Can You Brush A Temporary Filling

This blog post will address the topic, “can you brush a temporary filling” and cover topics like what is a dental filling, how is a dental filling done, types of dental filling materials, temporary fillings, when do I need a temporary filling and things to care about after getting a temporary filling.

Can You Brush A Temporary Filling?

You can brush a temporary filling but make sure to be gentle and slow. Vigorous brushing and using extra force unknowingly will cause the temporary filling to fall out.

Choice of soft bristled toothbrush is favoured for brushing the temporary filling without causing any damage to it or weakening it.

You must also consider the time while brushing and should not over-brush. The ideal recommended brushing time is 2 minutes and exceeding this may wear off your enamel and may also weaken your temporary filling.

What Is A Dental Filling?

Dental filling, as the name suggests, is the use of various materials to fill the hole in the teeth called cavities

Materials used to fill the cavities are referred to as Filling Materials and the process is known as Dental Filling.

How Is A Temporary Dental Filling Done?

  1. A local anesthetic is used in the first step to numb the soft tissues around the tooth that needs filling. This is essential to give painless dental care.
  1. Removal of the decayed area of the tooth that needs filling using rotary instruments, or a laser.
  1. Probing to confirm removal of all decayed parts of the tooth that needs filling.
  1. After complete removal of the decayed part, cavity preparation is done by cleaning the bacteria and other debris produced during decay removal.
  1. Liners are applied for nerve protection if the decay has advanced to the root and might irritate the nerve endings.
  1. If you have opted for a tooth colored composite material for filling, then your dentist will apply the composite in layers and use a special blue light called “curing” to harden the composite material applied.
  1. Finally, trimming and polishing is done and the filling process is complete.

Types Of Dental Filling Materials: Choose That Is Best For You

Variety of materials are used for filling. Some of them are listed below:

  • Gold fillings 
  • Porcelain 
  • Silver amalgam  
  • Tooth-colored materials called composite resin fillings
  • Glass Ionomer

Several factors that need consideration while choosing the best filling material for yourself are:

  • Where is the decay located?
  • How much decay has involved the tooth?
  • If the roots are involved?
  • Amount you can bear for a filling?
  • Recommendation of the dentist after full examination and X-Ray

After taking all the above points in consideration, you can choose the best filling material for yourself that will have maximum efficacy and minimum discomfort.

What Is A Temporary Filling And When Do I Need One?

Temporary filling, as the name indicates, is filling the cavity or hole in the tooth with a material that is temporary and will be replaced in future by a permanent material.

You might be asking yourself why not directly use a permanent filling material. 

Well! The answer to this is quite simple. You need a temporary filling if any of the given conditions coincide with your condition:

  • Your dentist has recommended multiple visits for the filling
  • If you have undergone a root canal and then getting a filling
  • In case a dental emergency is to be met first

However, once the condition is met or the time arrives, get your temporary filling replaced by a permanent one. 

Failing to do so will cause infections and destruction of the adjacent tooth.

How Long Should I Wait To Eat After Getting My Temporary Filling Done?

It is a common question in every patient’s mind and the answer is not that simple. It depends on the following factors:

Filling Type

Amalgam filling takes almost 24 hours to harden and therefore you can only start eating after 24 hours.

Composite hardens as soon as you leave the dental chair and therefore you can eat once the local anesthetic wears off.

Local anesthetic

Local anesthetic applied during the filling process makes the entire procedure pain free as it numbs the surrounding soft tissues.

The numbness takes almost 1 to 3 hours to go away and therefore you must eat after the numbness has subsided.

If you eat when your mouth is still numb, the risk of chewing and damaging your tongue, cheeks and lips increases.

Hence, it is advised to eat only after the numbness in your mouth disappears.

Discomfort After Filling

It is quite normal to face some discomfort like pain and pressure upon biting after filling or soreness in the gums.

Such discomfort may disturb your mood and hasten your desire to eat.

Over the counter pain killer and salt water rinse will help in comforting you.

Sensitivity After Filling

Eating or drinking too hot or cold might cause sensitivity and interrupt your happy eating hours. 

This is temporary and will subside in coming weeks after filling and till then it is advised to avoid too hot or cold food or drinks and also foods that are causing sensitivity.

Biting Difficulty After Filling

Sometimes, the trimming and polishing part is not done accurately, which leaves the filling too high, causing pain and pressure on biting.

This can be corrected by the dentist in no time and will help you to quickly come out of discomfort.

How To Eat After A Temporary Filling Without Damaging It?

After a temporary filling, you might feel some discomfort and need to follow the following as an eating guide:

  1. Chew on the opposite side of the new filling with minimum pressure
  1. Eating soft Foods as hard food puts a lot of pressure on the teeth surface causing discomfort to increase.
  1. Do not eat foods that are sticky in nature as it may stick to your new filling and dislodge it. This mostly happens with amalgam fillings.
  1. Eat slowly as this will put less pressure on the tooth and relieve the discomfort.
  1. Do not eat or drink anything that might trigger tooth sensitivity. Too hot, too cold or sugar rich foods and drinks must be kept away from your palate.

Can Flossing Damage A Temporary Filling?

Yes, if not done properly, flossing may damage and rip out a temporary filling.

Flossing must be done gently and vigorous action should be avoided.

Temporary fillings most commonly damage or fall out due to improper and non-gentle flossing.


This blog post addressed the topic, “can you brush a temporary filling”. We understood what a dental filling is, how a dental filling is done, types of dental filling materials and about temporary fillings.

The article addressed important temporary filling aftercare questions like how long should you wait before eating after a temporary filling, what kind of food you must eat and if you can floss after a temporary filling.


Can You Brush A Temporary Filling With An Electric Toothbrush?

You must not brush a temporary filling with an electric toothbrush as it may damage and weaken the temporary filling and even cause it to fall.

Ensure brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush using gentle force.

What Happens If Temporary Filling Falls?

Temporary filling is not there to remain for a long time and will fall eventually in a month or two.

If it falls, do not panic and visit your dentist to get a permanent filling done. If ignored, it may cause bacterial invasion leading to infection of the tooth and pain.

How Long Does A Temporary Filling Last For Root Canal?

After a root canal, your dentist will usually fill a temporary material that may last for six to eight weeks. 

As per advice of the dentist, the temporary filling has to be replaced by the permanent filling and a crown for overall protection of the tooth and to maintain a good oral health.

Can You Brush After A Root Canal?

It is very important for you to maintain good oral hygiene and continue brushing teeth two times in a day along with flossing and occasional mouthwash.

Failure to brush after root canal may again cause poor oral hygiene resulting in cavities and decay.

How Long Does It Take to Complete A Dental Filling?

It takes almost an hour or less to fill a single cavity.

In case of multiple cavities, the dentist might give you multiple appointments.

Can I ruin a filling?

Yes, you can damage and ruin a filling if you don’t take precautions as advised by your dentist.

Even if you take all necessary precautions, you might end up ruining your filling because they are not durable for more than 10-15 years in case of silver fillings and 5 years in case of composite fillings.

Why does my tooth with a temporary filling hurt?

It is normal for your tooth to hurt after temporary filling.

The nerves inside the tooth become inflamed after the temporary filling, causing sensitivity and pain.

The pain, sensitivity and pressure on biting will eventually subside in 1-2 weeks.

Other FAQs about Teeth Filling that you may be interested in.

Can You Brush After A Filling

Can I Eat Pizza After A Filling?

Can I Use Mouthwash After A Filling?


What Is a Filling? Colgate

Dental Health and Tooth Fillings. (2019)

Chewing Tips After A Filling. Colgate

Caring For Your Temporary Dental Filling

All About Temporary Fillings. (2020)

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