Do's and Don'ts After Dental Fillings

Dental filling procedures are important for the overall health of your teeth. They help to protect the soft pulp and tissues within your tooth from serious harm. Our Cambridge dentists talk about the do's and don'ts after you've received a new dental filling. 

Do wait to eat until recommended after your dental filling.

You won't be able to eat after every type of dental filling. While composite fillings are cured before you leave, other types need a set amount of time to finish setting. This is because composite white fillings harden instantly under the blue light your dentist uses, you can eat and drink immediately following the procedure.

Some options for good foods to eat following a tooth filling include soup, scrambled eggs and crackers. Look for food that requires minimal chewing.

If you are suffering from pain or a swollen mouth after your procedure you should wait a little while before deciding to eat.

Metal dental fillings take a bit of time to harden, so most dentists will recommend waiting at least 24 hours after receiving the dental filling to eat any solid foods.

To avoid biting your lips, cheek, or tongue, you will likely want to wait until the local anesthetic wears off before attempting to eat. Your dentist will be able to make recommendations for you based on your specific case, speak with them for more information on when you will be able to eat.

Don't choose to eat sticky, hard-to-eat foods for the first couple of weeks.

You may want to refrain from hot or cold drinks and foods for a few days following a dental filling. Sticky, hard or chewy foods are also a no-no - for up to two weeks. Anything that will require you to take hard bites and chew a lot - such as meat - is probably out.

Foods that are higher in acidity should also be avoided at first as these can increase the risk of infection.

Do take pain medication as recommended for your discomfort.

You will need to expect some amount of pain after the completion of your dental filling. The majority of the time, you should notice that pain and swelling decrease within 12 hours and you can eat whatever you want without experiencing tooth sensitivity, or irritation around the area.

Over-the-counter pain medication can help to relieve the discomfort you are feeling. Take these as recommended by your dentist or pharmacist.

In the event, pain, sensitivity or discomfort does not disappear after 24 hours, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment to check on your filling, to ensure that infection is not developing.

Don't wait to brush or floss your teeth after you've had a dental filling.

Brushing and flossing are an important part of your oral hygiene routine and it's important not to skip this. As long as you brush gently and floss carefully around the tooth, you should be able to keep the area clean as usual.

Do speak with your dentist if you notice any ongoing discomfort.

Though you may indeed feel some mild pain or discomfort, a persistent sharp or throbbing toothache can indicate that the decay has reached your tooth's pulp. You may need a root canal. Contact your dentist, who can address it for you promptly.

Would you like to see a dentist for a routine cleaning and exam? Please contact our Cambridge dentists today to request an appointment.

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