If you have a cavity, having a filling placed in your tooth by a dentist will be necessary to prevent further damage and decay. Here, our St. Thomas dentists offer some advice about what you should and should not do after a filling.
Do be careful about eating after a dental filling.
Depending on the kind of filling that was placed in your smile, you may want ot be careful about what you eat following the placement procedure. Since composite white fillings harden quickly under the curing light in your dentist's office, you can eat and drink immediately following procedures where they are placed.
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 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.
In order to avoid biting your cheek, tongue or lips, it's a good idea to wait until the local anesthetic wears off before attempting to eat anything. Ask your dentist for advice about how long you should wait after a filling is placed before eating.
Don't eat sticky, hard or chewy foods for up to two weeks.
You may want to consider avoiding hot and cold drinks for a few days following your dental filling. Foods that can be hard on your fillings such as extra hard foods or very sticky ones are also no good and should be avoided for up to two weeks. Anything that needs list of chewing is probably out too (such as steak).
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 some mild to moderate discomfort and pain following the 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.
Take over-the-counter painkillers with ibuprofen or acetaminophen to alleviate any physical pain or discomfort after a dental filling.
If any pain, sensitivity or discomfort don't disappear after 24 hours, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment to check in on your filling and make sure that there is no infection developing in your smile.
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 brush gently and floss carefully around the tooth, you should be able to keep the area clean as usual.
Do contact your dentist if you experience a persistent toothache
While it's true that you may feel a bit of pain or discomfort after a filling has been placed, a persistent headache may indicate that the decay wasn't all removed and has reached your tooth's pulp. If this is the case, you may need a root canal. Contact your dentist as soon as possible and they will be able to help.