You probably just had dental fillings done on your teeth, or are about to have them done, and would like to know when you can eat after your appointment with your dentist. But before answering that question, it’s important to mention filling materials.

There are different kinds of materials that dentist commonly use to make dental fillings. The two main ones are called amalgam (grey fillings) and composite (white fillings).

Grey or silver fillings are made of an alloy of several metals, which include silver, copper, zinc, tin and mercury. This alloy, called amalgam, is used to fill a tooth. Amalgam does not become hard instantly after the procedure. It takes about 24 hours for a grey filling to harden completely. Dentists recommend waiting one hour after the procedure to eat anything, and to wait 24 hours before eating solid foods.

White fillings are made of composite, which is a white paste of resin that hardens instantly when exposed to blue light. After removing the cavity or the old filling from your tooth, your dentist uses composite to fill it, gives it a beautiful shape, and then exposes it to blue light to make the filling hard. Therefore, if you have just had a white filling, you can theoretically eat and drink right after the procedure.

After a filling appointment, your mouth is probably numb from local anaesthetics. If you eat something right after, make sure you don’t bite yourself or you may hurt your lip, your cheek or your tongue. The numbing lasts between one and several hours after your appointment with your dentist.

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be taken before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender may have been more used in the article, but without prejudice, to make reading easier.

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