Proper care can significantly increase the life of a dental filling. If you want to keep your smile strong and healthy, the tips below will help you do so. Read on to learn how to care for a dental filling.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are several types of dental fillings, including ceramic fillings, composite fillings, traditional metal fillings, gold fillings, and much more. Some options last longer than others, but they can all benefit from proper care. Talk to your dentist about how to care for your filling based on the material it’s made of and other oral care factors. Your dentist can provide personalized tips for you.
What to Do Immediately after You Get a Filling
For two or three days after you get your filling, you may need to take extra care steps. This ensures that the filling bonds properly to the tooth, and it reduces the pain you may experience along the way. Here are some after-care tips for dental fillings:
- Know how long it will take for your filling to set. It could take up to 48 hours, depending on the type of dental filling you received.
- Follow the after-care instructions provided by your dentist. This will give you the most accurate instructions based on your circumstances.
- Avoid food or drinks until the numbness wears off. This will make it difficult to control certain parts of your mouth.
- Avoid extremely hot and cold foods. The high or low temperatures could disrupt the bonding process. It is best to stick with room temperature or lukewarm foods until the filling is completely set.
- Chew away from the filling. Use the opposite side of your mouth to chew food.
- Avoid sticky foods or anything difficult to chew. This may cause unnecessary wear to the filling.
If you experience any pain after your dental filling, over-the-counter pain medication should be sufficient for treatment. If you are in severe pain, contact your dentist for a follow-up appointment.
General Care Tips for Dental Fillings
Once your dental filling has set, you can care for it much like your other teeth. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. Limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks you consume, as they can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay is the most common reason dental fillings have to be replaced because the enamel erodes away from the filling.
If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a protective mouth guard. This will protect your filling from the pressure, and it will safeguard your teeth as a whole.
See Your Dentist for Optimal Care
Regular dental appointments are a crucial element of dental filling care. You should get a professional teeth cleaning and oral exam every six months. This will get rid of plaque that brushing alone may miss. It also gives your dentist a chance to examine your filling and the tooth it supports. If there are any issues, your dentist can catch them at the first signs. He may recommend fluoride treatments or additional care steps to preserve the life of your filling.
If you need a new filling or a filling replacement, the team at Clinton Dental Center would be happy to assist you. We offer affordable family dentistry for all age groups. Our office is located at:
Clinton Dental Center
52892 Gratiot Ave. – Suite 4
Chesterfield, MI 48051
Give us a call at (586) 949-5363 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our dentistry services.