Healing Smiles: Post-Op Instructions After Dental Fillings

When you visit Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for a dental filling operation, you take preventative steps to keep your teeth healthy and avoid further damage. To ensure a rapid recovery and the best possible results from your dental filling, it is vitally necessary that you follow these specific post-operative guidelines.

Immediate Aftercare

  • Numbness: Due to local anesthesia, you may experience numbness in the lips, teeth, and tongue for several hours following your procedure. Exercise caution to prevent biting your cheek or tongue when eating or drinking.
  • Chewing: Avoid chewing directly on the newly filled teeth until the numbness disappears entirely. One option is to eat immediately after the procedure, but waiting until the anesthesia dissipates is advisable.
  • Sensitivity: It’s common to experience sensitivity to hot, cold, and pressure after a dental filling. This sensitivity should decrease over a week or two. If sensitivity persists or worsens, please get in touch with our office.

Pain Management

  • Discomfort: Some discomfort around the injection site and the filled tooth is normal. To manage any pain, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, two over-the-counter pain medications, exactly as prescribed by the package instructions.

Oral Hygiene

  • Immediate Care: Continue your regular brushing and flossing routine, but be gentle around the new filling. Avoid pulling floss out too forcefully next to the filled tooth to prevent dislodging the filling.
  • Rinses: If recommended, use a saltwater rinse, combining a teaspoon of salt with an equal volume of hot water to alleviate discomfort and cleanse the mouth. Rinse gently to avoid disturbing the filling.

Eating and Drinking

  • Food and Beverages: If your mouth is numb, stick to soft foods to prevent biting your cheeks or tongue. Once the numbness has worn off, you can return to your regular diet.
  • Avoidance: If you’re experiencing sensitivity, avoid overly hot or cold foods and beverages in the first 24 hours. Also, stay away from tough or sticky foods to avoid putting too much pressure on the new filling.


  • Regular Activity: You can resume most daily activities immediately. However, if you’ve had a sedative, you should only go behind the wheel or operate heavy equipment once they feel better and have entirely worn off.

Follow-Up Care

  • Monitoring: Pay close attention to your bite and the feeling around the filled tooth. If the filling feels too high or you have persistent pain, contact our office. Adjustments might be necessary.
  • Professional Check-Ups: Continue with your regular dental check-ups and cleanings at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Regular visits allow us to monitor your fillings and overall oral health.

Protecting Your Dental Health

  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain a rigorous routine, including twice-daily brushing and flossing, to prevent further decay and support overall dental health.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Limit sugary foods and acidic drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum can help keep your mouth clean and reduce the risk of cavities.

We at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry are committed to providing you with the highest quality care. If you have any questions or concerns following your dental filling procedure, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to ensure your recovery is as comfortable and practical as possible.

Remember, the care you take of your dental fillings and your oral health significantly impacts their longevity and your overall dental well-being. We look forward to assisting you in maintaining a healthy, vibrant smile.