A lot of people are understandably nervous when they are told that they need a root canal. Fortunately, a root canal actually signals the end of pain, since the procedure will remedy the infection and nerve damage that is causing your mouth to throb. The success of your root canal does depend on proper aftercare. The following will walk you through what to expect.

You will be given antibiotics

An antibiotic prescription is typically necessary after a root canal, even if a major infection isn't present. This is because any wound to your mouth gives access to bacteria. Your dentist, someone from a place like Top Dental, will prescribe the antibiotic to prevent the chances of infection, but it is important that you take the entire course of the medication to ensure it works properly.

Pain relief may be allowed

For many people, there is little to no pain following the root canal procedure. If you are one of the few that experiences some discomfort, you can usually take a non-aspirin pain reliever. Just ask your dentist to make sure, first. Some pain relievers, like aspirin, thin the blood and can impact healing, so it's vital to get clearance on the particular pain reliever you want to use.

Diet will matter

In the days following the root canal, you need to be careful about food choices. Avoid hard or crunchy foods, since these can irritate the area that is trying to heal. A soft food diet is the best choice for the first week, simply because these foods cause no stress to the healing tooth.

Keep up with hygiene

It can be tempting to avoid brushing or flossing around the tooth that underwent the root canal simply because the area can be sensitive for a few days. Unfortunately, this increases the chances for an infection. Make sure to brush gently twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep bacteria at bay.

Ask about food limitations

Some root canals are same day procedures, with the permanent crown places immediately. Others require that a crown be made and placed a week or so later. If you are only given a temporary crown, you need to avoid chewy foods like gum and certain candies, since these can pull the temporary crown off your tooth.

For more help, contact a dentist office in your area. They can walk you through what to expect in your specific situation.