Root canals have a reputation for being painful and stressful, but the treatment is sometimes vital for protecting your dental health. To ensure your root canal recovery is as painless as possible, you should follow your dentist’s guidance and taking good care of yourself after the procedure. Here are some key tips for a smooth recovery:
Get Plenty of Sleep
Your body needs rest in order to heal from a root canal. Try to get as much sleep as possible in the first couple days after the procedure. While sleeping, you should keep your head elevated to alleviate pain and swelling.
Use Pain Medication
Most patients experience some degree of discomfort after a root canal, but over-the-counter pain medication can be incredibly helpful. Follow your dentist’s recommendation on which pain medications to take and how frequently you should take them. In many cases, dentists recommend alternating between ibuprofen and acetaminophen for a few days after the root canal.
Avoid Eating for a Few Hours
Your dentist will tell you how long you should refrain from eating, but generally, patients should wait a few hours before consuming any food. The numbness from the procedure can make eating dangerous, so you should wait until all feeling has been restored to your mouth.
Stick to Soft Foods
Hard or crunchy foods can irritate the affected area of your mouth, so it’s best to stick to soft foods that require minimal chewing for a couple days. You should also avoid drinking through a straw and consuming hot beverages. Ice cream is a great option after a root canal because the coldness can alleviate pain and inflammation.
Gargle With Salt Water
Gargling with warm salt water may not be the most pleasant experience, but it’s an excellent way to clean the affected area and reduce your risk of infection. Try to gargle with a saltwater rinse multiple times a day for at least three days after your root canal. You should mix about 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of water.
Avoid Strenuous Exercise
You should avoid heavy exercise or other strenuous activities for a few days after your root canal. Your body needs time to rest, and intense exercise can increase your risk of complications. If you work a physically demanding job, consider taking a couple days off while you recover.
Stay Alert for Problems
Root canals are very safe procedures, but there is a small risk of infection or other complications. You should stay alert for signs of problems and consult with your dentist immediately if you’re concerned. Symptoms of infection include persistent pain, fever, a bad smell or taste in your mouth, and extreme fatigue.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have any concerns about your dental health, Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates DDS is here to help. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality dental care to our patients in Cincinnati, OH. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.