Extending The Life of Your Fillings

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 90% of Americans will have a cavity at some point, so the odds are that you have a filling. Many people think that after getting a filling that they can ignore it and not have to worry about it. While fillings can last for a long time, they don’t always last forever; however with good habits, you can easily extend the life of your fillings and protect your teeth at the same time.

How Long Do Fillings Last?

On average, tooth-colored composite fillings last about 10 years. Metal fillings have a comparable amount of time; however, they have a higher chance of falling out. If the filling is too large, or spreads, a crown, inlay or onlay may be used instead.

How Can I Keep My Fillings Healthy?

Ensuring that you follow proper oral health habits and keep your teeth clean can also help keep your fillings in good shape. Here are some additional tips:

  • Don’t smoke! Smoking stains the teeth and dental restorations. In addition, it contributes to gum disease which can loosen the teeth and cause some to lose them.
  • Eat healthy foods. Limit sugary snacks to avoid additional cavities.
  • Brush twice a day, especially after meals, and floss once a day.
  • Make sure to make it to your biannual dental exams. These exams help your dentist catch problems before they get worse.
  • Limit staining materials. Like the enamel of teeth, composite resins can stain. Avoid items like coffee, tea, red wine, and beets.
  • Report problems right away! If you are experiencing pain, don’t wait to see if it improves. Early intervention is the best way to fix an issue.

Experiencing dental issues? Schedule a dental filling appointment as soon as possible!