Tips for a Smooth Recovery After a Root Canal


Root canal has many questions and concerns, especially when your dentist suggests undergoing the treatment. 

But what is the root canal treatment about?

A root canal is an oral procedure that might sound scary, but it’s a lifesaver for a troubled tooth between your healthy teeth. Stats suggest that skilled general dentists perform 10.9 million root canals annually.

You might also need a root canal if you have a bad toothache, swelling, or sensitivity, which are signs that the pulp is infected or inflamed. This is often due to deep decay or a crack in the tooth. A dentist for root canals cleans out your cavity, disinfects the area, and then fills and seals the tooth to keep it healthy. 

However, proper aftercare is crucial for a smooth recovery. It helps prevent complications, speeds healing and makes you feel your best. 

This article will find some of the dentist’s approved tips after the root canal treatment. The topics include

  • Follow Post-Procedure Instructions
  • Manage Pain and Discomfort
  • Maintain Oral Hygiene 
  • Watch Your Diet
  • Schedule Follow-Up Appointments
  • Proper Long Term Oral Care

Let’s delve further into this blog and learn more about the tips and advice after your treatment.

Follow Post-Procedure Instructions

Your healing process can go from worse to better if the post-procedure treatments are followed sincerely.

First, you must start adhering to all the essential medication guidelines from your dentist. Make sure you take any prescribed medications exactly as instructed. If they gave you antibiotics, take the entire course even if you start feeling better. 

Stick to the schedule, and don’t wait until you’re in agony to take them. 

You also need to adhere to certain activity restrictions. Take it easy for the first 24-48 hours. Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, or anything that might strain you. 

Remember, your body must focus on healing, not lifting weights or running marathons.

Manage Pain and Discomfort

Root canals have a scary reputation, but the aftermath is usually effortless and pain-free if you follow the proper healing aftercare. Once you undergo the treatment, you’ll feel a typical pain level. Let’s understand more about it below:

Typical Pain Levels

Right after the procedure, you might feel some soreness or mild discomfort. It’s similar to how you might feel after getting a filling but a bit more intense. The pain usually peaks within the first 24 to 48 hours and then starts to taper off. Most people report that it’s manageable and more annoying than anything debilitating.

Managing the Pain

Let’s talk about how to handle that pain and discomfort:

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin): Ibuprofen is often recommended because it helps with pain and reduces inflammation. Try taking 600-800 mg every 6-8 hours as needed or as your dentist advises, but do not exceed the maximum daily limit.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Acetaminophen is another good option, especially if you can’t take ibuprofen. You can take 500-1000 mg every 4-6 hours, but again, watch out for the maximum daily dose and consult your dentist.

Alternative Pain Relief Methods

Besides medications, there are some other tricks to help manage your discomfort:

  • Ice Packs: Applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek for 15-20 minutes can help reduce swelling and numb the area.
  • Elevation: Keeping your head elevated, especially when sleeping, can help reduce swelling and throbbing. Use an extra pillow or two to prop yourself up.
  • Saltwater Rinse: Gently swishing with warm salt water a few times daily can help keep the area clean and may provide some relief.

Maintain Oral Hygiene 

After a root canal, your tooth is more vulnerable as it heals. Bacteria can sneak in and cause infections, which can be painful and require more dental work. So, good oral hygiene helps keep everything clean and infection-free.

How to Brush and Floss Carefully?

1. Brushing:

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth gently. Focus on brushing around the treated tooth without applying too much pressure. Think of it as giving your tooth a gentle massage.

2. Flossing:

Be extra careful when flossing near the treated area. Slide the floss gently between your teeth, and avoid snapping it down hard. You want to clean the area without disturbing it too much.

Also, if your dentist recommends using an antiseptic mouthwash for a root canal, it can be a great addition to your routine. It helps kill off any lingering bacteria and keeps your mouth extra fresh. Just swish it around gently, and don’t eat or drink for about 30 minutes afterward to let it do its thing. 

Watch Your Diet

After your Root Canal treatment at Navarro Dental Corsicana, TX, steer clear of hard, chewy, or sticky foods. They can irritate the area you’re treating. Instead, go for softer foods that are gentle on your mouth. Think yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes—stuff that’s easy to eat and won’t cause trouble.

And don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, but skip the hot beverages for now. They can be uncomfortable and might even make things worse.

Schedule Follow-Up Appointments

Let’s talk about what comes next for your treatment, those follow-up appointments.

  • During your visits, your dentist will check how your tooth is healing post-root canal. They’ll probably take X-rays to see if everything looks okay inside your tooth. They might also give it a good cleaning to avoid pesky bacteria.
  • Your follow-up appointments are important because they allow your dentist to catch any potential issues early on. Even after a root canal, things can still be wonky if you’re not careful. 
  • Encourage patients to discuss concerns or lingering issues with their dentist during these appointments.

Proper Long Term Oral Care

After a root canal, taking care of your teeth and keeping their long life in mind is like giving them VIP treatment. Brush and floss regularly to keep those pearly whites shining and bacteria at bay. Remember those regular check-ups with your dentist. If you notice anything that is not normal, give your dentist a shout. 


  • Based on the NCBI report, skilled general dentists perform 10.9 million root canals annually.
  • There are many pain relief pills to take (as mentioned above) for your pain and discomfort, but those must be under your dentist’s prescription.
  • Having your diet looked at post-treatment is crucial to avoid staining your teeth.
  • Your post-treatment appointments act as checkpoints on your journey to a healthier smile.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, or anything that might strain you. Remember, your body must focus on healing, not lifting weights or running marathons.
  • Don’t let the doubts around root canals confuse you; connect with our experts at Navarro Dental Center to clear your doubts today! 

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