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How to Care for a Root Canal Treated Tooth
You have just undergone a root canal, and now you need to care for your treated tooth. You must take special care immediately following the procedure. You will have a temporary filling that needs to stay in place until the permanent crown is placed. Until then, you have to be extremely careful with your tooth.
Caring for a root canal treated tooth right after the procedure
After receiving a permanent crown or filling, patients can care for a root canal treated tooth like any other tooth. People need to brush and floss daily and can eat their favorite foods. Until then, though, patients must follow specific guidelines. These guidelines will protect the treated tooth and temporary crown or filling.
Brush and floss gently
It is important to keep the area clean after a root canal treatment. However, aggressive brushing puts too much stress on the treated area and can dislodge the temporary filling or crown. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently clean the tooth and then floss. Do not force the floss between the teeth. If it does not slide between the teeth easily, contact the dentist. The filling might need to be reshaped to allow dental floss through.
Rinse the mouth
Cleanliness is critical after a root canal procedure. Along with brushing and flossing, patients should use a saltwater rinse several times a day for the first three days after treatment. The rinse should include a ½ teaspoon of table salt. Mix it with lukewarm water and rinse for several seconds. Do not rinse too vigorously as that can harm the tooth.
Eat soft foods
When patients have a temporary filling or crown, it is important to avoid hard and crunchy foods. These foods can dislodge the temporary filling or crown, exposing the nerves. Soft foods are ideal immediately following a root canal. Foods like soup provide the necessary nourishment without aggravating the treated tooth. Foods should be lukewarm to prevent sensitivity.
Avoid putting pressure on the tooth
Right after a root canal, it is important to avoid putting too much pressure on the tooth. People should chew on the opposite side until the permanent crown or filling is placed. Also, it is important for people who grind their teeth to wear mouthguards. They should continue to wear the mouthguards, even after the permanent crown or filling is placed. Mouthguards reduce the impact of grinding, protecting teeth and dental restorations.
Listen to the dentist’s instructions
Dentists also provide patients with care instructions following root canal procedures. Dentists might recommend different oral hygiene habits based on the restoration. For instance, someone who has lots of decay removed with the tooth might need to just rinse instead of brushing for several days. Patients need to follow these instructions to the letter.
Care for your teeth and restorations
When you get a root canal, you need to brush and floss the tooth gently immediately following the procedure. Rinse your mouth with saltwater, eat soft foods and do not put pressure on your mouth. Also, listen to your dentist’s specific instructions. Then after you receive your permanent crown or filling, you can go back to your normal oral hygiene and eating routine.
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