Care Instructions After Extractions

  • Bite on gauze applying pressure to extraction site. Do not chew on gauze. Change gauze every 30 minutes until bleeding stops. Do not sleep with gauze in mouth. If bleeding starts again, place gauze or warm (not hot) tea bag over bleeding site and bite down with firm pressure for 1 hour. Keep head elevated with a pillow.

  • DO not spit. Spitting will cause excess bleeding and extraction area needs to clot to help with the healing process.

  • Brush remaining teeth but do not rinse/spit forcefully or use mouthwash for 24 hours.

  • Absolutely no smoking for 48 hours (longer if you can). Smoking can cause a painful condition called dry socket. Healing is delayed in patients who are smokers.

  • No alcoholic beverages for 48 hours or while on pain medications.

  • Drink liquids and eat soft foods at room temperature (or cold) for the first 24 hours. Do not drink through a straw.

  • After 24 hours, you may resume brushing and rinsing as usual. Rinse with 8 oz of salt water (8 oz of water and 1 teaspoon of table salt) after each meal up to 6 times daily to keep extraction site free of food and debris. Avoid chips, crackers, etc…they can get stuck in extraction site causing discomfort.

  • Black and blue marks/bruises can occur after surgery. Ice packs can be used to help minimize swelling. Apply to outside of face for 20 minutes and remove for 10 minutes, re-applied as needed for remainder of the day.

  • If pain increases after 48 hours or any abnormal reaction occurs, please call our office.

Care Instructions for Flexible Partial Wearers

Expect to develop sore spots from your new partial. Should you experience any persistent irritation, please call so we can make an easy adjustment. It may take several adjustments for your partial to fit comfortably.
It takes practice learning to speak with a new partial. Practice reading out loud or singing! The more you speak out loud, the easier this will be.
You may experience more saliva than usual when you first begin to wear a partial denture. Your body will adjust to your partial and saliva flow will return to normal.
To help your flexible partial to look and feel like new, please follow these simple instructions:

  • Always rinse your flexible partial under running hot tap water for approximately 20 to 30 seconds before wearing it. The small flexible clasps will get hard and could break if this is not done.

  • Do not wear your partial to bed. Remove at night and keep in water when not being worn to keep it hydrated.

  • Do not use any over the counter denture cleaner that contains bleach. If using over the counter denture cleaners, only soak for 10 or 15 minutes—DO NOT SOAK OVERNIGHT!!

  • Whenever possible, rinse your appliance after eating to remove food particles.

  • Always remove your partial to brush your teeth. Toothpaste is great for your teeth but not for your partial. Brushing your partial with toothpaste may remove the polish and roughen the surface over time. Use a gentle soap and your toothbrush to clean your new partial.

  • Bring your partial to your visits with us for your dental cleaning. We can ultrasonically clean your partial for no additional charge while your hygienist is cleaning your teeth.

  • Keep your appliance away from pets.

Post-operative Care for Fillings

  • Anesthetic: If you were given local anesthesia today for your fillings, it will wear off in approximately 1-3 hours. This varies from patient to patient on how long it will last. Be very careful to not chew or bite into your cheek, your tongue or your lip while the area is numb. Do not eat until the numbness is gone. Children should be observed until the anesthetic has worn off. Due to the strange feeling of anesthesia, many children will bite the numb areas and create a sore.

  • Eating and Drinking: You may have something to drink right away but be cautious if you are numb. Hot drinks could cause a burn and you may not know it. You may also spill some down your chin with numbness in your lip. Composite (white) fillings set up right away and there is no need to wait to eat once the anesthetic is gone. Amalgam or silver fillings take time to set and should be avoided for chewing on that side for the first few hours. When a very large filling is placed, your dentist may ask that you wait until the next day to chew on your new filling and to use your opposite side to chew. When you begin to use your new filling to chew, a change in your bite may be noticeable. If you feel like your bite isn’t right or you hit your new filling before the other teeth on that side, please call us for a simple bite adjustment.

  • Brushing and Flossing: After your filling is set, please continue with your normal routine for brushing and flossing.

  • Sensitivity: It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold after a new filling is placed for several days after treatment. Your gum tissue may be irritated from the procedure and you may be sore at the injection site for your anesthetic. All these symptoms are temporary and you should see gradual improvement until there is no longer discomfort. As long as your symptoms are getting better, there is no need for concern. If symptoms are worsening or not improving after a week, please call us. If your cavity was large or close to the pulp or nerve of the tooth, it may take longer for the tooth to settle down.

Care of Temporary Crowns or Bridges

  • The temporary you are wearing is made from a hard, acrylic material and should not be considered a fully functional tooth for chewing. Special care should be used during the short period of time that you will be wearing it. Your temporary is cemented on with temporary cement so that your dentist can take it off easily.

  • Do not eat or drink for a half hour after cementation to give the cement time to set.

  • Please try to do most of your chewing on the opposite side of your temporary.

  • Please avoid chewy, sticky or excessively hard foods such as gum, crusty breads/bagels, hard or sticky candies.
    Brush your temporary normally but flossing should be done by inserting floss then carefully pulling your floss out to the side of the temporary (not up, that can pop it off). Bridges require a special flossing technique which you may not be able to do with a temporary bridge.

  • Temporaries are worn to protect the tooth from sensitivity and to keep the tooth and gum tissues in the proper position. It is very important to have your temporary cemented back on if it should come off. It should not be off for more than a couple of days.

  • If your temporary does come off, please call our office to have it re-cemented. If our office is not open and your are experiencing sensitivity or aesthetics are a concern, you may put your crown back on with Fixodent or Dent-temp (directions are on the package). Both can be purchased at your local pharmacy. Please call our office when we re-open to have your crown professionally re-cemented.

  • It is common for a tooth to be sensitive for a day or two after the preparation visit for your crown. If your tooth is sensitive to biting or any other symptoms last beyond a day or two of your preparation, please call us for a recheck to prevent complications. Many times it is as simple as adjusting the bite of your temporary crown.

Care Instructions for Root Canal Therapy

  • Use caution while numbness is still in effect so you do not bite your lips, cheeks or your tongue. No eating until your anesthetic has worn off and you no longer feel numbness.

  • Mild discomfort is expected for 2 to 3 days after root canal therapy.

  • Take Motrin as prescribed for three days after your therapy even if your tooth is feeling better.

  • If prescription pain medication has been prescribed for you, only take it as needed for pain that is not relieved with Motrin.

  • If antibiotics have been prescribed for you, it is very important you continue to take this medication until the entire prescription is finished even if you feel better.

  • Do not chew with the treated tooth until your tooth is permanently restored by your dentist. Do your best to use the opposite side to avoid fracture.

  • Swelling, fever, increasing pain that does not respond to pain medication or allergic reactions (rash, itching, hives or nausea) to medications prescribed should be reported to our office.

Tips for New Denture Wearers

  • In the beginning, a new denture may feel like a mouthful until your body adjusts to it. You may also bite your cheek or your tongue until your mouth gets used to having teeth there.

  • Expect to develop sore spots from your new denture. It will take time for the gum tissue to firm up and adjust to the new denture. Please call us for adjustments as needed. It is not uncommon to need several adjustments to get your new denture comfortable. Use warm salt water rinses to help with sore areas. Please do not adjust dentures or partials (especially the clasps as they break easily) at home. Your self-adjustment may not be fixable!

  • Take your denture or partial out to sleep. Tissues need about 6-8 hours a day of rest too. Always leave your denture in water when you are not wearing it so it stays hydrated. Keep it away from pets–it has your scent and they are expensive pet chew toys!

  • It is very important that you wear your denture every day. If you don’t, changes in bone and gum tissues may change the fit of your denture. You will adjust quicker to a denture by wearing it daily. If you have sore areas, it is ok to give your tissue a rest but come see us for an adjustment.

  • It takes practice to learn to speak with a new denture. Practice by reading out loud or singing! The more you speak out loud, the easier this will be.

  • Eating will feel different with a new denture. To start, try cutting food into small bites. Choose softer, less challenging things to chew. Place even amounts of food on both sides of your mouth while you are chewing so as to balance biting forces which will keep more denture stable while chewing. Instead of biting into foods, try cutting or breaking a piece off and placing it in your mouth. This prevents your denture from dislodging when biting into foods. Avoid sticky or hard foods. After you are more used to your denture and adjustments have been made for comfort, be more adventurous with trying harder foods and biting into foods and see how you do.

  • Initially, flow from your salivary glands may be increased. As your body adjusts to your new denture, this will return to normal.

  • Brush your denture daily with mild soap or denture paste and a toothbrush. Clean your soft tissues like cheeks, tongue and gums with a soft brush daily. This prevents fungal infections in the mouth and keeps your breath fresh. Do not use regular toothpaste on your denture; it is too abrasive and may cause your denture to pick up more stain with a rougher surface from the abrasion. Bleaching or cleaning in a dishwasher are not recommended. Bring your denture to your hygiene visits at our office and our hygienists will professionally clean it for you in an ultrasonic cleaner at no additional charge.

  • Enjoy being able to give everyone a beautiful smile!

Scaling and Root Planing

  • Avoid eating anything until the numbness has worn off completely.

  • Avoid any hard foods that can leave small particles that may get caught underneath the gum tissue such as potato or tortilla chips, nuts, seeds, popcorn, etc.

  • Resume your home care regimen immediately. Be sure to incorporate any suggestions your hygienist made during your visit.

  • To help soothe the area, rinse your mouth 2-3 times per day with warm salt water rinses. Use one teaspoon of salt for an 8 oz glass of water.

  • Take non-aspirin pain reliever for discomfort. Take Advil or Tylenol (whatever you would take for a headache) unless you are allergic or have a medical condition that does not allow this kind of medication.

  • Smoking slows healing. Please refrain from smoking for 24-48 hours after your visit.

  • Swelling or persistent discomfort should be reported to our office.

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