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To eat or not to eat……

And if to eat, what to eat

A question asked a lot many times, and extremely relevant too.

Which of your treatments have dietary restrictions and for what treatments you just don’t need to bother

Why are there dietary restrictions before and after dental treatments?

·        The anaesthesia injected results in loss of sensation in the area. You could unknowingly bite and chew on the numb tissue (the cheek, tongue or lips) without feeling any pain. The wound thus created is very big resulting in excessive bleeding and pain once the anaesthesia wears off

·        If the treatment is planned under some medicines to be taken before or during the treatment, the interaction of the medicine with the stomach determines if you could eat before the treatment or not. Not following the exact instructions could lead to nausea and vomiting during the treatment  

·        Certain medical conditions like Diabetes require the modulation of the blood sugar levels for the treatment, and thus you might be required to modulate the dose and food intake

·        The filling material placed in the mouth requires some time to harden and be able to bear the forces generated during chewing. Eating food before the filling material hardens enough can result in the filling breaking off

·        Some filling materials require to be in a relatively dry environment for a while to harden and function effectively, you would be asked NOT to consume water in these situations.

·        There might be a blood clot formed after a surgical procedure which could break off if you eat or drink water immediately, leading to profuse bleeding

Dental procedures for which you need to AVOID eating BEFORE the APPOINTMENT   

Most of the dental treatment require you to eat before the treatment. There are very few scenarios when you need to avoid eating before the treatment

·        If the treatment is undertaken under Inhalation sedation using nitrous oxide. Not complying with this can result in vomiting during the procedure. You need to have NOT eaten for at least 2 hours before the procedure starts

·        If you have a strong reflex to nausea due to the smells and dental procedures: Avoid having a full stomach before the procedure if you know that the smells make you feel nauseous.  

Dental procedures in which you need to AVOID eating AFTER the treatment

·        If local anaesthesia was used during the treatment: You would need to wait till the effect of the anaesthesia wears off sufficiently. This requires around 2 to 3 hours after it was injected. You would on an average need to wait for about 1.5 hours after the treatment for the effect to wear off. If you feel the numbness for more than 4 hours after the treatment inform the dentist about it

·        If you got a root canal treatment: Most commonly a root canal treatment is undertaken under anaesthesia so the above rule would apply. In certain situations, a root canal could be done without an anaesthesia. In such a situation, wait for around 1 hour before consuming any liquids or foods. This is because, the filling material used after a root canal generally requires around that time to harden. Consuming food or water before this time can lead to the filling to come off almost immediately.

·        If you got a whitening done: Although you could eat immediately, your teeth could be sensitive for a while. Also, avoid stained foods/ beverages like tea,coffee or red wine and avoid smoking for 3-5 days after the treatment is undertaken.

·        After a tooth is removed: This goes beyond the effect of anaesthesia. If a tooth is removed, avoid eating anything hot or hard even after the numbness of the anaesthesia is gone. This is because after an extraction a blood clot forms in the area. If you eat something hard or hot after the extraction, the clot breaks off leading to bleeding from the area again.

·        After you get a cap fitted: The material used in the fitting requires a dry environment to harden and provide adequate function. Wait for 30 minutes before you consume water and 1 hour before you consume solids

·        After you get a filling done with any other material other than COMPOSITE RESIN: These materials require a dry environment and extended times to harden to function as a substitute for teeth. Wait for a minimum of 1 hour before consuming water or eating any solid food

Dental procedures in which you can eat IMMEDIATELY AFTER the procedure

·        Filling using composites: Composite resins harden with light and DO NOT require any waiting time after the dental appointment is completed. You can eat/ drink immediately after the treatment is over.

·        Scaling: Although you might be advised to wait for around 30 minutes if there was excessive bleeding, scaling/cleaning does not require any waiting time before you can start eating. In case of excessive bleeding you could have cold water after the treatment.

·        Orthodontic treatment: You can in most cases eat/drink immediately after the treatment

It is important to understand which treatment procedures require you to wait to eat/drink before/after the treatment for the treatment to be a success and to avoid unnecessary complications.

For better treatment results, know all about your pre and post treatment care @ dentop.com 

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