Home Instructions

The Dental Health Center cares about your continuum of care. The following list of post-procedure care recommendations is provided to ensure your best possible healing after leaving our clinic.

After any dental care, it is normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity, which should subside. Refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. If your bite feels uneven, you experience persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office immediately.

Fillings (white/composite and silver/amalgam)

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol, or aspirin (one tablet every three to four hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic wears off completely, since they are fully set when you leave the office. However, silver fillings take a few hours to harden and about 24 hours to set to completion.

If your bite feels uneven, if you experience persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

Following Crown or Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off.

Occasionally, a temporary crown may come off. Call us immediately if this happens and we can discuss a solution that will most likely result in an appointment to reapply the temporary crown.

To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum) and hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss, which may dislodge the temporary. Instead, pull out the floss from the side of the temporary crown.

If your bite feels uneven, you have persistent pain, or you think of any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt-water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication — one tablet of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) every three to four hours — should ease any residual discomfort.

Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.

Any food that can crack, chip, or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain, such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries.

If you engage in sports, let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, you might consider having us make you a custom nightguard. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.

After a Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s necessary for a blood clot to form in order to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we may ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is crucial not to disturb or dislodge it as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. Such activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, since this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. After 24 hours, gently swish warm salt water in your mouth a few times a day.

After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Ibuprofen should be taken; if your doctor thinks you need something stronger he or she may write a prescription. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use any pain medication that was prescribed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is essential to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days, you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

After New Dentures

Your mouth may develop a few sore spots after the first day of wearing your new prosthesis. These areas can be relieved easily at your follow-up appointments. You may not feel entirely comfortable for a period of days.

We will adjust the way your teeth contact at your follow-up appointment. Dentures can affect the taste of food and acquire stains and odor. Proper cleaning is required. Do not wear your dentures to bed. Your gum tissue and jaw bones need rest in order to prevent tissue irritation, infection, or future shrinkage.

Over time, worn dentures may need to be replaced and relines may be necessary to achieve a snug fit again. To ensure these changes are monitored appropriately, we recommend an annual dental checkup of your tissues and dentures.

After Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

Following your procedure, you can expect to notice less redness, bleeding, and irritation of your gum tissue. Your mouth will taste better. Your gum health can then be maintained with proper homecare and regular professional care.

Discomfort or pain should not be severe and should subside within 24 hours. Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight throbbing. Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings, but will steadily decrease.

As gums heal, they may change their shape around the teeth. This is normal and will tighten with decreased inflammation.

Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly. By the third or fourth day, normal oral hygiene techniques may be resumed.

If symptoms are severe or persistent, please call our office.