Fillings are wonderful. Get a cavity? No problem. Your dentist fills it up, gives you some sugar-free candy you aren’t allowed to bite into (if you’ve got a cool dentist!) and off you go. So, how soon can you eat regularly after a filling? Today we are going to give you the answer to that and give you some information on the different types of fillings so that you can know just what the dentist has just put in your mouth and how to care for it. Let’s talk about fillings and the rules that go with them!
So, can you eat right after a filling?
Well, usually, yes, but you shouldn’t eat anything rough to be on the safe side. The answer really depends on the type of filling that you’ve just get gotten, as some are ready when you leave and some need a little more time to strengthen. Here is what you need to know based on the filling type:
- Composite resin – Composite fillings are typically ready-to-go once you leave the office. That said, you should probably wait at least 30 minutes before eating and avoid extremely hot and cold beverages on the first day or two to be on the safe side. Composite resin can occasionally suffer from shrinkage so it’s best to give them time to settle in your tooth.
- Amalgam/Silver – Silver doesn’t get it’s full strength right away. You might be sensitive to hot and cold liquids for up to 2 weeks but don’t worry, that will pass. For the first 3 days you can eat, just stick to soft foods so that your new filling has time to strengthen up.
- Gold – Gold rules are the same as the ones with silver. Give the filling a little time to settle, sticking to soft foods for the first 2 to 3 days just to be on the safe side.
- Ceramics – As with composite resin, ceramics are ready to go once you leave the dentist’s office. In fact, your dentist will likely have you bite down on something in order to test the bite stability while you are in the office, so you can eat as soon as the numbness wears off (don’t eat when you are numb, you could bit out a chunk of your cheek!).
When it comes to post-filling directives there are a few which go with fillings. While you CAN eat right away with some of them, it really is better if you follow a few guidelines just to make sure that you don’t cause any damage while your filling is settling in. Some good rules to observe are as follows:
- Avoid sticky foods – While it is rare, sticky foods can sometimes dislodge a new filling (silver can be more prone to this than others). Avoiding sticky foods like taffy or gummy bears is a good idea for the first few days.
- No ice, nuts, or ‘jawbreakers’ – Very hard foods are a no-no right after your filling. Technically with a composite or ceramic filling they should be okay but it’s always better to give it a few days just to be on the safe side.
- Chew slowly and carefully with your mouth closed – Chewing slowly and carefully the first few days is a good idea and you should do it with your mouth closed, as the temperature variations when you are breathing can sometimes be unpleasant if you haven’t yet adjusted to the new filling.
- No sweets for a couple of days – You don’t have to follow this one but it’s a good idea. Give your filling a couple of days to adjust before beginning the regular barrage of plaque and bacteria that come with the guilty pleasures of sweet, sweet candy. Think of it as giving that tooth a day or two off before pressing it back into rigorous service.
“Metal will conduct hot or cold straight to those sensitive nerves.”
- Avoid hot and cold drinks – Especially with metal fillings, which can be sensitive for up to the first two weeks, abstaining from hot and cold beverages can help you to avoid and sharp and sudden pains when your teeth are still sensitive from the fillings. Metal will conduct hot or cold straight to those sensitive nerves so be sure to give them a little healing and adjustment time.
Is there anything else I can do to take care of my new filling?
Beyond these simple ground rules, the best thing that you can do is make sure that you are observing proper oral hygiene. When brushing, make sure that you are holding the brush at a 45 degree angle and brushing in small circles on all of your teeth. Be sure to floss at least once a day (twice is better, once in the morning and once before bed), and do it properly, by hooking your fingers into either end of the floss and looping over the tooth with a U-shape so that you can gently clean between each and every tooth. Be sure to schedule regular cleaning sessions with your dentist to get that extra-clean advantage and if you are lucky you might not need any more fillings for a long, long time. A little diligence can go a long way so don’t neglect your oral hygiene!
Some final words
In this article we’ve talked about the different types of fillings and whether or not it is a good idea to eat right after having one put in place. In general, you will want to stick to soft foods, but if you got a ceramic or a composite resin filling then the odds are you can eat straight out of the dentist’s office (but don’t eat while you are still numb, of course!). Be sure to avoid sticky foods and hot and cold beverages for best results and you’ll adjust to that new filling in no time flat!