How to Take Care of Your Teeth After a Root Canal

You might have panicked a bit when you first heard your dentist mention a root canal, but after learning more about a root canal, how painless the procedure has become, and why it’s best to save the natural tooth, you likely feel less nervous. The one question you may still be asking yourself is, “what happens after?” The way you take care of your teeth after a root canal is as important as the procedure itself. Here’s what to expect after your root canal.

The most important thing to know is that your endodontist will give you specific care instructions tailored to YOU. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask your endodontist, they’ll know what’s best for you and your teeth.

Hours After the Surgery
Once your mouth is no longer numb, you will likely start to feel some general tenderness in the area and some soreness in your jaw. These are temporary and shouldn’t last for more than a few days. Most people can use over-the-counter medication to treat these symptoms, but your endodontist may prescribe you something if they feel it is necessary. Always listen to the recommendations of your endodontist.

Eating After Surgery
While you’ll be able to eat the same day as your surgery, it’s best to wait for your mouth to no longer be numb. If you try eating while you’re still experiencing numbness, you may bite down on your cheek or tongue, causing pain or bleeding.

You will want to avoid chewing or biting with the tooth where the root canal was performed. Although the root canal will be over, you will still need to return to your dentist for a final crown. Only at this point should you start using the tooth to chew and bite again.

While you won’t be chewing with the tooth until the final crown is placed, it’s important to make sure to brush and floss daily to keep the area clean and avoid any infections.

Follow-up Appointments
After your root canal has been performed and you’ve had any additional follow-ups with your endodontist, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your regular dentist. Your dentist is the one who will place the final crown. Once the final crown is placed, your tooth is fully restored.

It’s important for you to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to get the final crown placed. This will allow you to have full use of all your teeth once again.

Tooth Care
Your restored tooth can last as long as your natural teeth, so long as you properly care for it. Your endodontist and dentist will give you care instructions specific to you, but it’s important you take steps to make sure your teeth stay healthy.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the top five ways to take care of your teeth are:
● Brushing your teeth twice a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste.
● Flossing your teeth every day.
● Regularly visiting your dentist. Most insurances cover regular dental exams and teeth cleanings twice a year.
● Limiting your consumption of sugar in both your food and drinks.
● Along with causing other health problems, tobacco products like cigarettes and dip are harmful to your teeth. It is best not to chew or smoke tobacco.

When to Call Your Endodontist ASAP
If something doesn’t feel right after your root canal surgery, call your endodontist. They’ll be able to help you figure out what’s going on, and will likely have you come in if it’s something more serious. If you’re wondering if you should check in with your endodontist, here are some guidelines for when you should definitely give them a call.
● If you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than 2-3 days
● If your mouth is visibly swelling
● If the temporary crown on your tooth comes out
● If you are having an allergic reaction like rashes, hives, or itching due to any of the medications they prescribed
● If your bite feels uneven or unnatural

The most important thing to remember after a root canal is that your endodontist is your number one resource. They will provide you with all the information and support you need.

Ready to schedule your root canal? Make an appointment at Southcenter Endo today.