After receiving a restoration on one or more of your teeth, tooth sensitivity and pain can persist for hours or even days after you leave the dentist's office. This can make eating and drinking an uncomfortable affair.
Luckily, with some common sense, accepting advice and avoiding foods that can cause problems after restorations, you can greatly reduce discomfort:
According to dental restoration materials chew slowly and bite down lightly: biting puts enormous pressure on the teeth, and this can make it very painful to bite after receiving a restoration. When chewing your food, take your time; this will prevent your teeth from making forceful contact. If possible, chew on the opposite side of the mouth where the restoration is.
Keep your mouth closed when chewing: For some people, even the cold can cause tooth pain. Consequently, in addition to being very good manners, keeping your mouth closed when chewing will decrease the chance that cold air will enter your mouth and cause pain.
Skip Sticky Foods - Some restorations, particularly amalgams, take time to harden after leaving the dentist's office. Eating sticky or gummy foods can, though in rare cases, displace restoration, so it's best to avoid these foods any time soon.
Avoid very hot or very cold drinks: moderate temperatures are less likely to cause pain in sensitive teeth.
Forget about sweets: Sugary foods and carbonated drinks trigger sensitivity in some and can promote bacterial growth around the edges, or even under a restoration.
Do not chew nuts, candy or ice: In addition to causing excessive pressure on the teeth while they are still recovering, biting on hard food can displace the restoration that has not yet been set properly. This is especially important for amalgam restorations, as it takes longer to harden than resin (tooth-colored) restorations.
Always follow your dentist's advice on chewing tips, foods to avoid after the procedure, and how long to wait to eat solid foods after receiving restorative materials, such as amalgam.
If teeth remain sensitive for several weeks after restoration, or if pain increases rather than decreases over time, see your dentist to explore causes and possible solutions. Sometimes a minor, painless adjustment, such as removing an area that is raised, is all that is needed to relieve pain. In other cases, sensitivity could be a sign of a more serious problem. Learn more about dental fillings in Colgate's Oral Care resources.