Eventually, you may need to get a dental filling for a cavity. Learning how to take care of your dental fillings and knowing what to expect can prevent problems down the road. The last thing you want is to damage your filling and have another cavity form around it. Whether you’ve recently gotten dental fillings at our Elkin dental practice or have existing fillings, we can teach you how to take care of them.
Our esteemed dentist, Dr. Nicole Maingault, will review how to take care of dental fillings and the differences between white fillings for teeth and silver fillings. She’ll also go over types of dental care that cover the costs of cavity treatments. Let’s get started!
Tips for Taking Care of Dental Fillings
Practicing good oral hygiene habits is the best way to care for any type of dental filling. A good way to start is by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, plus flossing at least once. But since you’ve already had a cavity or two filled, you might want to step up your routine with a mouthwash.
Using a standard mouthwash is fine. However, you can also try a mouthwash with fluoride to help remineralize and strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Incorporating additional fluoride can help prevent more cavities, especially in areas where you’ve had problems. These areas, including molars toward the back of your mouth, can be harder to reach with a standard toothbrush.
Using a fluoride mouthwash when you can’t brush can also remove food particles from in-between your teeth. Fluoride also helps fight the harmful effects of foods that contain sugars and acids. You’ll want to limit your intake of foods with high sugar content and acidic substances.
While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy an occasional piece of candy, you don’t want to fill your plates and cups with sweets. Aim for balanced meals full of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Foods like apples and carrots can also help keep your teeth clean. Other habits you might want to give up include drinking too much soda, coffee, and tea. Citrus juices like lemonade can also take their toll on your teeth’s enamel.
In addition to the tips above, be sure to see your Elkin dentist for regular exams and cleanings. During a routine dental exam, our team can inspect your dental fillings along with the rest of your teeth. We’ll check to make sure your fillings are in good shape and there isn’t any new decay near them. During a routine cleaning, we’ll also remove tartar and plaque buildup, which can lead to new cavities.
While tooth colored fillings and silver fillings are made of strong materials, hard objects like popcorn kernels and ice can damage them. Try to avoid chewing hard foods and objects, including ice cubes.
Do Types of Dental Fillings Impact Aftercare?
Although the aftercare for a white cavity filling and a silver filling is the same, there is some evidence silver fillings result in fewer additional cavities. The evidence also shows there isn’t a higher risk of fracture with either type of dental filling. This means you won’t necessarily break or damage tooth colored fillings easier than amalgam ones.
However, you may need to be more vigilant with your aftercare with composite fillings. Besides diligently brushing and flossing, be sure to raise any concerns about pain or discomfort with your dentist. Our Elkin dental practice can give you pointers on what warning signs of cavities to look for.
If you do develop secondary cavities around white fillings for teeth, you may need to have the filling replaced. The same applies if a filing becomes cracked or loose. We can provide replacement tooth colored fillings at our Elkin, NC office or recommend solutions like inlays and crowns.
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Eat After Dental Fillings?
Our Elkin dentist hears the question “how long do you have to wait to eat after dental fillings” often. She recommends waiting until the local anesthesia wears off, which usually only takes a few hours. However, you might experience sensitivity in the tooth and general area.
For this reason, Dr. Manigault recommends avoiding exposing your mouth to cold and hot drinks for a while. You’ll want to definitely avoid that cup of coffee and ice water if your mouth is still numb from the anesthesia. She also wants you to know you can experience increased sensitivity in the area for a few weeks after you get dental fillings.
As a precaution, you may want to stick to soft foods at moderate temperatures. If you continue to notice pain and sensitivity after a couple of weeks, be sure to notify your dentist. All types of dental fillings should stay in place. Persistent pain and sensitivity could be a sign your dentist needs to examine the area for potential complications, such as an infection.
Types of Dental Care That Cover the Cost of Fillings
If you’re worried about covering the cost of dental fillings, you should know you have options besides insurance. Naturally, dental insurance plans will help cover a portion of the costs. Your out-of-pocket expenses will depend on your plan and the coverages you have. Our Elkin dentist recommends checking with your plan first, but our team will inform you of your financial responsibility before the procedure.
For patients without insurance, our practice offers the dental savings plan. This plan provides low-cost options for routine preventative care in addition to discounts on treatments like dental fillings. The next time you visit our dentist in Elkin, NC we will be happy to review the plan with you.
Dental Fillings in Elkin, NC
Chances are you’ve already had a cavity, which is typically a small area of tooth decay. Your dentist treats the area by removing the decayed portion of your tooth and using a dental filling to fill the space. Both silver fillings and white cavity fillings prevent the decay from spreading.
While it’s not uncommon to experience tooth decay, you may have questions for your Elkin dentist about how to take care of dental fillings. Our office can help address those concerns with routine cleanings, dental exams, and oral hygiene tips.
If you think you need a filling or are experiencing problems with an existing one, contact us right away. We can schedule an appointment to address your concerns and stop tooth decay in its tracks.