Procedures,  Q&A

How Long After a Filling Can You Drink Tea?

This article is a part of our Q&A series in which we give detailed answers to our readers' questions. Have a question? Don't hesitate and send it to us to get a detailed answer!

After getting a dental filling, there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth recovery and to avoid any complications. One such consideration is when it’s safe to consume certain foods and beverages, such as tea.

How Dental Fillings Work?

Dental fillings are a common dental procedure used to restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal function and shape. There are different types of dental fillings, including amalgam, composite, and porcelain. The type of filling and the condition of the tooth will affect post-procedure recommendations.

Immediate Post-Procedure Precautions

  1. Numbness: Your mouth will likely be numb for several hours after the procedure due to the local anesthesia used. While your mouth is numb, it’s best to avoid eating or drinking to prevent accidentally biting your tongue or cheeks or burning your mouth.
  2. Sensitivity: After getting a dental filling, it’s common to experience sensitivity in the filled tooth, especially to hot and cold temperatures. Drinking hot tea shortly after getting a filling can cause discomfort due to this sensitivity.
  3. Waiting Period for Consuming Tea

    The general recommendation is to wait until the numbness in your mouth wears off before consuming any food or beverages. This usually takes about 2-3 hours. However, because teeth can be sensitive to temperature after getting a filling, it’s advisable to wait a bit longer before drinking hot tea.
    For composite fillings, which are tooth-colored fillings, you can usually eat and drink as soon as the numbness wears off. However, due to temperature sensitivity, it might be better to wait at least 3-4 hours before drinking hot tea.
    For amalgam fillings, which are silver fillings, it’s generally recommended to wait at least 24 hours before consuming hot drinks like tea. This is because amalgam fillings take longer to set, and hot temperatures might cause the filling to expand or contract.

    Tips for Consuming Tea After Dental Filling

    • Avoid Too Hot: When you start drinking tea, make sure it’s not too hot. Opt for warm tea instead of very hot tea to reduce the risk of sensitivity or discomfort.
    • Use a Straw: If you only had a filling on one side of your mouth, you might find it helpful to use a straw to direct the tea to the other side of your mouth.
    • Monitor Sensitivity: Pay attention to how your tooth responds to the tea. If you notice significant sensitivity or pain, it’s best to wait longer before attempting to drink tea again.
    • Follow Dentist’s Advice: Your dentist will provide post-procedure instructions. Follow these carefully and consult your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

    Bottom Line

    It’s important to exercise caution when consuming hot beverages like tea after getting a dental filling. Waiting until the numbness wears off is crucial, and considering the type of filling you received, it might be best to wait a few hours to a day. Always follow the instructions provided by your dentist and pay attention to how your tooth responds to ensure a smooth recovery.

    This Q&A series article is complete and was published on July 30, 2023, and last updated on July 30, 2023.

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