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Time for a Root Canal- Suggestions (what to eat, not a dentist!)

My awesome wife is in the dentist's chair as we speak, having a root canal. Wondering if any of you have had or taken care of someone who had a root canal, and if any particular foods- soft and tasty- alleviated yours or their suffering in any way.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. My husband had one, he realley liked when I made:

    mashed potatoes (mashed sweet potatoes!)

    Soups-a good time for cold soups.

    ICe cream or soft serve frozen yogurt

    Hommus off a spoon.

    thickened yogurt with honey.

    Mashed parsnip and cheese

    Mac n cheese.

    Fruit smoothies went over in a big way. I was making a smoothie a day.

    1. It's summer, so how about a nice gazpacho?

      1. Anything soft she can eat with minimal chewing or sucking. NO STRAWS as it will dislodge the clot that forms to stop bleeding from the surgery.

        -KFC mashed potatoes and gravy
        -Softened ice cream

        She will only need this for the day of surgery and MAYBE the following half day!

        2 Replies
        1. re: ktcolt

          In my all too extensive experience, you can suck through straws all you want after a root canal procedure, it's extractions (including wisdom teeth) and "surgery" that are a problem. With a root canal, they're not doing anything to your gums, it's all down inside the tooth itself...

          If she's anything like me, the OPs wife isn't going to want to eat anything for a while anyway - the procedure itself is way less painful than the trouble leading up to it, but you lie there with your mouth wide open for way too long and it does get sore from the all the poking and reaming...

          Maybe a nice milkshake? Nice on a hot day anyway and plenty of calories.

          1. re: MikeG

            I agree. I have had about 8-10 because I am an abruxor. There is no real problem. The dentist will put a temporary filling prior to the crown - if you are having a crown. There is no scab to fall off unless it involves peri-something-or-other surgery to drill bone out at the side. If the there is an abscess then the dentist will probably not fit the post, but need to let the abscess drain and give her antibiotics. In this case you might consider investing in water-pik and use it on a very low setting.

            If she has a temporary then avoid anything that sticks such as toffee which can displace the it. Sometimes there can be initial discomfort under pressure (ie biting) but this will go down with time.

            Sheer discomfort / pain thresholds will dictate what your wife wants to eat. For me, it would be softer foods later on that day and the following just about anything. I would also avoid very hot food (tea / coffee / hot soup) during your first day. There may also be 'cold shocks', so ice-cream etc may not necessarily be recommended.

        2. Whatever you do do not eat the dentist. The results, though not potentially as dangerous as indulging in fugu, are generally known to be anaesthetic.

          Soft foods, as indicated above, are the obvious choice. The main concern is to provide yourself with the proper degree of nutrition.

          1. Don't laugh - Ramein noodles, PB&J (easy on the peanut butter-smooth style, of course), bananas, grilled cheese, tuna salad...soups and mashed potatoes (as mentioned) are a definate. Scrambled eggs, pancakes. Believe it or not, Ritz crakers crumble up without much chewing. Spaghetti or other pastas (go thin), applesauce(homemade of course)...she'll be better by the time she eats all this stuff!

            2 Replies
              1. re: BigSteve

                ...a sip of brandy wouldn't hurt !

              2. When I had mywisdom teeth out, my mom brought me choclate milk (whole milk) in the glass bottle and champagne grapes...I still bring these items to my friends when they have any oral surgery.

                1 Reply
                1. re: yummyinmytummy

                  I went directly from my root canal out for sushi.....it was soft,served room temperature...so I had no issues w/ heat or cold and the fact that the novocaine hadn't worn off.....chewing wasn't a problem.....
                  I experienced very little discomfort after the root canal.....most of my issues were before I had had the procedure performed.....

                2. I would love to hear how it turned out. I agree with previous posters: root canals are a piece of cake. Removal of wisdom teeth? ... a tad more difficult. And guess what, dear CHs? I am having one of those in just over two weeks. The pain I'm enduring now is one thing. Now, do you have wonderful suggestions I can fix for myself ahead of time? None of my dear family even comes close to qualifying as a good cook. I need help! Cucumber soup? Vichysoisse? Give me ideas!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: k_d

                    I'm having it done in two weeks' time, too! So, yes, I'd also love to hear what a wisdom toothless person could eat. I'll have to organize myself and cook everything ahead of time, or I'll just end up drinking a lot of scotch and pitying myself for not having anyone to cook for me at home (yeah, boo-hoo, whatever). I'm assuming that anything mashed or pureed would be good, i.e., mashed potatoes/yams, cream-of-whatever soups, congee, etc. My question is: how do I get sufficient protein so that I can still go to the gym and not faint? I can't imagine pureeing meat or fish. Tofu shakes? Just eat a lot of scrambled eggs?

                    1. re: TheGloaming

                      I had my wisdom teeth out about 10 years ago and I only remember having to eat soft food for about 2 days afterwards. It's not that bad. My recommendation is to take two big tube socks and sew the toes together, then slide ziploc bags of ice down in the socks. Tie around your head so the ice is against your cheeks. You look like an idiot, but it definitely gets the swelling down faster, and you'll be back in business food-wise in no time! Food-wise, oatmeal, cream of wheat with brown sugar, poached eggs, smoothies, soup, mashed potatoes, maybe a cheese quesadilla? After a couple of days, you should be ok if you just chew slowly and carefully.

                      1. re: mineral

                        Those extractions are only "traumatic" when the teeth are impacted and they really do have to do "surgery." The worse the placement, the worse the surgery - sometimes they seem to grown in almost perpendicular to the nearby teeth (OUCH!!). And even there, the procedure is, so I hear, less painful than the pain you suffer if no one notices the teeth need extraction until they start to cause serious trouble. (Personally, this is the one dental trauma I have avoided, since the 2 WT I ever had grew out normally....)

                        That's the same deal with root canals. If the dentist catches it before the decay actually reaches the root, it's no big deal as dental work goes, if tedious, time-consuming and expensive; it's when they don't and the root becomes infected that the (skull-splitting, insanity producing) pain enters the picture...

                      2. re: TheGloaming

                        I don't go to the gym, so I don't have to worry about fainting, but all your talk of scotch makes me crave a Sapphire martini!! Protein be damned!!! LOL

                      3. re: k_d

                        Wow, that's quite a few of us. I'm making my appointment for sometime in July too. Ewww. I had one done, and I don't remember it as being traumatic, but I was about 1/2 my current age at the time.

                      4. I've always found that the numbing feeling in my mouth (post-operational) too much destroys the flavour of anything I attempt to injest to make it satisfy-ing. I'd say wait untill you can taste and then maybe something slightly chewie, but soft.
                        Warm chocolate-chip cookies anyone?

                        1. Please see these informative Chowhound threads:
                          Advice: Wisdom Tooth Extraction, what to eat?
                          swollen throat - what to eat?

                          1. Ugh I had a Root Canal a couple days ago and am still finding it hard and painful to eat a whole lot. I think the pain is starting to go away but still hurts when biting on the tooth.