If you have been lucky enough to have a tooth restoration completed with porcelain fillings, congratulations! Choosing this option when your dentist needs to treat tooth decay is a smart option for a number of reasons. Not only do these natural tooth-colored fillings seamlessly integrate with the look of your surrounding teeth, making it virtually impossible to detect that you have a filling in your mouth, but this restorative dental option offers a number of other benefits as well.
One major benefit of porcelain fillings is their strength. If properly cared for, your new filling can provide years and years of use, without the risk of tiny fissures and cracks that are more common in amalgam and that can result in further tooth decay. Adding to this benefit is the fact that the fillings maintain the strength and functionality of your existing tooth, keeping it in the best condition possible despite any prior decay.
In order to maintain the benefits afforded to you when you opt for porcelain fillings instead of more traditional options like amalgam, it’s important to know how to properly care for your newly filled teeth. There are actually no major differences in caring for your new fillings than there are for caring for your natural teeth, but there are a few points we would like to share with you.
Upon completion of your dental appointment in which your teeth have been filled, you will be able to walk out of the office ready to use your teeth as you naturally would. Your mouth may be still be a bit numb from any local anesthetic used during the procedure, so be sure to eat and drink with care during this time because you may be more prone to biting your lip or tongue or spilling any liquids from your mouth. Once the numbness has worn off however, your teeth should look and function as if they were completely your own.
Ongoing care is virtually identical to typical smart oral hygiene practices. You should brush your teeth at least twice daily, using a soft bristle toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. You should also floss between teeth daily. Brushing and flossing will not dislodge your new filling in any way, so be sure to maintain the same vigilance now in keeping teeth and gums healthy as you did prior to getting your porcelain fillings. It’s worth noting that whitening toothpastes can be a bit more abrasive than non-whitening toothpastes, but although the whitening agents may cause a bit of scratching on the exterior surface of the filling material, they are not abrasive enough to do any type of serious damage so they don’t need to be totally avoided.
One of the best ways to ensure that your new porcelain fillings last a long time is to avoid biting down on hard or sharp objects. This same advice goes for keeping your natural teeth free from chips and breakage. Do not chew on non-food objects such as pencils, chomp on ice or bite into food that is extremely hard. While your fillings are strong enough to withstand regular chewing and biting pressures, hard and sharp objects can damage the fillings as well as the natural structure of your teeth.
Of course, it’s important to stick to a regular schedule of dental visits for cleanings and check-ups to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This is good advice whether you have porcelain fillings or not and is the key to overall good oral health.
For more information about porcelain fillings or how to care for them, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.