In a world where instant gratification becomes more abundant by the minute, it can be hard to slow down and take our time with things. From having any restaurant’s meal delivered to our doorstep, to sharing your engagement instantly with your friends and family on social media, it seems like patience is a virtue that serves fewer and fewer purposes in modern society. When it comes to your health, however, patience can be just what the doctor ordered. Depending on the situation, your dentist may want to act quickly to nip a problem in the bud or take a more nuanced approach to make sure he or she is getting it right. When it comes to a particularly tricky or emergency filling, your dentist may want to use a temporary filling while waiting for more information on how to best treat the situation. If you’ve had a temporary filling placed, caring for it while you wait for your next step is crucially important! As the name suggests, temporary fillings aren’t designed to last forever, and they can dislodge more readily than their permanent counterparts.
Chew with Caution
Because temporary fillings can feel like regular ones, it can be easy to forget that they’re even in your mouth. It’s important to be mindful of its existence while eating, however, as certain foods and actions can dislodge them. If possible, avoid chewing any food on the side of your mouth where the filling is located. Since you may have this filling in place for up to a few weeks, it’s understandable that this may not always be possible. In general, try to avoid foods that are particularly sticky, like gum and caramel, and solid, crunchy foods like nuts and hard candy that may cause the filling to come out.
Use a Tender Touch
Some people are worried about brushing their teeth after having a temporary filling placed because they think any action could challenge the integrity of the filling. However, it’s totally safe to brush your teeth normally with a temporary filling, as long as you’re using the soft or extra-soft bristled brush your dentist recommends, anyway! You may want to use a slightly lighter grip than you usually do, but definitely be thorough and keep brushing twice daily. Flossing, on the other hand, will require a bit more diligence and care. Instead of yanking the floss upwards when you’re done flossing between the filled tooth, try pulling it out sideways to avoid jolting actions that may impact the filling.
If your dentist has given you a temporary filling, he or she should work with you to figure out how to get your permanent replacement in as soon as possible, but each situation will vary. In the meantime, it never hurts to ask for any care recommendations that can be individualized to your situation to help prolong the life of your temporary filling!
If you have questions about your temporary filling, or to simply schedule your next routine appointment, give us a call at Meadows Dental Care in Palatine today!