Can You Eat After a Filling? How Long to Wait and What to Eat

You should have heard severally that you ought not to chew foods in the area of your dental filling for the first 24 hours or even longer after repairing a cavity. However, your dentist is required to give you some instructions as regards when to eat and the things to eat after filling your cavity.

Different filling types can affect the wait time. Continue reading to get the best eating tips after your tooth filling.

The fillings that may affect your wait time

The wait time depends on the type of filling you got. There are two types of filling:

  • Amalgam (silver) filling: It takes this tooth filling about 24 hours to reach its maximum strength and completely harden. The dentist may recommend that you wait for at least twenty-four hours before using the filling area of the mouth to chew on anything.
  • Composite (tooth-coloured/white) filing: This filling hardens the moment the dentist immediately places a blue UV light on the tooth. With the composite filling, you can eat upon leaving the dentist’s office. However, the dentist may advise you to wait for a minimum of two hours before using the filling to chew on anything, especially if you are still numb.

Other Variables that can affect eating after a filling

Apart from the waiting time for the filling to perfectly set, other factors that can affect your eating post-filling are:

  • Local anaesthetic: The dentist may prescribe a local anaesthetic to you. This reduces the pain during the tooth filing procedure.

Chewing on foods before the numbing agent (local anaesthetic) wears off may result in accidentally biting of the lips, cheeks or tongue. The local anaesthetic wears off in about an hour or three.

  • Postoperative discomfort: After the tooth filling, you will experience certain discomfort that may affect your appetite and desire to eat. The dentist may advise you to get an over the counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen, to ease your pain.
  • Gum tissue discomfort: During the procedure, you may feel some pain or irritation in your gum tissue, resulting in soreness. This will affect the comfort level of your chewing on the side of the mouth for some days. You can wash your mouth with warm salt water, and this will help you feel better. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, dissolved in a cup of warm water).
  • Heightened sensitivity: The teeth may become sensitive to cold and heat for some days (1 week or 2) after dental filling.

The dentist may recommend that you do away with very cold or hot beverages and food. Contact your dentist if the sensitivity does not reduce in some weeks.

  • Different bite: There is a probability that your bite may not feel the same after the filling procedure. It will be as if the teeth do not function together again. Contact your dentist if the bite still feels different after a few days. He can adjust your filling so that the teeth will bite perfectly again.

Tips for eating after a filling

  • Chew and bite your food carefully: The jaws usually exert great pressure when chewing, so chewing hard on your food after a filling may result in severe pain. You should chew carefully on the other side of the tooth filling.
  • Avoid Hard foods
  • Avoid sticky foods
  • Take your time while eating
  • Do away with sugary foods
  • Chew with the mouth closed
  • Avoid very cold or hot beverages and food

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