How to look after a temporary dental filling

If your dentist has just given you a temporary dental filling, then you might be wondering how to take care of it. Don’t worry – we have all the information you need! In this post, we’ll discuss what a temporary filling is and how you can take care of yours until your next dental visit.

What is temporary filling?

A temporary filling is a type of filling that’s used while you wait until your tooth can be permanently fixed. The reason dentists use temporary fillings is to protect your tooth until it can be repaired permanently. A temporary filling can alleviate pain and can let you get on with your life while you wait for a permanent filling.

When would I need a temporary filling?

Specific reasons you might receive temporary filling are:

  • An emergency.
  • You need a permanent filling but the dentist wants to first evaluate your teeth further.
  • The dentist can’t give you a permanent filling at this instant.
  • You’re waiting for a special filling to be made, such as a gold filling.
  • You’ve received root canal treatment but you’re still waiting for the definitive restoration.

How long does a temporary filling last?

While permanent fillings are designed to last for decades, temporary fillings are only made to last for a few weeks. For that reason, it’s important to return to your dentist when she tells you to so she can finish the treatment. It’s also important to take care of temporary fillings so they don’t fall out temporarily.

How do I take care of a temporary filling?

Temporary fillings aren’t like permanent fillings. They’re not designed to stay in your mouth for long periods of time, and for this reason, temporary fillings sometimes fall out. But don’t worry – follow our advice below and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Chew carefully. Try not to chew with the side of your mouth that contains the filling. If you do have to chew on that side of your mouth, then make sure you only chew gently.
  • Watch what you eat. There are certain foods you should avoid when you have a temporary filling. These include hard foods like nuts and chewy foods like toffee. The best foods to eat are soft foods like soup and mashed potatoes.
  • Brush your teeth gently. Be careful when you brush your teeth because you could accidentally dislodge the filling. Remember to brush gently and consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Be careful when flossing. Flossing is tricky when you have a temporary filling, especially if the filling reaches the edge of your tooth. Some dentists will even recommend you to avoid flossing the tooth entirely. If you do floss, take special care when removing the floss from between your teeth. Instead of putting it straight out, pull it out from the side to stop the floss from catching on the temporary filling.


With proper care, your temporary filling should last until your next dental visit. If you’d like to talk to us about fillings or anything else, then make an appointment with one of our friendly dentists.


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