Sound familiar? After a filling, you have a numb face, a buzzing in your ears, and a bit dizzy, listening to the dentist’s advice. Later, you don’t remember. Then comes the panic: “What did the doctor say? When can I eat? What is it….?” Don’t worry! In the article below, I’ve put together everything from how to eat and how to brush your teeth to how pain occurs after a filling. So you’ll know what to look out for and when you might need to go back to the dentist. And read on for more information on how to thoroughly clean a cavity!
On the way home, we’re basking in a happy buzz, finally over the dental treatment. There’s no pain, our lips are tingling strangely, and they seem to itch a little, but not in the usual way, never mind, that’s enough. We might even remember something about eating and brushing tips we’ve heard recently until we get to the front door, and then at home, we get the usual question, “What did the doctor say about when I can eat?”
When can I eat after a normal, aesthetic light bonding filling?
The simple answer is: when the anaesthetic has worn off completely. This usually varies between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the type and how many millilitres of anaesthetic solution you have had. The filling is ready for the surgery, we don’t have to wait for it to set. You shouldn’t eat because you can bite your lips, cheeks, tongue or chew your food while anaesthetised. Caution! Amalgam fillings are not like this! For those who get amalgam fillings – not here, but elsewhere – the process of the filling hardening is longer, so don’t bite it for the first few hours!
For lower teeth, take the instructions even more seriously!
For lower anaesthesia, it is especially important not to eat while your lips and tongue are numb! It is very easy to bite the tongue, as you cannot feel that it is stuck between the teeth. This can cause serious pain and bleed, so don’t push yourself too far.
When can you eat if you have had an indirect dental filling (inlay, onlay) fitted by your dentist
When ceramic or plastic, i.e. aesthetic inlays, are bonded, the chemical bonding is completed in the surgery, the restoration is finished and you only have to wait for the anaesthesia to wear off. It is possible that no anaesthesia was given at the time of bonding, in which case you can eat immediately after leaving the practice. When bonding a gold inlay, a different type of adhesive with a longer curing time must be used. Thus, with this type, do not bite the filling for 2-3 hours.
Could the filling be high?
Normally, the filling will feel as if nothing has happened. Comfortable, non-sensitive, and perfect to use. In some cases, everything may be essentially fine, but the tooth may be sensitive to a bite. If you observe it, you may find that the filling may be too high. With gold fillings, the height usually snaps in within a couple of hours, so there’s nothing really to do. However, the surface of aesthetic fillings is harder. So if you feel the filling is too high, ask your dentist to shape the surface a little more.
When and in which cases should I have a check-up?
Normally, if the tooth does not hurt and there are no complaints, a dental check-up is scheduled every six months. For minor sensitivity, we recommend a few days’ patience, in many cases, minor complaints will resolve quickly. Tooth drilling is a trauma for the tooth, it may take some time for it to fully settle. However, for more severe pain, do not wait too long. Even if it is better to see a dentist, if there is no serious problem, at least you can relax. However, severe pain may indicate that the filling came too late, that the filling is no longer sufficient to treat deep caries, and that a root canal may be necessary.
How do I care for my teeth after a filling?
A filled tooth, no matter how perfect the filling, is not the same as a healthy tooth. The most dangerous part of a filling is the edge of the filling where it comes into contact with the tooth. So thorough cleaning is very important. For a tooth that is still intact, to prevent cavities, and for a filled tooth, to prevent re-cavities. If you want to make sure that you don’t have to go to the dentist again for a long time with a filling and a saved tooth, it’s best to buy an interdental toothbrush and dental floss as well as a toothbrush. With these two handy tools, you can clean not only the surface of the teeth but also the interdental space, so that the edges of the fillings are clean.
The last question is the one that comes up most often after a filling: Can I brush my teeth tonight?
Not only can you, but you should. Gently, carefully, but even more thoroughly than before. Prevention is always much better than chasing after the problem. Regular and thorough brushing, dental care and regular professional teeth cleaning treatments can help to prevent cavities. Although many people think otherwise, tooth decay is not primarily a matter of genetics, but habits.
And that’s good news! Because while we can’t change our genetics, we can change our habits. The decision to take responsibility for ourselves is in our hands alone. Let’s leave our ancestors alone and start brushing our teeth every morning and evening!