Tooth Minute Tuesday

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What You Can Do After A Dental Filling

If you've started to develop a cavity, you may have to have your dentist place a dental filling. Our Medicine Hat dentists offer some advice about the procedure and what you should do afterward.

Eating carefully after a dental filling.

Depending on the type of filling that was placed, you may want to be cautious about what you eat immediately following the procedure. Thankfully, if you've received composite white fillings, they harden instantly under the blue light your dentist uses, so you can eat and drink immediately following the procedure.

Some options for foods to eat following a tooth filling include soup, scrambled eggs and crackers. Look for food that requires minimal chewing.

On the other hand, if there is pain and swelling, you'll likely want to wait until it subsides before attempting to eat.

Metal dental fillings take a bit of time to harden, so most dentists will recommend waiting at least 24 hours after receiving the dental filling to eat any 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 at least 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.

You should stay far away from foods that are high in acidity in order to lower the risk of infection.

Take over-the-counter painkillers if you have pain or 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.

Take over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help alleviate any pain or discomfort you might be experiencing following your dental filling appointment.

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 hesitate 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.

Contact your dentist if you develop a relentless toothache.

Though it's true that 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.

If you need to book a dental appointment or you need to have a dental filling placed, contact our Medicine Hat dentists today for more information.

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