How To Care For A New Dental Filling

Dental fillings are essentially used to restore the structure and aesthetics of a tooth damaged by decay or trauma, giving you a bright smile and better tooth function for biting and chewing. However, fillings are delicate and need to be taken care of to prevent cracking or chipping. Here is a look at tips you can use to ensure your new dental filling serves you for a long time and that you experience minimal discomfort when chewing or drinking. 

Take caution when chewing

Tooth sensitivity and soreness around the filled tooth can be experienced after getting your filling inserted. To avoid discomfort, do not chew anything for a couple of hours until the anesthesia wears off.  

In the days following the filling procedure, chew slowly and bite lightly so as to avoid putting excessive force on your teeth, which could crack and dislodge the filling before it sets properly. Your dentist will usually advise you on the setting time for your new filling depending on the material used. Typically, amalgam and composite fillings will take a bit longer to set compared to ceramic ones. 

If possible, avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the filling was inserted and take caution not to bite all the way through to prevent your teeth from making forceful contact. In addition, avoid chewing hard foods such as nuts and ice, as they can dislodge a filing before it has had time to set. You should also avoid eating sugary foods, as they can trigger sensitivity around a freshly filled tooth or cause tooth decay under the filling.

Finally, be sure to keep your mouth closed when chewing to keep out cold air that could trigger sensitivity under the new filling. 

Follow up with your dentist

It is important that you visit your dentist within a few days of getting your dental filling so as to confirm that the material used has set properly. If the initial filling doesn't set or is unstable, the dentist may recommend a different filling material that may be more suited to your dental needs. Your dentist may also give you pain medication to ease any post-operative swelling or sensitivity and advise you on foods to avoid so as to prevent damage to your new filling. 

Should you experience any sharp pain in your filled tooth, contact your dentist immediately. You should also make a dental appointment if you experience too much sensitivity when chewing or notice that the filling is cracked or chipped. 

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