What To Eat After A Root Canal

Fun Fact: Teeth are important for eating food.

It was a regular Monday in February. I was looking forward to a typical, routine week. I’d work, then work on some side projects, go for a few runs, and do some yoga, like a typical LA person. Unfortunately, I fell on one of those runs and my week took a detour that looks like this: Mallory runs and falls -> broken teeth -> emergency dentist visit -> root canals (yes, plural UGH) -> lots of teeth molds -> temporary crowns -> lots of pain. Being a foodie, I immediately asked, “What can I eat after a root canal and with temporary crowns?”

DID YOU KNOW? There are a lot of YouTube videos of root canals. Many of them are set to dance music and rock songs. Beware: Those videos are graphic, if you consider seeing teeth being drilled as graphic.

My dentist and I joked around a bit about the question (“So I shouldn’t take my new headshots this week?” “Don’t go to town on any ribs, OK?”), I started thinking very seriously about it. Many people on the internet (and my family) joked about the “Root Canal diet,” because the pain from root canals and the limitation of temp crowns cause you to drop weight because what can you eat? I don’t know if that’s true, but it feels far less glamorous than it sounds, because the pain, weird sensitivity, and waiting is far less fun than it sounds. Also, last time I had temp crowns, I lost zero pounds and accidentally ate my temp crowns twice, so…I was skeptical.

Root canals are not acutally this happy.

But you keep going and don’t stop your life, because it’s just teeth and there are far bigger and more serious battles in the world going on. Anytime I complain about stuff like this, I think of the poster for Lena Dunham’s movie Tiny Furniture, which too accurately describes whiny privilege. (For the record, I watched all of HBO’s Girls, so I’m not a Dunham hater…I have many opinions about the show and Dunham, but that is another post for a blog that isn’t this one.)

I know, I know. I haven’t told you what you can eat yet and I made you look at a Lena Dunham movie poster. But hey, that kind of annoyance is a lot like what having temporary crowns is like.

I’ve since received my permanent crowns and bought an athletic mouthguard. Here’s what I ate during that awkward time.

Soup

You would think this would be the perfect dish to eat, but soup is all about what’s in it. I’d stay away from noodles that require all working teeth and giant chunks of meat. If there are noodles, give yourself ample time to eat them — it may take a bit.

Riced Cauliflower

I love this stuff when all of my teeth are functional, but it was a lilifesaveruring my post-root canals, pre-crowns waiting period. Trader Joe’s Frozen varieties are easy to make (this is not a sponcon) and when the cauliflower is cooked, it’s soft and small enough to chew while having impaired teeth.

Yogurt

Post-root canal and pre-crowns eating is a bit like Goldielocks’ tastes: Can’t be too hot, too cold, or too sweet. So yogurt is great because there’s no chewing, but I’d suggest staying as bland as possible, because some of the flavors are wild and super sweet. And if you’re on antibiotics due to infection, this will help replenish your gut flora, making Jamie Lee Curtis very proud.

Sashimi

My friends at the Sushi Chef Institute in Torrance were nice enough to make me some soft sashimi, which wound up being a prefect softness and texture for the post-root canal mouth.

Eggs

Oh my God. I lived on eggs, because you can cook them so many ways and they are mostly soft and don’t require much chewing. I made omlets, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs…I ate so many eggs that now I am egg’d out for the next few weeks. No more eggs, please.

What have you eaten after a root canal?

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