How Long After Root Canal Can I Brush My Teeth (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 1-2 hours (or when the medication warns off)

People are cautious about their dental health more than ever. With the introduction of newer foods, people are more prone to dental problems. Some foods do more harm to the teeth than doing good. Eventually, they damage the teeth badly. This is when the root canal procedure comes to the rescue.

A root canal is a procedure in which the damaged/infected teeth are repaired instead of completely removing them. The procedure saves millions of teeth every year. However, the main cause of concern after undergoing the procedure is how long after the root canal procedure can one brush our teeth.

How Long After Root Canal Can I Brush My Teeth?

According to endodontists and dentists, proper care of teeth after the root canal procedure is really important. The patient can brush and floss his teeth, soon after the numbness medication (or anesthesia) has worn off completely. So here, you can expect to wait for 1 and a half hours or so before you can start to brush your teeth

In fact, oral hygiene after the root canal procedure is much more important. And as soon as the medications wear off, you are free to brush/floss. As per the dentists, brush twice daily and do flossing at regular intervals. You can also use medicated mouthwash on a regular basis to take care of dental health.

A regular follow-up to the dentist is a must to make sure that dental health is all good. A specific oral hygiene regime will help you to maintain good dental health.

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Now that much of the anticipated questions have been answered, you should also take note of other points mentioned here. The very first one being-taking care of the treated tooth. It is really important to be gentle when brushing/flossing around the treated teeth.

Secondly, you need to keep a watch on what you are eating, for few days. Avoid food such as chips, nuts, fries, etc. as they can cause irritation. Also, make a distance from oily, sticky food for some time. take proper note of the medications as well.

ProcedureTime (after when you can brush)
Root Canal (usage of general anesthesia)45-60 minutes
Root Canal (strong medications)2-3 hours

Why Does It Take So Long to Brush Teeth After Root Canal Procedure?

The dentists suggest waiting for an hour or two after the procedure, before carrying on with regular brushing and teeth care. This is because the numbness medication (or anesthesia) takes this much time to wear off.

Wait for at least 1-2 hours after the procedure before you brush your teeth. Although root canal is a painless procedure, there is some tenderness in jaws and gums soon after the procedure. Chances are that the jaws might be sore as the mouth had been open for a longer time duration.

One more reason why one has to wait this long for brushing is the filling. The temporary filling in the teeth takes about an hour to set completely. You need to be careful that you don’t disturb the restoration during this time.

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And one more question that arises is how long will the tooth last after this procedure. The answer is- for a lifetime. This depends mostly on the structure of the teeth. The biting force applied will also determine the life span of that tooth.

Talking about the side effects of this procedure, pain, swelling, and tooth fractures (in rare cases) are the probable side effects. If you have been experiencing pain for a longer time duration, visit your dentist sooner.

Conclusion

A root canal is a major procedure that saves millions of teeth every year. And as told by many, the procedure is not at all painful. Also, it protects the teeth from any further damage.

Many people have queries regarding the procedure as to how long after the process can brush their teeth. The answer is up to 2 hours after the procedure or as soon as the medications have worn off. Oral hygiene is much important. You need to brush and floss regularly. However, you need to take care that you don’t end up hurting the treated area

And regular follow-ups are important if you want your dental health to be alright.

References

  1. https://www.scielo.br/j/bdj/a/RRLW7WLZjxY3gWSHVwSqFyM/abstract/?lang=en
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2591.2009.01562.x

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