Do’s and Don’ts after Getting a Root Canal

Do’s and Don’ts after Getting a Root Canal

Jan 01, 2023

If not treated promptly, tooth decay can lead to severe symptoms and complications like pain, swelling of gums, tooth loss, and bone loss. Your dentist in Easton can recommend a root canal to stop tooth decay and save your tooth. The sooner you get a root canal, the better the chances of saving your tooth.

According to research, more than 15 million root canals are performed in the U.S. annually. If your dentist has scheduled you for the procedure, you might be curious about what to expect. In this article, let’s learn more about root canals and what to do and not do to facilitate faster recovery after the procedure.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure of removing a bacterial infection from a tooth’s pulp. The pulp is the innermost chamber of the tooth that houses the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria enter the pulp, it infects these tissues, leading to inflammation and decay. A root canal is necessary to stop the infection from destroying the tooth entirely and spreading to the surrounding structures like the gums and jawbone.

Before performing the root canal, the dentist will examine your tooth and take x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. The dentist can recommend a tooth extraction if the damage is extreme and you can’t save the tooth with a root canal.

During the primary procedure, the dentist will begin by numbing you to prevent pain and keep you relaxed.  Next, the dentist will drill through the decayed tooth to access the infected pulp. They use tiny endodontic files to remove the infected materials and clean the root canals. Since the pulp holds the tissues that keep the teeth alive, removing it technically kills the tooth. However, the tooth still retains its strength and function.

Next, the dentist cleans and disinfects the tooth to prevent reinfections. Since a root canal involves removing a part of the tooth, the tooth should is filled for further strength and protection. Lastly, the dentist seals the tooth. The dentist can use temporary filling or restoration to allow the tooth to heal before placing the permanent restorations.

Root Canal Aftercare Tips

After a root canal, you will likely experience minor side effects like pain, swelling, and bleeding. Fortunately, these symptoms should fade away in a few days. In terms of root canal recovery, knowing what to do and not do after the procedure will simplify your experience. Remember the following tips:


  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brush twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush gently around the treated tooth to prevent irritation.
  • Take a soft diet like porridge, rice, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, dairy products, fish, and vegetable soups. These foods are easy to chew but also nutritious.
  • Take cool food items.
  • Take the medication as prescribed. Your dentist will likely give you medication to manage pain, inflammation, and infections.
  • Use a cold compress on the affected area to manage swelling and pain
  • Rinse with warm salt water to minimize pain and prevent infections
  • Go for follow-up appointments and checkups
  • Contact a dentist near you if you experience severe symptoms like pain, bleeding, swelling, and fever.
  • Rest adequately for the next few hours. When lying down, keep your head elevated above your heart.


  • Don’t eat or take hot drinks until the anesthetic wears off
  • Avoid chewing or biting with the treated tooth
  • Avoid hard, chewy, spicy, and crunchy foods as they can disturb or irritate the treated area.
  • Avoid hot foods and beverages. They can increase soreness or pain around the treated area.
  • Limit sugary items as they can encourage infections around the treated tooth.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid sucking, spitting, or drinking from a straw.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting as it can worsen your symptoms like pain.
  • Don’t delay the crown placement procedure. It makes the treatment tooth vulnerable to further infections and fractures.

Certain situations our office will refer you out to an endodontist if needed. Schedule an Appointment Today. Are you interested in a root canal treatment in Easton, PA? Contact Maple Tree Dental for more information.

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