If you have a tooth with a cavity, having a dental filling placed is a necessary procedure. Our Winnipeg dentists share some advice on what you should and should not do after a filling.
Do be careful about what you eat after a dental filling
Depending on the type of filling that was placed, your dentist may recommend that you be cautious about what you eat immediately following the filling procedure. 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, yogurt, soft cheeses and crackers. Look for food that requires minimal chewing.
That said, if there you are experiencing any pain or 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.
To avoid biting your lips, cheek, or tongue, it's a good idea to wait until the local anesthetic wears off before attempting to eat. Ask your dentist for advice about when the best time will be to eat after your filling.
Don't eat sticky, hard or chewy foods for up to two weeks
Consider holding off on enjoying any 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. Any foods that require you to take hard bites and chew a lot - such as meat - should probably be out for a couple of days.
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 find that you experience some mild to moderate discomfort following the filling process. In most cases that pain and swelling should be expected to decrease within 12 hours at which time 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 for some reason your 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 hesitate to brush your teeth or floss after a filling
You may find this surprising but there is no need to delay brushing your teeth or flossing! 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
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.