What Can You Eat After A Root Canal?

Many patients wonder what they can or can’t eat after a root canal. While it is always important to be careful about what you eat, here is some background information on what a root canal is and why you may have to be cautious about what you eat. 

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal, or an endodontic treatment, occurs when a tooth becomes severely damaged and infected. This can be from trauma, built up decay, or work that has been repeatedly done on one tooth. A root canal focuses on the reparation of the inside of the tooth, primarily on the nerve and the pulp. The nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed during the root canal, as they are infected and will continue to irritate and cause damage to your teeth if not treated. 


The primary function of the nerve and pulp is for sensation; it allows us to feel the variations in temperature. Removing this function will not affect the health of your teeth, which become the priority in the case of a root canal. 


Once the nerve and the pulp is removed and the canals are cleaned thoroughly, the dentist goes in and fills the canals with a gutta – percha, which is a permeable filling to prevent bacteria from entering again, and kills the infection. When the permanent crown is placed, the patient is good to go, but it is important to understand that the tooth just went through a lot of stress and trauma and needs some time to heal and recover.



What Can You Eat?

This is where the kind of food you eat plays a role in the root canal process. Immediately after your procedure, it is important to eat on the side that is opposite to where you got your work done. This ensures that there is no discomfort or irritation to the gums and the tooth on the side where you got your work done. The side where you got your root canal procedure done is also numb, and if you eat on that side, you may accidentally bite yourself or hurt yourself or the tooth without even knowing. 

Eating soft foods that don’t require a lot of work on your teeth is the best way to go, so you don’t cause unnecessary discomfort to your mouth. Avoid eating or drinking anything that may be extremely hot, like coffee or soup. 


Some of the foods that you are allowed to eat are;

  • Yogurt 
  • Fruit smoothies 
  • Soup 
  • Soft fruits 
  • Ice cream 
  • Milkshakes 
  • Vegetables (that are not hard to chew on)
  • Oatmeal 
  • Noodles 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Sushi 
  • Mangos 
  • Acai bowls (without the nuts or anything crunchy)
  • Mac and cheese

What You Can’t Eat

The most important thing to remember is to eat foods that are gentle for your mouth and don’t cause irritation. Since your mouth will be numb, you want to be cautious about what may disturb that side of your mouth. 

Some foods that you should avoid immediately after your procedure are; 

  • Anything crunchy that requires a lot of chewing and breaks up in your mouth as it can travel to the side of your mouth that is numb and cause discomfort
  • Popcorn! Popcorn flakes can get caught in between your teeth without even realizing and can cause pain and discomfort even after the numbing has gone away. 
  • Candy that is chewy and sticky should be avoided because it can loosen your filling and remove it. 
  • Do not chew on ice because it can damage your tooth 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol 
  • Avoid extremely hot foods and drinks
  • Stay away from spicy food, until the swelling goes down

Root Canal Recovery

If you follow these steps, your root canal recovery will be done smoothly and pain free. Here at LifeSmiles Dental Care, our root canals are done with the most advanced technology and we care for all of our patients’ comfort and oral hygiene. We strive to ensure that the process from beginning to end is pain free and comfortable for all of our patients. 


These steps are to be taken while your mouth is numb, as you are unaware of feelings and sensation in your mouth. Your mouth may only be numb for a few hours, so it is important to ensure that the healing process is taken care of in the best way possible. When the numbness subsides, you may want to stay cautious about what you eat. 


When your mouth has fully recovered, your tooth is ready to do the full function it once did, without the pain you felt before your root canal. You may be able to eat whatever you want, without the worry of the irritation you felt before. The recovery is a few hours to days of just being cautious, but it guarantees you a lifetime of comfort and security in your tooth. 


If you ever feel any pain or discomfort, do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic and allow us to help you. We want to make this process painless and comfortable for all of our patients. If you ever have questions about what you can and can’t eat based on the procedures you have gotten done, our staff and dentists are here to help you. 



If you ever have any questions or concerns, give us a call at (972) 231-4390. Our first priority is our patient satisfaction and their experience with us, and we want to ensure that all of our patients leave happier, more comfortable, and with the healthiest smiles. 


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