Patient Aftercare Instructions

Patient Aftercare Instructions

Below are instructions for caring for your mouth while recovering from various dental procedures. Please follow these guides relevant to the procedure you had completed in order to have a successful outcome.

Filling, Crown or Bridge Post Operative Instructions

After a filling is completed, or your new crown or bridge has been permanently cemented, follow the instructions below to ensure success of your new restoration:

  • Chewing and Eating
    • If we used an anesthetic during the procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness has worn off completely. To protect your crown, avoid chewing ice or other hard objects.
  • Brushing and Flossing
    • Brush and floss normally. If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure, use desensitizing toothpaste. If sensitivity persists beyond a few days, call us.
  • Medication and Discomfort
    • Take antibiotics or other medications only as directed. To reduce any discomfort or swelling, rinse your mouth three times a day with warm salt water or apply Oxyfresh Gel as directed. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm and rinse after breakfast and dinner or as prescribed. It is normal for your gums to be sore for several days.
  • When to Call Us
    • Call our office if your bite feels uneven, you have sensitivity or discomfort that increases or continues beyond three or four days, or if you have any questions or concerns.

Oral Surgery Post-Operative Instructions

After any oral surgery, it is important to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure successful healing. (Periodontal Surgery, Extractions, etc.)

  • Eating and Drinking
    • If anesthetic was used during the procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness has worn off completely. Do not eat anything for at least two hours following surgery. A liquid diet is recommended the day of surgery, then soft food high in vitamins and protein is suggested for another two days. Resume your normal diet as soon as it is comfortable for you to do so.
      • Suggested Foods (First 48 hrs)
        • Dietary Supplements Such as Boost or Ensure, Soft Luke Warm Foods Such As Tuna Fish, Soups, Jello, Mashed Potatoes, Pudding, etc.
      • What to Avoid
        • Peanuts, Popcorn, Small Grains or Kernels, Extremely Hot or Spicy Foods, Alcoholic Beverages.
        • DO NOT DRINK THROUGH A STRAW.
        • Tobacco Use – Avoid any tobacco use for at least 72 hrs as it slows healing significantly.
  • Rinsing, Brushing and Flossing
    • You can clean the treated area by gently rinsing with warm salt water. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water. However, avoid frequent or vigorous rinsing until 7 days after surgery.
    • Brush and floss the non-treated areas normally. After 14 days you can gently brush and floss the treated area.
    • Oxy Fresh Gel – place a pea size amount on tip of your tongue and wipe over treated area. Repeat 3-5 times daily for 7-10 days.
  • Medications and Discomfort
    • If you were prescribed the following take as directed:
      • Antibiotics
        • Amoxicillin 500mg OR Clindamycin 150mg – Take 1 tablet every 6 hours until all medication is finished.
      • Mild Pain
        • Ibuprofen 800mg – is a non-narcotic prescribed for pain. Take 1 tablet every 6 hours or as needed. Not to exceed 2400mg (3 Tablets) a day.
      • Moderate to Severe Pain
        • You may take both of the Regular Strength, Over The Counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol together as directed every 6 hours.
        • Ibuprofen 200mg – is a non-narcotic prescribed for pain. Take 2 tablets every 6 hours or as needed. Not to exceed 2,400mg a day.
        • Tylenol 325mg – 2 tablets as needed every 6 hours, 4 times a day. Not to exceed 4,000mg a day. DO NOT TAKE WITH Tramadol. Alternate with Tramadol every 3 hours.
      • -OR-
        • Tramadol – (if Tramadol was given) Take 1 tablet every 6 hours as needed. DO NOT take Tramadol with over the counter medication; it is one or the other.
      • Adverse Reactions
        • If you develop hives, swelling or difficulty breathing stop taking medications and seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Cautions: If you have liver disease, gastric bleeding or blood thinners, limit intake as indicated by your physician.
  • Controlling Bleeding
    • Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery. Some slight bleeding is normal for a day or so following surgery. If bleeding persists, apply firm pressure with a damp gauze pad or bite on a clean, moist tea bag for 20 minutes. If this does not control bleeding, call the office.
  • Control of Swelling (During the first 24 hours)
    • Apply an ice pack to the face near surgical site(s) immediately upon returning home; 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off. The second day after surgery, heat applied to the affected area will probably increase comfort. Exercise the jaw muscles regularly.
  • Bone Fragments
    • Part of the normal healing process from an extraction may include small pieces of bone fragments working themselves out of the surgical site.
  • When To Call Us
    • Call our office if bleeding, swelling, or discomfort increases or continues beyond 3-4 days

Invisalign Care Instructions

  • Change trays as often as instructed by the doctor (trays will be dated by the assistant)
  • Wear trays at all times except for when eating and drinking anything besides water. The more you wear the trays the better.
  • When you start wearing each new set of aligners, you may feel a little extra pressure or discomfort for the first few days, which is totally normal.
  • Clean trays at least twice a day with soap and water on a soft toothbrush. Trays will stay cleaner if you brush your teeth after every meal before you place trays back in. Trays pick up stain easily, if you eat or drink with them in they WILL stain.
  • Whitening material may be placed in the trays, recommended after 1 week of wearing trays. Place small amount of material inside trays and wear for 30-45 minutes to help keep trays clean and whiten teeth. Scrub and rinse material out of trays after whitening is complete.
  • Keep trays in carrying case when not in your mouth (pets will eat them!)
  • Retainers are worn EVERY night. Teeth can shift very quickly, if retainers are not worn every night it is not guaranteed they will fit properly.
  • Clean retainers with soap and water on a soft toothbrush every morning after taking them out.
  • Keep retainers in carrying case when not in your mouth (pets will eat them!)

Care Instructions for Your New Denture / Partial

  • Do not take your denture out for the first 2 weeks while healing. This helps control swelling and shapes the gum tissue to where it needs to be. Use Oxyfresh rinse or warm salt water 3-5 times a day starting the day after your surgery.
  • You will have a 1 day and a 2 week post op/adjustment appointment with us to check for proper healing and adjustments as needed.
  • When eating with a new denture, we recommend sticking to softer, nutritious foods such as protein shakes, eggs, yogurt, applesauce, soup, softer meats such as deli meat/shredded chicken or pork, etc.
  • After the first 2 weeks, take the denture out every night and brush it with the brush provided with soap and water (any mild detergent or hand soap will do just fine). You can now start to use Oxyfresh gel (in addition to the rinse) in your denture during the day and on your gum tissue at night after brushing.
  • It is not unusual for sore spots to develop in isolated areas of the mouth; these areas can be relieved easily. Simply give us a call and we will schedule an appointment for an adjustment.
  • Place the denture in the case provided with a small amount of water after rinsing off soap.
  • If your denture does NOT have implants, a denture cleaner may be used at night (such as Efferdent) in addition to brushing it with soap and water.
  • *IF YOUR DENTURE IS IMPLANT RETAINED, DO NOT USE EFFERDENT OR ANY CLEANER OTHER THAN SOAP AND WATER! The cleaning tabs will dry out and crack the o-rings that retain your denture and they will not last.
  • If you have implants retaining your denture they should be brushed just like if they were natural teeth in your mouth. You can use any type of toothpaste with a soft bristle brush.
  • Fixodent or any dental adhesive may be needed if you do not have implants retaining the denture for added retention.
  • A new denture often feels bulky and awkward at first. Your speech may sound different until your lips and cheeks adjust to the new denture. Reading and talking aloud can help shorten the adjustment period.

Do not hesitate to call the office if you have any questions.

Care Instructions Following In House Whitening

The amount of whitening that you obtain during the procedure is dependent on these factors:

  • The number of sessions you were able to complete (total of 2 possible).
  • The susceptibility of your teeth and/or internal colors to the whitening agent.
  • Habits you have that discolor teeth: smoking, coffee and/or tea drinking, red or dark wines.

For the next 48 hours:

  • Stay away from eating/drinking anything that would stain a white T-shirt (red wines, red pasta sauce, mustard, curry, chocolate, berries, etc.)
  • Brush teeth with fluoridated toothpaste- we recommend Oxyfresh Fluoridated toothpaste. This will help with sensitivity if present.

To help maintain your whitening over time, ask one of our team members about:

  • Custom whitening trays
  • Opalescence Boost whitening strips

Scaling & Root Planing Post Operative Instructions

Now that you have had scaling and root planing therapy, it is important to follow these instructions to ensure proper healing.

  • Eating
    • Avoid eating for 2 hours following the procedure, if you are still numb be careful not to bite your tongue or cheeks.
    • For the first 48 -72 hours restrict your diet to soft foods such as; soup, eggs, yogurt, and mashed potatoes until you can comfortably chew. Chew on the side of your mouth that was not treated. Avoid alcoholic drinks and hot or spicy food until your gums are healed. Avoid tobacco for at least 72 hours following treatment as tobacco will slow healing.
  • Pain Management
    • If anesthetic was used, take pain medication before anesthetic wears off to control discomfort. It is normal to experience sensitivity for several days following the treatment.
    • For the first 6 hours, apply an ice pack – 20 min on, 20 min off – to decrease swelling.
    • After 24 hrs, reduce discomfort by gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water 3 times a day. Use approx 1 tsp salt per glass of warm water.
  • Home Care
    • Brush the treated area softly for the first night. Rinse toothbrush under hot water to soften bristles.
    • The day after treatment, begin flossing lightly and gradually return to normal homecare of brushing a minimum of 2 times daily and flossing a minimum of 1 time daily.
    • Use a desensitizing toothpaste if your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold or pressure. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • When To Call Us
    • Call our office if discomfort is not gradually decreasing each day, or if swelling continues beyond 3 days.

Implant Restoration Post Operative Instructions

After your implant restoration has been placed, it is important to follow these recommendations to ensure long-term success:

  • Chewing & Eating
    • If we used an anesthetic during the procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off. Avoid hard chewing and grinding because these habits can damage implants and their restorations. If this is a continuing problem, we may need to adjust the restorations or have you wear a nightguard.
  • Tobacco Use
    • Avoid using any tobacco products. Ideally, you should quit altogether because using tobacco increases the risk that your body will reject the implants.
  • Rinsing, Brushing & Flossing
    • You can clean the treated area by gently rinsing with either chlorhexidine oral rinse or warm salt water. If you are using chlorhexidine fill the cap to the “fill line” which is 5ml and rinse after breakfast and dinner. If you are using warm salt water use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water. Avoid frequent or vigorous rinsing until 7 days after periodontal surgery. Brush and floss the non-treated areas normally. After 14 days you can gently brush and floss the treated area.
  • Medication & Discomfort
    • If you were prescribed the following medications take as directed:
    • Amoxicillin – is prescribed to help prevent or reverse infection. Take 1 tablet every 6 hours until all medication is finished
    • Ibuprofen 800mg – is a non narcotic prescribed for pain. Take 1 tablet every 6-8 hours or as needed.
  • When To Call Us
    • Call us if your restorations feel loose so that we can tighten them. Call our office if you have persistent discomfort or if you have any other questions or concerns.

Periodontal Surgery Post Operative Instructions

Now that you have had surgery on your gums, it is important to follow these recommendations to speed healing.

  • Chewing & Eating
    • If we used an anesthetic during the procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness has worn off completely. Do not eat anything for at least two hours following surgery. For the first 48 hours, select a soft diet until you can chew comfortably.
    • A liquid diet is recommended the day of surgery, then soft food high in vitamins and protein is suggested for another two days. Increase your fluid intake. Canned dietary foods may be very helpful in maintaining your diet, for example: Boost or Ensure. Resume your normal diet as soon as comfortable for you to do so.
    • Avoid peanuts, popcorn and anything with small kernels, extremely hot, cold spicy foods and alcoholic drinks until your gums are healed. DO NOT DRINK THROUGH A STRAW.
  • Tobacco Use
    • Do not use any tobacco products for at least 72 hours because tobacco slows healing.
  • Rinsing, Brushing & Flossing
    • You can clean the treated area by gently rinsing with either Oxy Fresh oral rinse or warm salt water. If you are using warm salt water use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water.
    • Avoid frequent or vigorous rinsing until 7 days after periodontal surgery.
    • Brush and floss the non-treated areas normally. After 14 days you can gently brush and floss the treated area.
  • Medication & Discomfort
    • If you were prescribed the following medications take as directed:
    • Amoxicillin – is prescribed to help prevent or reverse infection. Take 1 tablet every 6 hours until all medication is finished.
    • Ibuprofen 800mg – is a non narcotic prescribed for pain. Take 1 tablet every 6-8 hours or as needed.
    • Tramadol – is a narcotic that is prescribed to alleviate pain when Ibuprofen is not strong enough. Take 1 tablet with food every 6 hours as needed to get a good night sleep. If nausea occurs reduce tablet to 1/2 its size. If you develop hives, swelling or difficulty breathing stop taking medications and seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Remember this is a narcotic and it is contraindicated to drive under the influence of this medication.
    • Oxy Fresh Gel – place a pea size amount on the tip of your tongue and wipe over treated area. Repeat 3-5 times daily for 7-10 days.
  • Controlling Bleeding
    • Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery. Some slight bleeding is normal for a day or so following surgery. If bleeding persists, apply firm pressure with a gauze pad or bite on a clean, moist tea bag for 20 minutes. If this does not control bleeding, call the office.
  • Controlling Swelling
    • During the first 24 hours apply an ice pack to the face near surgical site(s) immediately upon returning home; 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
    • The second day after surgery, heat applied to the affected area will probably increase comfort.
    • Exercise the jaw muscles regularly.
  • When To Call Us
    • Call our office if bleeding, swelling, or discomfort increases or continues beyond three or four days, or if you have any questions or concerns.

Sinus Augmentation Post Operative Instructions

  • Avoid submerging your head below water or flying in a pressurized cabin for at least 8 weeks.
  • Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing through you nose (equalize pressure by opening your mouth when you do) for at least 2 weeks.
  • Do not blow forcefully through your nose for at least 6 weeks.
  • Limited bleeding from your nose may occur, inform us if this occurs so we may better monitor your bleeding.
  • Use over the counter saline solution or antihistamines to relieve sinus pressure/issues
  • **Do not use Afrin

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