Precautions you should take while undergoing a root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment involves removal of the infected pulp tissue, cleaning and shaping the canal to a desired width and sealing it with a filler material. While it is a complex procedure and requires precision by the dentist; there are a few precautions the patient must take during and after the treatment.

So here are a few pointers you need to know about what to avoid if you are undergoing a root canal treatment.

The dentist would be performing the treatment under the effect of local anesthesia. Therefore, do not eat anything while your mouth is still heavy and numb under the effect of anesthesia, you might end up injuring your tongue and cheeks. The anesthetic effect usually takes a few hours to wear off. And yes, do not forget to stock your stomach up before the appointment so that you avoid prolonged starvation.

Do not chew from the side of the mouth where the treated tooth lies during the healing period. Until the final restoration is done, your tooth is undergoing treatment and might be still tender. Wait till the pain completely subsides and your doctor places a permanent filling or a crown on the tooth since the tooth becomes brittle due to caries and the temporary filling might fracture leading to seepage of infection.

Also keeping the pain killers handy might be a good idea. If you have been prescribed antibiotics by your doctor be sure to complete the full course. It is also advisable to apply cold packs every hour for 10 minutes to counter any minor swelling if present.

Avoid taking extremely hot and cold foods during the course of the treatment since your tooth might be sensitive to temperature changes.

Foods that you might indulge in during and after treatment are soups, soft fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, pancakes, cooked rice, cereals, boiled potatoes, soft bread, etc.

It is also advisable to sleep with your head slightly elevated if not having any physical restriction during the course of treatment.

Do not indulge in smoking for the initial 24 hours of the treatment and reduce the frequency for the subsequent days. Smoking interferes with the healing process and therefore, is not advisable.

Lastly, be sure to brush and floss your teeth every day. These initial precautions will not only protect your teeth but will also help them last longer.

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Originally published at on August 30, 2016.