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.
Category: questions and answers
- Are dental x-rays safe for pregnant women?
- Are teeth alive?
- At what age do children’s teeth start coming out?
- Can an abscess cause a tooth to break apart?
- Can dry mouth be harmful?
- Can heart disease be related to dental care?
- Can teeth grinding affect children?
- Can wisdom teeth move other teeth?
- Can you drink alcohol after tooth extraction?
- Do you have to remove retainers or orthodontic appliances when you eat?
- Does chewing gum after a meal help eliminating dental plaque?
- Does chewing gum eliminate bad breath?
- For which sports should you use a mouthguard?
- How can smokers take care of their oral health?
- How can you get rid of a tooth abscess?
- How can you get rid of an ulcer or a canker sore on your tongue?
- How can you prevent a tooth abscess?
- How can you reduce the effects of dry mouth?
- How can you tell if you have a tooth abscess?
- How can you tell that you are grinding your teeth?
- How can you tell that you have dry mouth?
- How can you treat a tooth abscess?
- How can you treat dry mouth?
- How can you treat teeth grinding?
- How does smoking affect oral health?
- How does smoking affect overall health?
- How is infective endocarditis related to oral health?
- How long does it bleed after wisdom teeth extraction?
- How long does the numbing last after a dentist appointment?
- How many teeth are there in the mouth?
- How soon after tooth extraction can you use a straw?
- How thin are dental veneers?
- Is a root canal painful?
- Is amalgam in teeth (grey fillings) bad for your health?
- Is it necessary to place a dental crown on a tooth that had a root canal?
- Is it normal for gums to bleed when you brush your teeth?
- Is it painful to place a dental implant in your mouth?
- Is smoking bad for your teeth?
- Is there a relationship between dental problems and overall health problems?
- Should people that had a heart attack take precautions when undergoing dental treatments?
- Should people that have a pacemaker take special precautions with their dental care?
- Should people that have had coronary artery bypass surgery take special precautions with their dental care?
- Should people that suffer from congestive heart failure take special precautions with their dental care?
- Should people with angina take precautions when undergoing dental treatments?
- Should people with high blood pressure take precautions when undergoing dental treatments?
- What are the advantages of silver fillings?
- What are the symptoms of having a tooth abscess?
- What can you eat after wisdom teeth extraction?
- What diseases might cause you to have dry mouth?
- What lasts longer, grey or white fillings?
- What may happen if you don’t treat a cavity?
- What might cause you to grind your teeth?
- What might happen if you don’t treat a tooth abscess?
- When can you eat and drink after a tooth filling?
- When can you play sports after wisdom teeth surgery?
- When can you smoke after a tooth extraction?
- When do dissolvable stitches fall out after wisdom teeth extraction?
- Where does a tooth go after extraction?
- Which is better retainers or braces?
- Why are wisdom teeth called “wisdom teeth”?
- Why is teeth-grinding bad for you?
- Why you should not smoke after tooth extraction?
- Will taking antibiotics make the colour of your teeth darker?
The fact that you feel the need to explain why you may have used masculine descriptive terms makes me weep for this world.
Joe, for example, sometimes I write “Call your dentist and ask him your question” instead of “Call your dentist and ask him or her your question”. I should write the “him or her” every time. But just in case I forgot, I wrote that remark on the bottom of the article.
Why not use third person pronouns – them and they instead of him/her?
It’s an idea. Thanks!
Yup – lol. Anyone who gets offended Bec he said him by a dentist instead of him or her or they, instead of being celebrated in today’s society, they should see a psychiatrist
I have the white fillings is there a list of what shouldn’t I eat?
You can eat anything with a white filling. You just need to wait after the dental appointment for the numbing effect to go away in order not to hurt yourself while you are chewing.
My tooth broke Saturday evening, had to wait till Wednesday to get it looked at and fixed, the dentist did a white filling, I still feel a little sore, and so scared to chew fully on it, in scared that it may pop off. How long does it feel sore for and is it safe to eat meets, chew gum? Everything I did before I had this filling?
White fillings sometimes make teeth sensitive to chewing and to hot and cold. But this is temporary and it last only a few weeks. White fillings are solid right away, they don’t become harder with time, so it is safe to eat anything, except if your dentist gave you restrictions.
You should have said, “I ‘composite’ fillings….” not ‘white’. But it’s ok. I know you used it without prejudice, to make reading easier. 🙂
You know me so well Kevin! 🙂
When you say you can eat 1 hour after the procedure (for an amalgam filling) but not solids until 24 hours after… What can I eat before 24 hours? Do you mean nothing hard to chew, or literally soup with no bread?
Yes, if you can avoid nuts, candy, hard bread, between 1 hour and 24 hours.
Thank you! I had the white filling and have been subjecting myself to starvation all this time before reading your article! My goodness. Thanks for the post!
No problem 🙂
Hello Dr. Anto Youssef.
I have the silver filling. Do I just need to wait for 24 hours before flossing and brushing normally?
No Michelle, just one hour.