If you have damaged or decayed teeth, dental fillings can help in restoring the form and function of the tooth. Getting a filling is a simple process but you must take care of the fillings so that you can extend their life. It is important to maintain regular dental hygiene so that you can minimize the risk of further cavities and also prevent damage to the current fillings. Let’s explore some tips by the pediatric dentist in 29210 on how to take care of the fillings.
During the filling procedure, the dentist will numb the area of your mouth where the filling needs to be inserted. It might take some hours to regain the sensation, so be careful while clenching, grinding, or tongue probing. Avoid biting or chewing so that you don’t damage the fillings. The filling might take some time to set depending on the material used. Ask your dentist for how long you need to avoid biting and chewing.
According to a pediatric dentist in Columbia, SC, try to eat from the other side of the mouth for the first day and try to start having softer foods from the side where you got fillings done. But make sure that you don’t bite directly from the filled surface as it might feel tender if you do so. You can have soup, smoothies, eggs, pasta, and noodles. It is said that for the first few hours, you must only drink water and avoid any food or beverages.
Hot and cold foods can cause sensitivity around the fillings and can result in shooting pain. If you try to be careful, it will subside in some time. Also, hot and cold beverages can disrupt the bond of fillings. Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth directly and the bonding process continues for 24 hours. Extremely hot or cold food/beverages can also make the filing expand and contract, especially the metal fillings. This will affect the shape and strength of the filling.
It is important to avoid foods that are hard, chewy, and sticky for a few days after getting the filling. Raw vegetables, candies, and granola bars can cause issues such as pulling out the fillings. Sticky foods can adhere to the filled tooth surfaces for a long time and make them vulnerable to cavities. Food stuck in between the teeth can weaken a filling and put you at a higher risk of cavities. Also, after every snack or meal, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash.
The pediatric dentist near you says that you need to be very careful and as gentle as possible while brushing near the site of filling. You can brush normally around the rest of your teeth. The same applies to floss; you can floss normally around other teeth but be careful to not irritate the site of filling till the time it heals.
While smoking and alcohol, consumption can affect the speed at which your fillings heal, quitting them is good for your oral as well as overall health. We don’t expect you to suddenly quit them one day but you can do it gradually over time.
You can take OTC pain medicines prescribed by the dentist. Try to take them before the effect of anesthesia wears off so that you can completely avoid feeling any pain. You can continue the medication for a few days as it will help in managing swelling and pain. Sensitivity will subside within a week. You can ask your dentist for how long you need to take the medications.
If the fillings get loose or any large part of the filling falls off, it is time to connect with your dentist.
These tips are for permanent fillings but if you have received temporary fillings, you need to be extra careful. Also, in case of sensitivity in the restored tooth, cracks in the filing chipped fillings, or discolored fillings, you need to visit the dentist as early as possible.