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How Soon Can I Eat After Getting a Filling?

woman smiling with hands in front of her mouth
Author: cmcgovern Posted: August 4th, 2020 Category:

Curious about eating after getting a filling? Here’s everything you need to know about eating when caring for a dental filling. 

A filling is a common dental treatment that repairs and restores a missing part of the tooth. If you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decaying portion of the tooth and fill it with a filling material. This prevents the decay from spreading beyond the tooth enamel and reaching the softer inner part of the tooth. Fillings can also be used to fix cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down by excessive grinding.

The most popular types of dental fillings are metal amalgam and composite resin. Amalgam fillings are more durable and composite fillings are better suited for large cavities, but either type will save your teeth. 

Getting a filling is a quick procedure and you can go home immediately afterwards — but you might not be able to grab lunch right away. How soon can you eat after getting a filling? Here’s what you need to know. 

The Ins and Outs of Eating with a Filling 

If you have a composite filling, you’re in luck! You can eat or drink right after the procedure. A composite filling hardens immediately under UV light. Still, your dentist might recommend that you wait at least two hours before eating because your cheeks and gums might be a little numb from the anesthetic.

 If you have a metal amalgam filling, you’ll have to wait a little longer before eating — typically a full 24 hours. After that, your metal filling will completely harden and reach maximum strength. Your dentist will probably recommend you refrain from chewing on the side of your mouth where the filling is located for 24 hours.

No matter your filling type, you should avoid certain foods for a maximum of one week after you have a cavity filled. Stay away from anything sticky, crunchy, sugary, acidic, and very hot or cold. Instead, you can have soft healthy foods like bananas, a cool (not cold!) fruit smoothie, or lukewarm vegetable soup. These kinds of foods won’t trigger any teeth sensitivity issues, and you won’t risk damaging your new filling. Also, you should bite, chew, and eat slowly.   

Best Practice Tips for Filling Care

Dental fillings are designed to last for a long time, but they don’t last forever. You can boost their longevity by eating the right foods and practicing excellent filling care. Start with these tips: 

  1. Check Your Bite: Metal fillings might take a little longer to settle in, so you should check to make sure your bite is even. If the teeth you had filled feels more elevated than the rest of your teeth, contact your dentist so they can fix the placement.
  2. Pay Attention to Any Pain: After you get a filling, it’s normal to feel a little tooth sensitivity or mild pain near where you were injected with anesthetic. If you experience any pain for longer than a week, contact your dentist. 
  3. Keep Them Clean: Good dental hygiene will make your fillings last longer. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. You can also rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash to reduce oral bacteria.

Talk to the Dental Professionals

Visiting your dentist at least once a year is another essential part of proper filling care. If it’s time for a check-up, stop in to see us at Espire Dental. We’re committed to providing the highest quality general and specialty dental services and helping you exude confidence through a perfect smile. Contact us today for an appointment!