3 Things You Need to Know About Temporary Filling Aftercare
You’ve doubtlessly heard of a filling before as a tool your dentist uses to repair a small cavity in your tooth and prevent further decay. A temporary dental filling is a lesser well-known option that your dentist also has at their disposal. While there are a number of reasons why a dentist might place a temporary dental filling on your tooth. Immediately after a root canal or while you’re waiting for a crown to be designed are two of the most common though.
Care of Your Temporary Filling
As you might expect, the word “temporary” is key here. If you’re thinking that your temporary dental filling might come out more easily than a permanent one, you’d be on the right track. In order for this temporary filling to last the length of time your dentist intended it to, you’ll need to give it special care. The guidelines below can help you recover more quickly from the procedure and increase its durability until you visit the dentist again.
1. Beware of Unusual Sensations
As the anesthesia wears off from the filling, be careful to not bite or manipulate that area of your mouth. It’s likely to be numb, making it easy for you to accidentally hurt the side of your mouth or tongue.
When the anesthesia begins to wear off, you might feel an uncomfortable tingling sensation. It will subside as the medication continues to work its way out of your body.
Be careful, too, if you try to drink any hot liquids. You won’t be able to feel how hot the beverage is and could burn your mouth.
2. Use Caution When Chewing
While your dentist will give you instructions that are specific to your particular filing, the following are some generalizations you can keep in mind as well.
Try to chew only on the side of your mouth that doesn’t have the temporary filling. Of course, this might not be easy to remember. You could find yourself forgetting and chewing on that side after all. Careful and gentle chewing will likely be fine.
In some cases, your dentist might tell you to avoid chewing using the side of your mouth for 24 hours after you have a silver filling. For white fillings, you can chew as soon as the numbness wears off.
Try to eat only soft foods If you have fillings on both sides of your mouth. In general, steer clear of foods that are hard and crunchy like nuts. Toffee and chewing gum should also be avoided if possible.
3. Use Care When Brushing and Flossing
Another particular area of concern when you have a temporary filling is how to properly care for it. Rest assured that caring for your filling is much like brushing and flossing your other teeth. Choose a toothbrush that has soft or extra-soft bristles. Using a gentle touch, thoroughly clean your teeth, including the one with the filling.
Flossing with a temporary filling can be a bit tricky though. A filling that extends near the edge of your tooth needs to be treated with care when you floss. Rather than pulling the floss up in between your teeth when you’re ready to move on to the next one, gently pull it out the side of the tooth instead. This eliminates the possibility of the floss catching on the edge of the filling and pulling it out of your mouth.
Consult With a Dentist Before Your Procedure
With a few extra precautions and minor modifications, you can ensure that your temporary filling stays in place as your dentist intended. At Briglia Dental Group, we strive to take the mystery, fear and discomfort out of caring for your teeth. For more than 30 years, Dr. Ron Briglia and his team have dedicated themselves to providing patients in West Chester and surrounding areas with the high-quality services they need so they can experience the smile they want. Contact our office today at 610-692-4440 for more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Briglia.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.