A tooth filling or restorative filling is a common procedure in dentistry. After you receive filling in your teeth, you may feel sensitivity and soreness for a few days which can interfere between your regular eating habits. (1)

Sometimes the filling dislodges or fractures while chewing or grinding. It becomes essential that you know what to eat and correct chewing procedure after a tooth filling to prevent displacement of restoration (filling) and any other type of discomfort. (2)

Usually, you have to be extra careful during the first two to three weeks after dental filling. Avoid eating foods that are hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky. Also, avoid too much hot or cold food.

You have to bite gently and chew slowly. Try to eat with your mouth closed.

Sensitivity after a restorative filling

It is common to experience sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages for up to few weeks after a dental filling. You may also experience increased sensitivity from the biting pressure on the new dental filling, typically if the dental filling is for a deep cavity.

While chewing, the restoration puts pressure of dentine and pulp resulting in the sensation of pain and sensitivity. To avoid sensitive teeth after a filling, avoid eating too hot or cold food.

You can also try using toothpaste exclusively prepared for sensitive teeth.

Dislodging of filling

Sometimes the restorative filling comes out or breaks due to various reasons like excessive grinding or chewing, tooth decay underneath your filling or change in diet or medication.

Heavy chewing pressure can weaken the silver or white restorative material over time leading to fracture of filling.

Some people have a grinding or clenching habit during sleep or awake that can lead to displacement and breakage of the filling material.

To increase the longevity of restorative filling on your teeth, avoid heavy chewing or grinding. (3)

Tips for chewing after a tooth filling

Your dentist may give you post-operative instructions after the treatment. Following these instructions can help you to deal with the sensitivity and soreness that you may experience after receiving the restorative filling.

These instructions will also prevent dislodging of the restoration because of excessive chewing pressure. Here are some eating and chewing tips you can follow to avoid any discomfort or troubles after the filling –

Bite gently and chew slowly

Biting hard can put extensive pressure on your teeth which can cause soreness and pain to your teeth with filling. Chewing or biting with excessive pressure can also lead to fracture of the restorative filling.

Slow down your jaw moments and chew your food gently, avoiding biting with high pressure to prevent your upper and lower teeth from painfully contacting.

Chew with your mouth closed

Some people may experience sensitivity even with the cold air after getting a dental filling. Chewing with your mouth closed is considered a good habit.

It can also prevent cold air from entering your mouth while eating, reducing the chance of experiencing sensitivity due to cold air.

Eat soft food

Consume soft food until the filling material is adequately set and prevent the filling from breakage.  You can eat food items like soup with no substance, mashed potatoes, plain Jell-O, pudding, milkshake, fruit juices or macaroni.

Avoid hard and crunchy food

Avoid any hard and crunchy foods after a dental filling for up to two to three weeks. Chewing hard foods can displace a fresh filling that hasn’t yet properly harden, especially in case of silver or amalgam fillings, as they take longer to set than composite fillings.

Avoid too hot or cold drinks or food items

Extreme temperatures can trigger sensitivity in the tooth which has received the restorative filling. Try to chew your food from the other side of your mouth. The sensitivity goes away after two weeks, and if it persists, then visit your dentist for a checkup.

Restrain yourself from sweets or sugary food

Some people develop sensitivity with Sugary foods and soft drinks. Sweets and sugary food can also promote bacterial growth around the edges or under, the new filling and cause secondary caries.

Avoid sticky foods

Some types of filling material do not set quickly like amalgam restoration and take some time to set. Eating sticky or chewy food immediately after the placement of filling can dislodge the new filling, so it’s best to avoid sticky food in the short-term.

Conclusion

A dental filling is one of the most common dental procedure to get rid of caries and the cavity pain. Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food items after dental filling is common. The sensitivity and pain go away within three weeks. But the pain or sensitivity remain even after a few weeks of tooth filling, then consult your dentist.

Correct chewing and biting techniques help to prevent the dislodging of the restorative filling and increase the longevity of the restoration. Avoid hard food that can fracture or displace the filling.

Do not forget to brush and floss regularly and eat healthy teeth diet to avoid any further dental caries.

Be careful in the first 2-3 weeks after dental filling. Avoid eating foods that are hard, crunchy, & sticky. Bite gently & chew slowly.