When you get a cavity filled, you want to ensure that the best care is taken to protect your new filling as well as to help your mouth heal. Although many patients feel as though they can carry on with their normal routine after they leave their appointment for a dental filling, there are certain precautions everyone should take in the hours and days following the procedure. Here are the best ways to take care of your new filling!
Consider Your Type of Filling
There are several different types of fillings these days. Although the traditional amalgam (silver) fillings aren’t as popular anymore, composite fillings, ceramic, and glass ionomers are all options you may have. You and your dentist will decide on the best one for you based on the size and location of your cavity. Talk with your dentist about what to expect the setting time for your material to be—not every material has the same one!
Brush and Floss Gently
After you get your cavity filled, you can brush and floss as normal—and this means gently! Always choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. No need to take special care when brushing around your cavity, just ensure your brushing is gentle so to not damage your enamel or your new filling!
Avoid Extreme Hot or Cold Foods
Sensitivity may happen as a result of any food you consume with extreme temperatures for the next few days or weeks. You’ll want to try and avoid foods with extreme temperatures; these could not only hurt you but your filling! You may also experience sensitivity when biting down, a sensation that should go away as your mouth heals.
Take Caution When Chewing
Be gentle when chewing. It may help to chew on the opposite side that your cavity was filled on. Be careful while eating and drinking, especially because of the local anesthesia as well as the time it’ll take your filling to set. Avoid eating or drinking for a couple hours while the anesthesia wears off and you can comfortably chew food again, and if you can, avoid chewing directly on the filling for a couple of days.
Contact Your Dentist
It’s always best to follow up with your dentist to ensure the filling has set properly, but in the meantime, call your dentist if you have extreme pain, trouble biting down on the filled tooth, or notice cracks in the filled tooth. Your dentist will advise you on which symptoms are normal and which aren’t. Always call your dentist if you have any questions or concerns!
With the proper care, your filling will set securely and your tooth will be protected for years. Talk with your dentist about the best filling material of your tooth, and treat your mouth with care in the days after the procedure. This includes avoiding hot and cold foods, chewing carefully, and brushing gently!