A dental filling is one of the most common procedures in dentistry, so it’s extremely likely that you’ll require one (or several) over the course of your life. By treating tooth damage caused by decay, a filling can restore the function and appearance of a tooth while also preventing further decay. The treatment process is quick, painless, and requires very little post-treatment care. But can you eat after a filling?
Can You Eat After a Filling?
Your dentist or dental hygienist will let you know what you should and shouldn’t do after you receive a new dental filling. Fortunately, there are no restrictions on eating or drinking after the procedure.
Why? These days, most dentists primarily use composite fillings, which look inconspicuous in the mouth due to their whitish color (which mimics the color of your natural teeth). Since composite fillings harden as soon as your dentist applies a UV light, your filling will be hard and secure immediately. You can feel free to dine right away if you like. If, on the other hand, your dentist applies an amalgam (silver) filling, they may recommend that you avoid chewing on the side of the mouth with the filling for about 24 hours, which is about how long it takes for an amalgam filling to fully harden. But even then, you’re free to eat immediately after the procedure.
What can you eat after a filling? Anything you like! Whether your preferred dish is hot or cold, sticky or smooth, spicy or mild, your newly filled tooth can handle it. However, you may find it more comfortable to avoid hard foods (such as hard candy, nuts, and ice), which can put pressure on your teeth, and very hot and cold foods, which may trigger sensitivity.
Tips for New Fillings
Although you can carry on eating and drinking as you usually do, you should follow a few simple rules to ensure that your dental filling heals successfully:
- Part of your mouth will be numb after the procedure due to the local anesthetic administered by your dentist. Although this effect will fade within a few hours, be careful not to hurt your mouth in the meantime. Avoid chewing or biting on your lips, tongue, and cheeks.
- Sensitivity to heat and cold is a common side effect following a dental filling procedure. In some cases, it will last two weeks or longer. If you find the sensitivity bothersome, try using desensitizing toothpaste. If the sensitivity persists, talk to your dentist.
- If your mouth feels sore and achy after the procedure, you can take over-the-counter pain medications for the first couple of days following your treatment. Ibuprofen and Tylenol are commonly recommended.
- During the procedure, your dentist will aim to get your bite as comfortable and even as possible. However, if your bite feels “off” afterward or you’re experiencing discomfort (such as a dull ache), give your dentist a call. Sometimes a quick adjustment by your dentist can alleviate the issue.
- Your restored tooth will function like all your other teeth, so continue brushing and flossing as normal. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, and floss at least once a day.
Looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri? Contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!