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If you’re in need of a dental filling in San Diego, California, our team is here to help. Preparing for the procedure in advance will help you feel more comfortable and confident. To help you plan for recovery process in advance, we’ve listed five basic steps you’ll need to follow to protect your new filling.

1. Know how long the filling takes to set: Composite fillings can take 24 hours or longer to set, and are especially vulnerable within that time frame. Please don’t poke the filling with your tongue or fingers during this time.

2. Chew carefully: To avoid biting your tongue or dislodging your filling, chew on the side of your mouth that isn’t numb until the anesthesia wears off. Children should be observed carefully while their mouths are numb because they may chew on their tongue or the inside of their cheeks. Composite fillings can be chewed on as soon as the anesthesia wears off.

3. Avoid hard, sticky foods: While the filling is still setting, we ask that you don’t eat food that could break it or get stuck in your tooth. Biting down too hard on a dental filling can cause it to crack.

4. Monitor tooth sensitivity: Your tooth (or teeth) may be sensitive after the procedure. Avoid hot or cold food during this time. If the sensitivity doesn’t fade over the next couple weeks, or grows worse, contact your dentist.

5. Keep your teeth clean: The best way to care for your new filling is to prevent further tooth decay. Brushing and flossing daily will prevent plaque buildup and keep the enamel strong, reducing the need for future dental fillings.

For more information on dental fillings, contact Mira Mesa Dental Care at 858-457-7747. Our dentist, Dr. Rossana T. Alfonso, provides white (composite) fillings to offer your tooth natural-looking results.