Several factors play a role in a successful root canal outcome. Your dentist will provide you with comprehensive after care instructions, including what you can safely eat in the days following the procedure.
Adhering to the right types of foods is important to protect your tooth from irritation and provide you with much-needed strength as you recover. You may want to shop ahead of time so your kitchen is fully stocked with all of the foods you’ll need to see you through the post-procedure phase.
What to Eat After a Root Canal
While you’re somewhat limited in what you can eat after the root canal, there’s still an excellent variety of options for snacks and daily meals available to you. When in doubt, opt only for completely soft foods. Ultimately, it’s the texture that matters the most, as chewing, biting, or exerting any sort of effort to consume food could otherwise irritate the affected tooth.
- Scrambled eggs: Not only are scrambled eggs extremely soft, they’re also highly nutritious. A serving contains a supply of vital vitamins and minerals that you may not otherwise get while you’re eating a modified diet. A single egg contains about six grams of protein, making a serving of scrambled eggs a healthy choice during recovery. If you eat a plant-based diet, you can swap the eggs for tofu.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal is an excellent source of nutrients too, and because it’s fiber-rich it will fill you up. However, it’s important to prepare a variety that is thin and smooth instead of rich and chunky so you don’t have to chew anything. Avoid adding textural toppings like fruits and nuts at this time, as they can be very difficult to chew.
- Yogurt: Creamy yogurt is a calcium-rich food that supports your digestive health thanks to its probiotic content. Calcium is essential for strengthening teeth and bones, while protein can be a valuable aid in healing wounds. Plus, because it’s cold, yogurt can feel soothing.
- Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes (either plain or sweet) can give you a quick energy boost thanks to their carbohydrate content. You don’t need to chew them, and you can soften them even further by adding butter or cream. Potatoes are packed with vital nutrients and minerals that support a healthy diet, too.
- Soup: Soup is an outstanding option because it can be very filling, especially when you opt for a thick puree made with vegetables. They can also provide fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants, all of which support you during healing. Soup injects some variety into your diet, too — you can select from different vegetables, broths, cream-based recipes, and purees.
- Smoothies: Smoothies are similarly beneficial in that they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and even protein depending on what you add. You can customize it fully with all of the fruits, vegetables, and additions that you want to create a thick, liquified choice that meets your dietary needs. Plus, smoothies will help you stay hydrated.
- Ice cream: If you’re craving something sweet, ice cream makes a great choice. Opt for flavors that don’t contain additions like nuts, caramel, and other ingredients that might disturb your mouth or that require chewing. You should be able to eat the ice cream in the same way you would soup or oatmeal — with minimal to no effort.
- Apple sauce: With its soft, smooth texture, apple sauce is a good choice that can fill you up without extensive chewing on your part. It’s loaded with water, which can help you stay hydrated, and contains nutrients like vitamins A and C, plus fiber to support your digestive health. It’s also available in a variety of fruit flavors, so it adds some enjoyable variety to your limited post-procedure diet.
As your mouth continues to heal, you can incorporate some of these equally gentle foods that have a bit more substance into your diet:
- Soft fruits
- Cooked vegetables
- Soft breads
- Cottage cheese
What to Avoid Eating After a Root Canal
While there are many foods you can comfortably consume after your root canal, there are some that you should omit from your diet to promote healing and prevent complications:
- Sticky foods: Candy, caramel, and other sticky substances are very challenging to chew. They also contain high amounts of sugar, which could lead to cavities and hinder healing.
- Crunchy foods: Anything that is crunchy could be painful to chew, such as raw vegetables, nuts, ice, nut brittle, and some fruits, like apples and pears. There’s also a risk that these types of foods could harm the site of the root canal.
- Chewy foods: While chewy foods can be soft, they can be risky as they may loosen the filling. Avoid items like bread and pasta in the immediate aftermath of your procedure; they’re safer to consume at a later stage of healing.
- Spicy foods: Steer clear of anything spicy at this time; ingredients like chili peppers and other spices could irritate the sensitive tissues at the surgical site. This could cause burning, generalized discomfort, or potential inflammation.
Tips for Eating Comfortably After the Procedure
Eating the right foods is the most important tip of all, but these after care tips can help you maximize the impact of that diet and protect your mouth at the same time.
- Chew on the other side of your mouth as much as possible while you heal.
- Don’t drink alcohol, as it could interact with your medicine, dehydrate you, and potentially irritate your mouth.
- Take small bites, as these are more manageable and will reduce the need to chew. It’s helpful to cut your food into tiny pieces, too.
- Avoid temperature extremes, as anything that is too hot or too cold could increase sensitivity at the surgical site or cause pain.
- Follow the after care instructions carefully. Your dentist may have specific guidance based on your individual needs.
Root Canals at MD Smiles
You may be a candidate for a root canal if you have an infection or decay in the tooth pulp. Rely on the experienced team at MD Smiles for your treatment from start to finish. We offer a variety of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry solutions to ensure the immediate and long-term health of your teeth and gums. Give us a call at 410-531-2690 to schedule an appointment.