In Oral Health

Everybody wants to learn how to take care of a tooth filling. There are times when you hear that a friend has broken or lost their tooth filling. Somehow it needs to be repaired or replaced, and you wonder how that is even possible. When it’s time to restore your smile with a tooth filling, your goal is to make sure your tooth filling does not need to be replaced or repaired. As you know, dental fillings are an effective treatment for someone experiencing a dental cavity.

What is a dental cavity?

A dental cavity is a decayed area that develops into tiny holes in your teeth. There are three types of cavities: smooth surface cavities, root cavities, and pit or fissure cavities.

A smooth cavity is found on the flat and smooth side of your teeth, while root cavities develop on the roots’ surface. A pit or fissure cavity is located on the chewing surface of your teeth. There are a few reasons cavities form, including improper cleaning, frequent snacking, and drinking sugary drinks. Frequent snacking and consuming sugary snacks increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to acid attacks on our tooth enamel. As a preventative measure, you will need a comprehensive oral exam every six months to evaluate your overall health, oral hygiene and assess your risk of tooth decay.

If a cavity has formed, then you will need a filling. First, let’s review the signs and symptoms of a cavity. According to the Mayo Clinic, when a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all. As the decay grows larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • All of a sudden, you have a toothache or pain that happens without any obvious reason
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Mild to sharp pain when chewing or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold
  • You spot visible holes or pits in your teeth
  • Discoulored spots on your teeth such as brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
  • Very noticeable pain when you bite down

What is a tooth filling?

To treat a cavity, our dental team will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area with a dental filling material. Your teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, or tooth coloured plastic or composite resin fillings.

How to make a cavity filling last

The first step is to have good oral hygiene and visit your dentist every six months. As a daily practice, you need to brush with fluoride toothpaste and make sure to floss. Many patients have also found success by using an antibacterial mouth wash at least once a day. You can again rinse your mouth out with water when you eat or drink sugary foods. With the filling in place and your smile restored, it is also a could idea to follow the following tips:

  • Choose a non-abrasive toothbrush to avoid damaging your restorations.
  • Do your best to remove plaque from your teeth.
  • Avoid very hot foods as they can disrupt the bond of the fillings.
  • Drink water instead of acidic drinks
  • Avoid biting on hard, chewy, or sticky foods for about two weeks.
  • Avoid chewing on ice. As a general rule, hot and cold foods make the filling material expand and contract.

Now you know how to take care of a tooth filling.

Learn more about how to prevent tooth decay and how to deal with tooth sensitivity after a cavity filling.

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