U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 35-year-old member asked:

how long do i have to wait to eat after a getting tooth filling?

6 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Debi Williams
Dentistry 26 years experience
Varies: Depends upon the duration of the anesthesia and the type of filling. Most dentists will allow you to eat soft foods right away if you eat on the opposite side of your mouth. Generally you will be able to eat anything within 2-4 hours.
Dr. Harvey Shiffman
Cosmetic Dentistry 37 years experience
Depends: Amalgam filling need time to harden, several hours. Composite (white) fillings are hardened with a light and you can eat as soon as the anesthetic wears off. In or office we use lasers for fillings so the patients don't need shots and they can eat right away.
Dr. Scott Greenhalgh
Dentistry 33 years experience
Filling type?: Don't chew as long as you are numb. White fillings are set right away, so there is no need to wait. Less commonly used any mire are silver fillings. If so, avoid chewing pressure until the next day.
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
No numbness: Wait until all the anesthesia has won off and do not eat hard foods o the tooth for 24 hrs.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Generally..: As far as the filling itself goes, you can eat right away with tooth colored composite fillings, but should wait at least one hour with amalgam (silver) fillings. It's always best you ask your own dentist as this can vary somewhat based upon the size and location of the filling. If you had local anesthesia, you should wait until all the numbness is gone.
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Bond strength takes 24 hrs to fully mature eating right away on bonded fillings is no a good idea.
Mar 30, 2013
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Provided original answer
Factors that affect polymerization of resin-based composite restorations include light intensity, exposure time, and wavelength as related to the type of photoinitiator incorporated in the resin-based composite material. The bottom line is that it takes about 17 J/cm2 to 20 J/cm2, which equates to 20 seconds with a 1,000-mW/cm2 light energy to obtain the optimum degree of polymerization of a composite. I have been practicing dentistry for over 40 years and in placing bonded composites in all those years, while fillings can chip or break (just as natural teeth) if forces on them are great enough, I can’t remember a single case of a composite de-bonding, and most of my fillings last 10-15 years. My patients are instructed that they can eat right after they leave my office, and have no problems. Perhaps one should follow Dr. Shvartsman’s advice and therefore wait 24 hours before eating.
Mar 30, 2013
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Provided original answer
I am always willing to learn from others, never want to give misinformation, and willing to admit my mistakes. I decided to call the manufacturer of the bonding agent and composite that I have been using. They are the source for the most accurate information of their own products. According to the manufacture: "After 10-20 seconds of curing, a patient can eat right away. While it is true that up to 1% of the monomers may take up to 24 hours to fully polymerize, it is clinically insignificant and has no relationship on the strength of the composite nor its ability to withstand biting pressures. The 99% that is polymerized immediately after the cure is all that is necessary for maximum strength and therefore dentists can tell their patients to eat right away. This is also true with all comparable bonding agents and composites."
Apr 1, 2013
Dr. John Thaler
Prosthodontics 41 years experience
Depends: Two things to consider: 1. Are you still numb from the anesthesia ?, 2. Is it a tooth colored filling or an amalgam (silver colored) filling. Obviously, you want the numbness to be gone before eating, so you don't chew yourself instead of / in addition to your food. If the filling is amalgam. You should wait at least a few hours, and no hard chewing for 24 hours. If unsure, ask your dentist.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
membership

Similar questions

A member asked:

The gums above my two front teeth are swollen and I need them to go back to normal within 72 hours what do I do?

6 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jake Richards
Dentistry 12 years experience
Brush, rinse, floss: Brush and keep them clean, floss them gently and try rinsing with warm salt water in that area specifically. Rinse for a minute or so or as long as you can. This should help it go away. If the swelling is not going away you need to see your dentist to have it checked out. Good luck.
A 41-year-old member asked:

How long does it take for a dry socket post wisdom tooth removal to close?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jake Richards
Dentistry 12 years experience
Totally Close?: Could take a month or more to fully close but to have the pain go away could be from 4-14 days +/-. It really depends on the anatomy of the area after the surgery.
A 40-year-old member asked:

Is using a toothpick bad for my teeth?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Simon Rosenberg
Dentistry 46 years experience
Depends: Toothpicks can be a valuable aid in removing plaque from teeth surfaces. If not used carefully, parts can break off and lodge between teeth or form splinters that stick into the gums.Repeated use can cause undesired spacing due toa orthodontic forces placed on the teeth.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Can you lose your teeth because of aids?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Merrett
Dentistry 29 years experience
Losing teeth/AIDs: Treating people with HIV and aids has come along way. Anyone who has a compromised immune system can have challenges with keeping their teeth. It is very important to stay on top of your oral hygiene as your immune system may struggle to fight the bacteria in your mouth. Furthermore, some of the medications to treat hiv/aids may cause dry mouth, which can lead to rampant decay and tooth loss.
A 34-year-old member asked:

How many different types of teeth do we have?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Howard Banner
Dentistry 48 years experience
Four: Incisors, cuspids, bicuspids and molars.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
membership
Last updated Dec 13, 2020

People also asked

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$30 per visit with
membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.