Root canal therapy is a conservative procedure that can save a damaged tooth from extraction. However, the treatment may fail if the aftercare instructions are violated. Your dentist will provide you with a proper list of post-root canal care instructions to follow after your procedure. Failing to follow the directions could prolong healing time and impact the end results of your root canal therapy. It is important to follow the entire recovery protocol to reduce the risk of infection and ensure a healthy smile!

  • You may experience some swelling, tenderness, or discomfort for a few days after your root canal treatment. These symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs that can be applied for the first 24 hours following your treatment.
  • It is important to avoid chewing on the treated tooth until the permanent filling is in place.
  • Once the permanent restoration has been placed, it is important to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would prevent future cavities from forming in the newly restored area.
  • Your teeth may feel more sensitive than usual due to the internal inflammation caused by the initial infection. This sensitivity will subside as the tooth heals and the pulp is no longer inflamed.
  • After a root canal, your oral tissues will need time to heal. For the first few days after your procedure, avoid eating foods that are particularly hard on your teeth, such as nuts, chips, and popcorn. These can irritate the sensitive tissue in your mouth and prevent proper healing. Instead, stick to soft foods such as yogurt, pasta, pudding, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and smoothies.
  • Do not use tobacco for a week after the procedure. Smoking can cause irritation to the gums and delay the healing process. Also, use a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth until your gums have healed. Hard bristles can damage the delicate gum tissue around your tooth.
  • If the tooth is painful after treatment, you can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever. It is best not to place aspirin directly on the tooth, as this can actually burn the gum tissue.

For more aftercare tips, feel free to contact our office today!


Schedule an appointment with Dr. Angela An, D.D.S. General Dentistry, to learn more about maintaining good oral health. We are located at 490 Post St #1020, San Francisco, CA 94102. Contact us at (415) 291-8668 or visit our website for more information. 

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