The recovery from root canal treatment is easier than that of a tooth extraction, but it’s still a good idea to prepare for the hours and days after your procedure by stocking your refrigerator and pantry with soft foods that don’t require very much chewing to minimize the stress on your treated tooth.
Eating Guidelines After Root Canal Treatment
There’s no extended period of rest needed after a root canal—in fact, many people return to work or school immediately afterwards. Your tooth is likely to be sensitive to biting for a few days following your procedure and because you may have a temporary restoration until your final restoration is placed, it is best to avoid chewing in the treated area
You can start eating again 30 to 45 minutes after treatment. This is sufficient time for your temporary filling to harden completely, but it’s even better if you can also wait until the local anesthetic has worn off, which protects you from biting your tongue or cheek while eating.
After you eat, you should brush and floss to keep the area surrounding your treated tooth clear of plaque and food particles.
Foods to Eat After a Root Canal
Most patients are able to eat soft foods after their root canals without any problems as long as they avoid chewing or biting down on the treated tooth. Here is a list of foods that are ideal for eating after a root canal:
- Soft cheeses
- Cottage cheese
Fruits and Vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Pureed winter squash
- Canned tuna or chicken
- Nut butters
- Beans and lentils
You’ll receive detailed aftercare instructions during your appointment, which will give you additional guidelines to follow.
Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal
There are also some foods that you’ll want to avoid after getting a root canal, either because they may compromise the temporary filling on your tooth or because they may cause painful sensitivity. We suggest that you avoid eating any of the following:
- Very hot and very cold foods and beverages
- Sticky foods like gum, caramels, and other candies
- Chewy foods like crusty bread or certain cuts of meat
- Hard foods like nuts
- Crunchy foods like chips and pretzels
When your permanent crown or restoration is placed, you can return to your usual diet, but use common sense—if you try to introduce one of the foods on this list and your treated tooth feels sore or sensitive, stop eating it and wait another day or two before trying again.
If your tooth continues to feel sensitive or painful a week or more after your root canal treatment, call our office.
Learn More About What to Do After a Root Canal