Do's and Don'ts After Dental Fillings

If you have a cavity, having a filling placed by your dentist is a necessary procedure to save your tooth from further decay. Here, our Lethbridge dentists share some advice about what you should and shouldn't do after a filling.

Do be careful about eating after a dental filling.

Depending on what kind of filling was placed in your tooth, you may want to be careful about what you eat immediately after your filling procedure. Since composite white fillings instantly harden under special lights used by dentists, you will be able to eat and drink immediately following your 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.

On the other hand, if there is pain and swelling, wait until it decreases before eating.

Metal dental fillings usually take a bit of time to harden. Because of this, most dentists will advise that you wait at least 24 hours after your 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. Ask your dentist for advice about when is the best time to eat after your filling.

Don't eat sticky, hard or chewy foods for up to two weeks.

You may want to hold out on hot or cold drinks and food for a couple of days following your dental filling. Sticking, hard, or chewy foods are also a no-no for up to two weeks. Anything that might require you to take hard bites and chew a lot, like meat, is probably excluded here. 

You’ll also want to avoid highly acidic foods to prevent infection. 

Do take over-the-counter painkillers if you notice pain, discomfort or tooth sensitivity after a filling.

You may notice mild to moderate discomfort and pain following your filling. Most of the time you should notice the pain and swelling decrease within half a day and you will be able o eat whatever you want without experiencing tooth sensitivity or irritation around the area. 

Take over-the-counter painkillers with ibuprofen or acetaminophen to alleviate any physical pain or discomfort after a dental filling.

In the event, pain, sensitivity or discomfort do 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 hesitate to brush your teeth or floss after a filling.

Did you know that you don't have to wait to brush your teeth or floss after a dental filling? As long as you gently brush and floss carefully around you tooth, you should be able to keep the area around your teeth clean just as usual.

Do contact your dentist if you experience a persistent toothache

Though it's true that you may 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.

Are you looking to learn more about taking care of your smile before and after a dental filling? Please contact our Lethbridge dentists today.

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