We have listened to people tell us how important it is to take care of our teeth for our entire lives. Our teachers and grandparents taught us to avoid eating too many sweets or drinking too many soft drinks. We’ve been told to brush our teeth firmly, but never too hard. We hear about gum and tooth problems, such as cavities, hyperdontia (too many teeth), gingivitis (gum disease), teeth grinding, and root canals. However, most of the time, those issues are just words; they never cause concern until it’s too late. When it’s too late – when your tooth’s nerve is inflamed and infected or even dying, your dentist will suggest root canal treatment. Here are seven essential tips to ensure a speedy, painless recovery following a root canal:
Rest: Sounds like the suggested solution to fix all problems, right? But getting the sleep you need while you’re recovering from root canal treatment is of the utmost importance. The pain and discomfort from oral surgery can leave you sleepy, so it’s best for you just to relax and catch up on sleep.
Pay attention: If your root canal is healing correctly, the swelling and aches will subside within days. Although, if you are still in too much pain, consider problems related to your root canal or an infection. Call your dentist if the swelling hasn’t gone down within a few days, rashes and hives appear, if your bite feels off, or if your pain medication is not sufficient.
Minimal exercise: While exercise is an essential part of keeping our bodies fit and healthy, put it lower on your list of priorities during your recovery. Exercising too soon or too aggressively can trigger the pain again and cause bleeding. Remember, the key to recovery is self-care and avoiding situations that can worsen getting better.
Be gentle with your mouth: Waiting until the numbness has fully subsided to eat your post-surgery meal is key. You risk hurting yourself when it’s not worth it. For a few days, eat things like soup or mashed potatoes, and blend your favourite smoothies to ensure no worries for your root canal recovery.
To treat swelling, use an ice pack to reduce it, and before sleep, elevate your head with pillows to avoid irritation in the mouth.
Over-the-counter pain medication: Your dentist will likely recommend pain medication to aid your recovery, such as Ibuprofen, which you can buy from any pharmacy without a prescription. Take the capsules twice or three times a day (depending on your dentist’s recommendation) with meals for three to four days following your procedure.
Softly brush the tooth: It’s normal to feel apprehensive about brushing the tooth after your root canal surgery. But it’s essential to keep that tooth clean. Make sure that you avoid cleaning harshly; otherwise, you will be at risk of more pain. Don’t forget to floss!
Follow-up treatment: Your tooth can become brittle after losing some of its tissue, increasing the risk of fracture. Your dentist will recommend a dental crown (a covering for protection or enhancement of a tooth) following your root canal treatment, which will protect your teeth from further damage. The crown is typically suggested three to six months after your treatment so that the root canal settles first.
Listen to your dentist: Whether your dentist recommends you over-the-counter medications, is prescribing you antibiotics, stay on top of your doses. It’s best to listen and keep in touch for three to six months following your procedure. That way, if any problems occur during your recovery, your dentist can treat them immediately.
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