Post Whitening Care Instructions

Maximize your teeth whitening results for the first 48 hours (two days) following the procedure. Whitening removes an essential tooth layer. 12 to 24 hours are required for the protective
layer to redevelop. Avoid consuming dark, yellow, or other “staining” foods or liquids. For example, avoid it if would stain a white shirt.

Post-Op Care for Your Extraction

  • Avoid disturbing the treatment area.
  • Allow a few days, especially the first 24 hours, for your body to naturally heal and “clot.”
  • Avoid dislodging the clot with swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking.
  • Prevent toothpicks, eating utensils, or crunchy foods from contacting the treated area.
  • Chew on the opposite side of your mouth for 24 hours.
  • Control bleeding with gauze and light pressure for 30 minutes after your procedure. Avoid removing the gauze during that time. The appearance of blood is normal for in the hours following your procedure.
  • Avoid smoking after your procedure for at least one week. The suction can dislodge the clot and you may also be susceptible to “dry socket.”.
  • Reduce your pain with over-the-counter pain relievers (Tylenol, Advil, non-aspirin pain relievers) every 3 to 4 hours until bedtime.
  • Use prescribed pain medication as needed and with food or milk to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Avoid alcohol if taking any prescribed pain medication.
  • Apply an icebag to the facial area of your procedure in 15-minute increments for the first day following your procedure.
  • Expect numbness to last for a few hours following the procedure. Avoid chewing or biting until the anesthesia wears off.
  • Eat soft foods for the first 2 to 4 days, maintain a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.
  • Avoid chewing directly on the area of your procedure.

Post-Op Care for Your Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

  • Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment for periodontal (gum) disease. The procedure removes bacterial plaque and tartar from around your teeth and beneath your gum line.
  • The treatment cleans and smooths your teeth and roots. It promotes healing from inflammation and infection associated with gum disease.
  • Avoid eating and chewing on the treated area for two hours following treatment or until your anesthesia wears off.
  • Avoid hard foods such as chips, popcorn, and seeds for several days.
  • Rinse your mouth two to three times per day with a warm saltwater mix. Use one teaspoon of salt to three ounces of water.
  • Resume your home oral hygiene routine. Be gentle in the area of your treatment.
  • Avoid smoking for 24 to 48 hours after your procedure.
  • Use a non-aspirin pain reliever (Advil, Tylenol, etc.) according to your medical conditions.
  • Contact your dentist if you have persistent discomfort or swelling following your procedure.

Post-op care following laser therapy

Treating periodontal disease with laser technology is the very best that modern dentistry has to offer. The dental laser has been shown to eliminate periodontal infection and stimulate recovery/regeneration of the affected gingival tissues and bone. Therapeutic treatment of the periodontal infections have been shown to lower your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies and possibly even Alzheimer’s.
The following instructions will help maximize the benefits of your therapy:

  • Dental laser procedures result in little or no discomfort. We typically do not recommend any medications.
  • Laser therapy promotes profound healing of the gum tissues. It is very important to avoid dislodging the sticky blood clot that forms around the treated area. The following guidelines will help ensure that you do not disrupt the healing process.

The first week after treatment:

  • Avoid acidic, citric and rough or crunchy foods (chips and salsa, citrus fruits, crusty bread, fried foods, vinegar based salad dressings, raw veggies, popcorn, nuts, etc.)
  • Suggested foods: pasta, eggs, soup, fish, chicken, cooked veggies, yogurt

The first week after treatment:

  •  Clean the treated area using light, electronic or manual brushing. Brush by placing the extra soft toothbrush at the gingival margin. If using a manual brush, carefully roll the bristles toward the tooth surface. DO
  • NOT place the bristles INTO the gum or BELOW the gum line.
  • Floss the treated area with care to dislodge food debris. Slide the floss gently between the teeth and avoid pushing the floss under the gums.
  • Resume your normal eating habits the next day after treatment.
  • Resume your normal hygiene techniques of the treated area beginning one week following treatment.

Post-Op Care for Your Dentures

  • Respect the adjustment period for your new dentures.
  • Ease into your daily routines with your new dentures. Eat softer foods first and practice speaking.
  • Be patient with the adjustment period for fit and adapting to your gums.
  • Return to your dentist within a recommended period of days for an adjustment and progress observation. Inform your dentist about any soreness, loose fit, difficulty chewing or speaking.
  • Brush your dentures daily inside and out. Use a soft toothbrush or recommended denture
    brush along with tooth paste or denture paste.
  • Soak your denture occasionally in a cleansing solution.
  • Avoid dropping your dentures while cleaning. Clean them over a sink of water or a soft washcloth.
  • Schedule annual check-ups with your dentist to check fit, make adjustments, and assure proper gum and bone tissue health.
  • Sleep without your dentures if possible. This helps your gum tissue rest and avoid unnecessary irritation.

Post-Op Care for Your Immediate Denture

  • Do not remove your immediate denture for the first 24 hours following placement. Removal could cause swelling and make replacement difficult or impossible.
  • See your dentist for a check-up after the first 24 hours. You will be provided with new care instructions.
  • After your extraction do not rinse, spit, smoke, or suck on a straw. Also avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously and drinking hot or carbonated beverages.
  • Obtain and follow Extraction Post-Op care instructions.
  • Keep your immediate denture in place. The treatment replaces your missing teeth and provides protection for the surgical site throughout your mouth and controls swelling and bleeding.
  • Monitor the fit of your immediate denture. Fit will change as your mouth heals from the extraction and your dental ridges (gum and bone) changes shape by shrinking. Final healing could require a reline or replacement denture.
  • Have your immediate denture adjusted and/or relined to compensate for the changes in your mouth during healing. After your extraction sockets heal you can use a dental adhesive or powder to stabilize your denture.
  • Allow at least six months for your extraction sockets to heal and fill in with new jaw bone tissue. Schedule with your dentist to discuss replacing your immediate denture with a permanent denture or reline.

Post-Op Care for Your Dental Crown and Bridge

  • If you required anesthesia, avoid eating until your mouth is no longer numb.
  • Contact our dental office if your bite feels uneven. Schedule an adjustment to avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort.
  • Floss your permanent crown as you would your natural tooth. Use a floss threader to remove food, etc. from beneath your dental bridge.
  • Carefully eat hard food such as nuts, candies, and ice to avoid breaking or damaging your permanent crown.
  • Avoid chewing on anything that could potentially break or damage your crown.
  • Consider the use of a night-guard if you clench or grind your teeth at night during sleep.
  • Schedule a consultation to discuss your options.
  • Expect some hot/cold sensitivity following your crown procedure.

Post-Op Care for Your Root Canal

  • Use an over-the-counter pain reliever within one hour following your procedure. This helps with any discomfort once the anesthesia begins to wear off. For pain relief we recommend ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) at 400mg every six hours for one day. If you must substitute for ibuprofen due to a medical condition, etc., use Tylenol as a substitute. Avoid aspirin and aspirin based products to eliminate the risk of blood thinning if any bleeding occurs.
  • Chew on the opposite side from the treatment area. Continue doing so until your permanent crown or filling is seated to avoid fracturing your weakened tooth.
  • Avoid chewing gum, caramels, or other sticky candy that could dislodge your temporary crown or filling.

Post-Op Care for Your Dental Implants

Sometimes the after-effects of surgery are quite minimal, so not all of the instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office. Please note that there is no additional charge for your post-operative care in this office!

In most cases, there will be minimal bleeding since the wound is often closed with sutures. If used, the sutures are usually the dissolving type which will fall out on their own 5–10 days after surgery. Some bleeding and oozing may be expected during the first 24 hours. Please keep firm biting pressure on the gauze pack over the surgery site for about one hour. Remove the gauze and then check the site for bleeding. If significant bleeding continues, a new gauze pack should be placed and firm pressure should be applied for one hour. Repeat as necessary. A tea bag can be used if your gauze supply runs low. Avoid vigorous chewing, spitting, or rinsing your mouth or sucking through a straw for 24 hours. Allowing the tissues to rest undisturbed assists the healing process. Avoid continually pulling at your lip to check the operative site.

Depending on the procedure, you may or may not experience swelling. Swelling may be at a maximum about 2 or 3 days after surgery. Keeping your head elevated (in a recliner or on several pillows) will reduce swelling. Ice packs applied continuously are helpful for the first day or so.

Oral Hygiene
The day following your procedure, it is recommended that you begin rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater rinses (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Continue rinsing with the saltwater mixture approximately 3 or 4 times a day over the next few days following your surgery. Brush your teeth and gums as normal except be gentle in the area where the procedure was performed. Do not use a Waterpik® or like device or hydrogen peroxide rinses for at least 2 weeks following surgery. If so prescribed by your doctor, a chlorhexidine rinse may be used twice daily instead of salt water.

The day of your surgery, start with nourishing liquids and soft/colder foods, such as ice cream, pudding, yogurt, etc. Avoid extremely hot foods, foods with sharp edges (chips, pretzels, etc.), and do not chew immediately over the surgery area. Avoid straws for the first 24 hours. Gradually return to your normal diet as tolerated.

Limit physical activity during the first 24–48 hours after surgery. Overexertion may lead to postoperative bleeding and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated on a pillow. You may wish to place a towel on your pillowcase to avoid staining from any blood-tainted saliva.

It is advisable that you refrain from smoking for at least 3 days after the surgery, as this increases the risk of infection and may delay healing.

Initially, you may have some discomfort. Tylenol® or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®, or Aleve®) may be used for pain. The pain will gradually diminish. If medication was prescribed, use it according to the directions as needed. Make sure you get some type of food or a drink in your stomach before taking your prescription pain medication, as otherwise, it can make you feel nauseated.

Dental Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used after surgery unless otherwise advised by your doctor. These may need to be adjusted at or after your first postoperative return visit.

Post-Op Visits
It is important to return for your post-op visit, generally scheduled 1–2 weeks after treatment. Contact our office if you have questions or problems before that time.

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