped in a towel to prevent direct contact with the skin, which can cause further irritation. Patients should also avoid lying down flat, as it can increase blood flow to the affected area and cause swelling. Elevating the head with pillows while sleeping or resting can help reduce swelling.

5. Maintain Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is essential after root canal treatment to prevent infection and promote healing. Patients should brush their teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should also be done daily to remove food particles and plaque between the teeth. Patients should avoid using tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco, as they can slow the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are also recommended to monitor the healing process and ensure proper oral hygiene.


Root canal treatment is a standard dental procedure to save an infected or inflamed tooth. After the treatment, following the aftercare practices discussed in this article is crucial to ensure proper healing and prevent complications.

Patients should avoid eating or drinking with a numb mouth, chew on the opposite side of the mouth, avoid strenuous activities, reduce swelling, and maintain good oral hygiene. Following these aftercare practices, patients can recover quickly and enjoy a healthy, pain-free smile.

Looking for a reliable dental care provider in Southborough, MA? Look no further than Southborough Dental Partners! Our team of experienced dentists offers various treatments to meet your dental needs, including dental bonding, root canal therapy, and dental implants. Contact Southborough Dental Partners today to schedule an appointment and experience the difference our team can make in your smile!

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