One of the most common questions our patients ask after root canal treatment is, “What can I eat now?” The simple answer is lots of soft, room temperature food. 

It’s better to watch what you eat after a root canal than to later manage a root canal infection. Eating and drinking inappropriate food and drinks can lead to unnecessary pain. Also, it can increase the chances of the tooth getting damage or breaking. All these problems could lead to further complications and the possibility of needing additional dental procedures.

If you’re struggling to choose a snack, meal, or drink following a root canal, we’ve got you covered. It can be challenging to know if your favourite treat is a food to avoid or enjoy during recovery. Luckily, we’re here to help you navigate your diet while your mouth is still sensitive.

What is a root canal?

Root canal therapy brings immediate relief of discomfort caused by infection and inflammation at the centre of a tooth. 

A root canal treatment thoroughly cleanses the tooth from the inside, clearing out the dead pulp. Next, the pulp is replaced with a strong filling material. Finally, the tooth is sealed and secured with a crown. The end result is a decay-free tooth that continues to function properly. 

When and how to eat after root canal treatment

With root canal surgery, there are certain dos and don’ts, especially when it comes to what you should eat after surgery. 

You’ll probably be hungry after a long dental appointment, but you should avoid eating until numbness from the anaesthetic has completely disappeared so that you don’t accidentally bite an area that hasn’t yet regained sensation.

After the anaesthetic wears off, eat on the opposite side of the treatment- the side that isn’t numb.

Some general rules

Stick to Soft Foods

After a root canal, the treated tooth will be extremely sensitive to pressure. To avoid pain as you eat, stick with soft foods. Any foods that are easy on the teeth, doesn’t require a lot of chewing, and doesn’t have crumbs is usually ideal.

Avoid overly hot or cold foods and drinks

Hot and cold temperatures can also trigger tooth sensitivity. So, if you notice that it’s difficult to have hot or cold foods, start eating room temperature foods first. 

Recommended foods after root canal treatment

  • Fruits, including pears, mangoes, bananas, peaches, applesauce, and fruit smoothies
  • Porridge
  • Yoghurt and milkshakes (free from chunks and nuts)
  • Pudding
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Soup
  • Tuna salad
  • Humus
  • Mashed vegetables, like potatoes and cauliflower
  • Pancakes
  • Sushi
  • Oatmeal and cream of wheat
  • Pasta/noodles

Foods to avoid after root canal treatment

  • The following are foods that you should not eat after your root canal treatment.
  • Crunchy foods such as corn on the cob, carrots, or apples. They could damage the tooth or cause more pain.
  • Chewy foods such as gum, bread or candy. These items could loosen the temporary filling.
  • Hard foods such as ice or nuts; could damage the tooth or cause unnecessary pain around the surgical site.
  • Avoid alcohol as it can increase bleeding.
  • Avoid food that is excessively hot as it could increase sensitivity.
  • Also, avoid spicy food could cause unnecessary discomfort or sensitivity.

Listen to your dentist

It is essential for anyone that undergoes a root canal procedure to carefully follow the instructions provided by their dentist. This includes proper care, and taking preventative measures to ensure you heal well. By listening to your dentist’s orders, you will recover in no time and not experience any lingering discomfort.

At JJS Dentistry, we have a special interest in providing exceptional root canal services. In addition, we use cutting edge technology for all our procedures. Our staff are highly skilled, experienced and always there to assist you. 

To learn more about root canal surgery or after care contact JJS Dentistry on +27 21 424 5172, +27 21 422 2443 or info@jjteeth.co.za