After getting a filling, your dentist may ask you to wait a few hours before you eat anything. This is because the swelling and discomfort around the restored tooth - coupled with the effect of the anesthetic agent - may make it difficult for you to chew properly.
“But, is it ok if I eat anything after getting a filling?” You might ask yourself! Although the question is quite straightforward, the answer is a bit more complicated. It mainly depends on how fast the filling hardens
How Long Does It Take For a Composite Filling to Harden?
A few years back when dentists treated tooth decay with amalgam silver fillings alone, they would ask their patients not to eat anything from the restored side of the mouth for the next 24 hours. The reason is that silver amalgam fillings require a long time - around a day - to harden completely.
If you eat or drink anything before that, there are chances that you chip or fracture the restoration - requiring a root canal if the tooth is not restored timely.
Today, as aesthetics have become more important, patients prefer white, composite fillings over the amalgam fillings. Not only are the white fillings aesthetically more pleasant, but they offer another advantage; they harden very quickly. Therefore, you don’t need to wait for a long time before eating anything after getting a tooth colored, composite filling.
Eating After a Composite Fillings
Since composite fillings harden very quickly, there is no harm if you resume eating and drinking immediately after getting one. However, the swelling and pain around the tooth may create difficulty in chewing your food optimally. Therefore, dentists normally advise patients to wait for at least two hours before they eat or drink anything after getting a composite dental filling.
Eating After a Silver Filling
Amalgam fillings take longer to set completely. That is why dentists ask their patients to avoid eating anything hard or sticky from the side where the filling has been placed. This is because application of pressure on the restored tooth before the filing has completely hardened, can lead to premature fracture or failure of the restoration.
Foods You Can Eat After a Cavity Filling
It is generally a good idea to take a soft diet, at least for the next 24-48 hours after getting a cavity filling. The goal is to prevent excessive pressure on the restored tooth by avoiding solid foods. While the restored tooth is healing, you may enjoy eating scrambled eggs, porridge, crackers or your favorite soups - anything that is soft and does not require chewing is ok.
Brushing Teeth After Filling
You might think that you should avoid brushing your teeth, at least for a day or two, after getting a filling. This is incorrect. In fact, it is absolutely fine - even recommended to brush your teeth normally after getting a tooth restored. However, you must take care not to use excessive force while brushing, as it can cause abrasion of your teeth as well as the filling - and may lead to tooth sensitivity and further cavities. Brushing your teeth is important to prevent cavities caused by eating sugary foods.
Can You Drink Coffee After Filling?
As a general rule, you should avoid hot or cold food and drinks immediately after getting a filling. This is because doing so may result in unwanted contraction or expansion of the tooth or the restoration - and may cause the restoration to get fractured or dislodged.
Therefore, you might have to control your craving for a coffee (or cold fizzy drinks!) for a few hours after coming back from the dentist.
Can You Smoke After a Filling?
While it is alright to smoke after a few hours of getting a filling, you should also consider the overall, long-term effect of smoking on your physical and dental health. Smoking not only discolors your teeth and causes cavities, but it has also been linked with higher incidence of oral cancer.
Can I Eat Pizza After a Filling?
It is best to avoid very hot or cold foods immediately after getting a filling. Dentists recommend patients who have had tooth filling to wait at least 2 hours before they resume eating anything. Even then, you should avoid very hard or sticky foods. Chewing a pizza requires greater effort by your teeth, especially when you’re eating chicken or beef pizza.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to wait at least a few hours before you satisfy your cravings for a pizza!
In a nutshell, if you have had a white tooth filling, it might be a good idea to wait at least 2-3 hours before eating or drinking anything. Afterwards, you can continue with your normal diet, while making sure to bite slowly and lightly for the next few days. More importantly, avoid sugary and sticky foods, brush your teeth regularly, and you will have a dental filling that lasts for a long time.
If you have any other concerns about your dental health then please request an appointment by calling 020 8731 9020 or book online here.
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