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Do's and Don'ts After Dental Fillings

A dental filling is a necessary procedure if you develop a cavity. Today, our Hamilton dentists share some tips on what you should and shouldn't do following a dental filling.

Do be careful about eating after a dental filling.

You may want to be cautious about what you eat immediately following the filling procedure depending on the type of dental filling you receive. Since 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. A good rule of thumb is to look for food that requires minimal chewing.

Metal dental fillings will take a bit of time to harden, so we recommend waiting at least 24 hours after receiving the dental filling before eating 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 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.

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

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.

Over-the-counter painkillers with ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be helpful to alleviate any physical pain or discomfort you may experience following 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 be hesitant 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.

Although 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 due for a dental hygiene appointment? Contact our Hamilton dentists to book an appointment.

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