Dental fillings are exactly what they sound like: materials used to help fill in cracks or cavities in a tooth. They help restore not only the shape and appearance of a normal tooth, but also help a weak tooth regain some of its functionality. Dental fillings are typically placed in teeth that have been extensively damaged due to decay or simply from being worn down from teeth grinding or chewing hard foods.
What is a Dental Filling Made Of?
Dental fillings can be made of a whole variety of different types of materials. Everything from gold and porcelain, to even plastic and resins can be used. Of course, some materials are more preferred than others depending on the situation.
For example, many patients like having porcelain fillings as the color matches that of regular teeth while being incredibly sturdy. However, materials like plastic and resins can be more cost affordable and may be opted for if there are numerous cavities that need to be filled.
If you’re unsure which material to choose, just let your dentist know and they will give their recommendations depending on your budget and personal preferences.
Can I Brush My Teeth After a Filling?
After a dental filling, it’s especially important to maintain proper oral hygiene and care. However, it’s also important to be careful as your teeth may still be sensitive after a filling and may require some time for the filling to properly set in.
This means brushing gently over the area with a filling so as to not damage the filling itself. It’s also important to continue to floss your teeth, use mouthwash as needed, rinse your mouth out with water after eating, and continue to follow up with your dentist for regularly scheduled appointments. And of course, if you notice increased sensitivity of your teeth, difficulty chewing even after days of having the filling placed, or any other concerns; it’s always important to call your dentist to have the issue checked.
How Long Does a Dental Filling Last?
Depending on the material used, as well as how often proper hygiene practices are followed, most dent6al fillings can last as long as 10 years.
However, there are a number of things that could potentially reduce this time. For starters, simply not taking care of your teeth can lead to fillings needing to be replaced sooner. Simple things like neglecting to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride fortified toothpaste, forgetting to floss daily, and neglecting to attend regular dental checkups are all things can negatively impact your fillings.
Chewing hard or crunchy foods like candies can also damage or crack fillings, as well as consuming overly acidic foods or foods that are extremely hot or cold.
Lastly, teeth grinding especially while asleep can also impact not only fillings, but also damage normal teeth. If you experience nocturnal teeth grinding, it’s important to talk with a dental professional about the options available to help protect both your fillings and your teeth. For more information about dental fillings please contact our dentists in Wilmington MA.