How to Care for Your Teeth After a Root Canal
When a cavity has gone so deeply into a tooth that you feel constant pain and your dentist does an X-ray and determines that there is an infection past your gum line, there’s a pretty good chance that they are going to recommend that you get a root canal. The reason why is because oftentimes the nerves surrounding a particular tooth have become damaged – so damaged that they must be removed in order to bring you some relief.
So what does a root canal procedure consist of? It’s outpatient surgery. Your dentist numbs your mouth, removes your nerves, and then puts a temporary filing inside of the tooth until you are able to get a crown.
And just how are you to care for your teeth following a root canal? That’s actually what this article is going to address. It is going to share with you five things that you should do after a root canal so that you can get back on the road to healing.
Wait for the numbness to wear off. It’s pretty rare for a person to have a root canal without anesthesia. That’s because their nerves are extremely sensitive during the removal process, so no anesthesia would be quite painful. So if you did receive medication to numb your mouth following the procedure, make sure not to eat until the temporary filling has been set (that usually takes about an hour) and the numbness has worn off. That will make eating a lot easier for you to do.
Take over-the-counter medication. Once you don’t feel the effects of the anesthesia anymore, you may feel a bit of oral discomfort. Usually, you can get some immediate relief by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol. In many instances, your dentist will prescribe you something stronger just in case. Do keep in mind that it’s best to only take the prescription if absolutely necessary. Based on what the prescription is, it could be potentially addictive.
Don’t apply any pressure. Even once the filling sets in, for the following couples of days, it’s important that you don’t apply any unnecessary pressure to your tooth. The best way to do that is to avoid chewing on that side. Also, don’t use your fingers to play around with that tooth. More times than not, all that will do is increase sensitivity within that area.
Brush but don’t floss. Say that you got your root canal at an office like Lighthouse Family Dentistry and you asked the dentist who did the procedure about how to avoid additional root canal pain. One of the things they might advise is that you brush your teeth as normal, but that you hold off on flossing for about a week or so. Also, you definitely should avoid flossing in that area if the temporary filling was put in a space in between your teeth. Flossing there would only cause further discomfort.
Make an appointment to get your crown. Although your temporary filling will feel pretty comfortable after a few days and you can eat like normal with it, remember that it’s not designed to last forever. At some point, you will need to get a crown for your tooth. That said, ideally, you should make an appointment to get your crown within 2-4 weeks of your root canal. For more information on dental crowns, go to WebMD and put “dental crowns” in the search field.