Have you heard that one must avoid chewing in the area of a dental filling for more than a day after having one’s teeth repaired? But, after filling a cavity, dentists usually give specific instructions for their patients to follow regarding when and what to eat. Some types of fillings can affect wait time. Below are some recommended tips for eating after a tooth filling. Let’s get into the topic; Can I eat after getting a filling?
Your waiting time may vary depending on what type of filling you’re getting.
- Amalgam (silver) filling. Your dentist will likely recommend waiting 24 hours before chewing on the side of your mouth where the filling is located. This type of filling takes approximately 24 hours to fully set and reach maximum strength.
- Composite (white/tooth colored) filling. A permanent filling is usually set within seconds of it being put in. You can usually carry on with your normal routine right after leaving the dentist. Although your dentist may advise you to wait for at least two hours before brushing over this fixture, otherwise it will wear away and break down quicker than if carefully maintained
While waiting for your filling to properly set, other things may affect eating post-filling including:
- Local anesthetic – Your dentist may administer a local anesthetic to reduce pain during the filling procedure. Don’t eat until the agent has worn off and you may accidentally bite your tongue, cheeks, or lips. It typically wears off in 1 to 3 hours.
- Postoperative discomfort – After a tooth filling, you may experience some discomfort that can affect your appetite and will likely lead to not wanting to eat. Your dentist may recommend an over-the-counter pain medication such as mefenamic. This is to decrease the pain and to make you more comfortable.
- Gum tissue discomfort – While undergoing a procedure, the oropharyngeal tissues near the tooth being filled may become irritated, which may lead to temporary discomfort. I suggest chewing on the unaffected side during this time. You can use warm salt water to clean your mouth and relieve gingival irritation (1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup of water).
- Heightened sensitivity – Teeth may be sensitive to cold or heat for a few days to a week after getting a filling. It is recommended that you avoid very hot or cold food and beverages if you notice increased tooth sensitivity. If the sensitivity continues to persist over a few weeks, make an appointment with your dentist.
- Different bite – Sometimes, your tooth filling may cause you to feel discomfort or even pain as if your teeth are not coming together correctly. If your bite feels off and you don’t get used to it in a few days, make sure you talk to your dentist. They can replace the filling so that your teeth are biting normally again.
It is common for people to experience mild discomfort following a filling procedure in the dentist’s office. Follow these tips to keep your mouth as comfortable as possible:
- Bite and chew carefully – When you bite into food, your jaw exerts a great amount of pressure. This can cause discomfort if the pressure is exerted on the side of your mouth that has a new dental filling. It is best to avoid biting completely through your food and to carefully chew on the opposite side to avoid pain.
- Avoid hard foods – Chewing hard foods such as hard candy and nuts can cause pain in the teeth. This is because too much pressure is being applied to them. Biting hard foods, like ice, can also injure a new silver filling that hasn’t had time to set.”
- Avoid sticky foods – Avoid eating sticky foods too soon. After a filling, this may cause your new filling to dislodge. Although this doesn’t happen often, however, this tends to happen more often with amalgam fillings than composite fillings
- Take your time – Eating slowly, in this way biting down too hard can be avoided; and chewing on the side of your mouth where your new filling is located. This will keep the filling from shifting around and causing pain anytime you bite down on that side.
- Chew with your mouth closed – If you’re sensitive to heat and cold, the cold air might trigger discomfort. One way to lower that chance is by keeping your mouth closed; so that there’s no gap for any wind from the outside to get in your mouth.
- Avoid sugary foods – Sugary foods and drinks can trigger sensitivity and cause bacteria to grow near your new filling.
- Avoid very hot and cold food and beverages – By eating foods or drinking drinks that have a moderate temperature; you have a greater chance of not triggering sensitivities.
Be sure to avoid hot or cold foods after getting a filling. Dentists strongly advised their patients who have had tooth fillings to wait a minimum of two hours; before they resume consuming any food or drink. Even so, you should avoid very hard or chewy foods.
The chewing process in eating pizza might take longer; This is especially true when it comes to pizza with chicken or beef topping. It might be a good idea to wait a few hours before you choose to go for that pizza.
You should either wait an hour before eating or drinking after a filling procedure to avoid; an unwanted tooth contraction or expansion. Alternatively, this can also result in a restoration fracture or dislodging. As a result, you might have to control your cravings for coffee (or cold fizzy drinks!); for a few hours after coming back from the dentist.
If you have had a white tooth filling; it might be a good idea to wait at least 2-3 hours before drinking, eating, or anything. Afterward, you can continue with your usual diet; while making sure to bite slowly and lightly for the next few days. It is also important to avoid; sugary and sticky foods, regularly brush your teeth; and you will have a dental filling that lasts for a long time.