It’s better to watch what you eat now than to manage a root canal infection later. Eating inappropriate food can lead to unnecessary pain. It can also increase the chance of breaking or damaging the tooth, which would lead to further complications and the possibility of needing additional dental treatments. To note, it is important for patients to not eat anything until the numbness wears off, as you could accidentally bite your tongue or tissues or cause additional damage to your teeth. Due to the natural sensitivity of the teeth after a root canal and because a crown or the permanent filling has yet to be placed, we also always recommend our patients eat soft food during the few days it takes for the swelling to subside and for the procedure to be completed.

Here are suggestions on what to eat and what to avoid after a root canal:

After a Root Canal, Eat and Drink:

  • Fruit smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Ice Cream (without nuts or anything crunchy or chewy)
  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Pears
  • Milkshakes
  • Peaches
  • Soup (as long as it does not have anything crunchy or chewy in it)
  • Mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Rice pudding
  • Tuna salad
  • Sushi
  • Tofu
  • Thin pastas cut up well (such as angel hair)
  • Pancakes
  • Pudding
  • Hummus
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Most Indian, Thai and Chinese food providing provided the noodles are thin, the meal is very mildly spiced and there are not any peanut, carrots or other crunchy/hard ingredients

Do NOT Eat or Drink:

  • Crunchy foods such as carrots, corn on the cob or apples, as they could damage the tooth or cause undue pain.
  • Chewy foods such as gum, most breads or candy, like taffy, as it could pull out the temporary filling.
  • Hard foods such as ice or nuts as they could damage the tooth or cause unnecessary pain.
  • Avoid alcohol as it could increase bleeding.
  • Avoid food that is excessively hot as it could increase sensitivity.
  • Also avoid spicy food could cause unnecessary discomfort or sensitivity.

At East Coast Endodontics, (located near Richmond, Virginia), root canals are pain free. Through the use of the most modern dental technology and advanced anesthesia, patients undergoing root canal treatments do not experience any pain throughout the entire procedure.

When the procedure is complete and the numbness wears off, some patients will experience discomfort. You can learn how to manage this root canal pain here. To help alleviate this discomfort East Coast Endodontics always prescribes appropriate pain medication, most of which is available over the counter, and antibiotics, if necessary.

East Coast Endodontics offers Richmond, Virginia the highest quality root canal surgery, root canals and root canal therapies. To schedule an appointment or to ask questions in regards to our treatments, please contact us at: 804.559.3636.

About the Author

Dr. Harris has been a practicing dentist since 2005. In 2012, he received his Master’s of Science in Dentistry and a certificate in Endodontics. He founded East Coast Endodontics shortly after receiving his master’s degree. He also currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Endodontics department at Virginia Commonwealth University. View his full bio.