What is a Temporary Tooth Filling?

If you have recently had a root canal or are in the process of waiting for a permanent filling or crown, it is possible your dentist has placed a temporary dental filling in your tooth. There are many other possible reasons why your dentist may have placed a temporary dental filling.

Regardless of your dentist’s reasoning, you may be searching for more information about how to care for your temporary filling and some guidance on what you can expect. Considering the filling is intended to be easily replaced, it is natural to be nervous about how to take care of your filling and make sure it lasts until you are ready for your more permanent filling. Here is some more information on what you can and cannot do when you have a temporary filling.

Caution with chewing

One thing your dentist may recommend is that whenever possible you should try to not chew on the side of your mouth that has the temporary filling, this will help you avoid it becoming loose. In most cases, temporary fillings are intended to last a few weeks, and it is necessary to do your best during this period to make sure to be cautious. It is natural with how many times a day you chew and eat that you may forget about your temporary filling. Most temporary fillings should be able to handle gentle chewing. There are foods that should be avoided in general until a temporary filling is replaced, these include any hard or sticky foods, like candy, nuts, and chewing gum.

Caution with brushing and flossing

Another daily occurrence that may pose some challenges to a newly placed temporary dental filling is during your daily brushing and flossing routine. Similar to chewing, most temporary fillings should be able to withstand your regular brushing and flossing. Even though it is possible to brush and floss safely without disrupting your temporary filling, you can take some precautions, including using a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush, or taking more care to brush gently.

Flossing is a bit of a different situation. Flossing around your temporary filling may create some challenges for you. The edge of your temporary filling may be near the edge of your tooth. If this is the case, floss may get caught near the edge of the filling and cause it to become loose. To be safe, you should take care to pull the floss between the teeth and out of the side, instead of pulling the floss up or down. This little change and attention to detail may help you prevent pulling out the temporary filling unintentionally.

In general, your dentist will attempt to minimize the amount of time you have a temporary filling in your mouth. Therefore, you should not expect your time with a temporary filling to last long. You should do your best during this time to be patient and exercise caution. If you take care in your chewing, brushing and flossing, you should have no problem maintaining your temporary filling until its times for your next visit and your permanent solution.

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