During Certain Dental Treatments
Root Canal Treatment Advices
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact your endodontist.
- Contact your endodontist right away if you develop any of the following:
- a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth;
- an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction);
- a return of original symptoms; or
- Your bite feels uneven.
Taking Care of Your Tooth
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
Contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange your next appointment. If your tooth is being treated in more than one visit by an endodontist, do not return to your dentist for the final restoration until the root canal treatment is completed.
What the Future holds
Tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as you’re other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.
Your dentist or endodontist may periodically x-ray the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred. Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or pain continues. At times, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, repeating the endodontic procedure can save the tooth.
Cosmetic dentistry Advices
Tooth colored restorations:
Dental bonding patients should follow these aftercare instructions to ensure that the composite resin bonding material lasts as long as possible.
- Brushing: Brush the teeth twice a day, ideally once in the morning and once at night, using toothpaste that contains fluoride; Brush the outside, inside, and top of each tooth, and then brush the tongue. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months to ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned.
- Flossing: Floss once a day; be sure to bring the floss all the way up to the gum line and thoroughly remove all plaque before moving on to the next tooth.
- Drink water after meals: Drinking water after meals will help flush out food particles and reduce acidity levels in the mouth.
- Foods and drinks that stain the teeth: Tea, dark colored sauces, red and white wine, berries, sports drinks, sodas, juices, and candies with bright artificial coloring stain the teeth. Foods and drinks with dark or bright colors are the most likely to stain the teeth because of their dark colors; the acidic qualities in many of these foods and drinks can also accelerate tooth discoloration.
- Products that stain the teeth: Use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco, causes yellow and brown stains to appear on the teeth and bonding material.
- Foods and drinks that wear down the bonding material: Acidic foods (such as citrus, soda, and wine) eat away at tooth enamel and the composite resin; hard or crunchy foods such as candy, pretzels, and beef jerky can wear down and even chip the bonding material due to the force that is exerted while chewing on these foods.
- Habits that wear down the bonding material: Certain habits, such as biting on fingernails, pen caps, pens, pencils, and other hard objects, wears down the bonding material and tooth enamel over time.
After the placement of porcelain veneers, patients should commit themselves to good oral hygiene regiments, regular visits to the dentist, and generally healthy lifestyles. This helps to ensure the longevity of the veneers, not to mention good oral health.
With proper care, veneers are much more likely to reach the 20 year mark. Along with making regular visits to a general dentist, routine brushing and flossing is the most important thing that patients can do to protect the longevity of their veneers. Although the porcelain itself is not subject to decay, when the underlying tooth structure is damaged by cavities, this can damage the veneer. In many cases, after the cavity is repaired, the tooth is no longer able to support a new veneer.
Good oral care is also important because it helps prevent gum disease and receding gums, which can compromise the appearance of veneers. Because the porcelain ends at the gum line, if the tissue recedes, the edge of the veneer will become visible, and the entire restoration may need to be replaced. Patients should be diligent about frequent brushing and flossing, but they should also be careful to avoid overly vigorous brushing, as this can also compromise periodontal health.
Habits such as nail biting, chewing ice, and using teeth to open packages are already harmful to teeth, leading to cracks, chips, and dental erosion. Although porcelain is quite strong, it is not quite as tough as natural teeth, so these habits are even more detrimental to patients with veneers. Those with bruxism should also seek treatment before getting veneers or as soon as the condition develops. Although lithium disilicate veneers have proven to be durable even for habitual teeth grinders, treating this condition can further extend their lifespan and protect against related health conditions.
- Maintaining the Color of Veneers
Because porcelain is not porous, dental veneers are highly stain resistant. However, the dental cement that holds them in place is still subject to discoloration. When this becomes stained, the edge of a veneer can appear yellowed and unnatural. To protect the color of their smile, dental patients should avoid stain-producing substances such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. Smoking is perhaps the most notorious culprit for dental staining.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Crown & Bridge, Crowns, Inlays, or Onlays:
While wearing temporary crown or bridge:
- You will wear temporary restorations until your permanent restoration is made.
- It is normal for the gum around the tooth to be tender for a day or two. If the tenderness persists any longer than two days, please call the office immediately so we can check the temporary restoration and make any needed corrections.
- If the temporary restoration comes loose or breaks, please call us. If the temporary restoration is off for even a short time, the tooth can shift position and cause the final restoration to not fit well.
- Please avoid eating with the temporary restoration as much as possible.
- Carefully clean around the restoration with a toothbrush and floss every day. When you do floss, pull the floss carefully out the side to avoid pulling the restoration off. In certain cases, we may advise you not to floss the area until your final restoration is delivered.
- Avoid sticky foods and chewing gum on the temporary restoration to avoid pulling it off.
- Slight discomfort, sensitivity and tenderness are possible after a tooth has had dental treatment, but if any of these persist for more than a day or two, please call the office.
After the permanent restoration has been delivered:
It is important to keep the crown just as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss.
- Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on the restorations for 24 hour from the time they were cemented. The cement must mature for about 24 hours to have optimum strength.
- Sensitivity: Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods is common. It should disappear gradually over a few weeks. Infrequently, sensitivity lasts longer than six weeks. Please tell us if this occurs.
- Aggressive chewing: Do not chew ice or other hard objects. Avoid chewing very sticky foods such as “hard tack” candies because they can damage or loosen the restoration.
Post-Operative Instructions Following Delivery of Dentures/Partials:
The following will help you to use and properly care for your new denture.
- It is normal to experience some discomfort, sore spots and speech problems while getting used to your new dentures. Your dentures will need a few adjustments until you are comfortable. To help with speech, read aloud for a few minutes every day. Your mouth will adjust, and your speech will improve.
- Your bite will need to be adjusted as your dentures settle.
- It is important to clean your denture with a denture brush and a mild tooth paste. Soaking your denture once a week in denture cleaner will keep them clean.
- You should leave your dentures out for at least six hours to allow your gums to rest. Food particles trapped under the denture cause inflammation and sore spots. Brush the roof of your mouth as well as your gums and tongue. This will help keep your mouth healthy.
- For partial dentures with metal clasps special care should be taken while inserting and removing them. Keep your partials and remaining natural teeth absolutely clean to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
- You should return to have your dentures and mouth check at least once a year. As changes in the mouth occur with further bone loss and wear on the teeth. These changes will make the denture not fit right thus causing trauma to your gums and bone leading to continuing damage.
With proper care we expect you to have years of satisfied use of your dentures. However overtime, there are changes in your jawbone and gums. When this occurs, your dentures/partials will feel loose and may require relining. Wearing ill-fitting dentures/partials for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease. Please call our office if these symptoms occur.
Whitening treatments don’t permanently whiten teeth. If you expose your teeth to foods and drinks that cause staining, the whiteness may start to fade after treatment. If you avoid foods and drinks that stain, it may be a year or longer before another treatment or touch-up is needed.
Here are some tips for pearly whites.
- Avoid the consumption of, or exposure to, products that stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. If you can’t give up, consider using a straw so the liquid bypasses your front teeth.
- Brush or rinse immediately after consuming stain-causing beverages or foods.
- Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once a day to remove plaque. Use a whitening toothpaste (once or twice a week only) to remove surface stains and prevent yellowing. Use a normal toothpaste the rest of the time.
- Consider touch-up treatments. Depending on the whitening method used, you may need a touch-up every six months or so after a year or two. If you smoke or drink lots of tea, coffee and/or red wine, you may need a touch-up more often.
Instructions Following Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling and Root Planing therapy involves removing bacterial plaque and tartar from the root surface below the gum line. This reduces inflammation/infection and allows re-attachment of the gums to the root surface. The depth of the periodontal pockets is reduced thus allowing more efficient flossing and brushing.
For the first 24 hours:
- Do not eat or drink hot foods until the effect of anesthetic wears off.
- No vigorous physical exercise.
- Do not use a straw or sucking motions.
- Do not smoke or consume alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours.
- Do not eat food that is extreme in temperature or spicy.
Things to do:
- For any discomfort you can take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Consume a soft diet for a day or two and chew on of opposite side of the treated area.
- Rinse with a warm salt water rinse, one teaspoon in an 8 oz. glass of water, three times a day.
- Gently brush and floss the treated area for a few days. Then resume normal brushing in a week or until the soreness is gone.
- Rinse with chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex) if prescribed, for at least 30 seconds twice daily.
As the gums heal they will appear to be pink, less swollen, and will bleed less when you floss.
Instructions Following Extractions
- For an hour after surgery, you should place pressure on the gauze pad covering the extraction site. If bleeding continues, apply new gauze and pressure for an additional 45 minutes.
- After surgery, place a cold compress on your face near the extraction site for 20 minutes. Remove for 10 minutes. Repeat.
- Do not eat or drink hot foods and beverages after surgery.
- Do not rinse your mouth.
- Do not use a straw.
- Do not spit.
- Do not drink carbonated beverages.
- Do not brush your teeth on the day of the surgery. Then resume normal home care, gently brushing and flossing.
- Some bruising, swelling, and pain are normal – particularly if you have had a wisdom tooth extraction. Take your prescribed medication and use a cold compress on your face.
- Plan to eat soft foods, such as soups, milk shakes, fruit juice, and yogurt, for 2-3 days.
- Do not bite your lips, cheeks, or scrape your gums. Children should be watched carefully to make sure they don’t do this. It will damage soft tissues and result in pain.
Orthodontic Advices (braces)
- What can I eat?
- Overall, people with braces should avoid hard, chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods. Avoiding foods you like may not be fun, but eating things that you’re not supposed to eat can cause broken wires or brackets. These can not only be painful, but can actually prolong treatment.
- Do not eat: Caramel and gooey chocolate bars, Very sticky or chunky peanut butter, Hard candies, Nuts, Chewy candy, taffy, and gummy bears, Popcorn & Gum.
- Please watch this short video to have a better picture on what not to eat and why. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md2Idp_w4_U
- Why do I need so many follow-ups?
- Frequent follow-ups, or “adjustments,” are needed to replace worn-out rubber bands, check on your teeth’s progress, and make adjustments to the wires to make sure teeth are being pulled in the right direction. Skipping follow-ups can hinder progress, and may cause you to need braces for a longer period of time.
- How often will I have follow-up visits?
- Most orthodontists see patients every 3-6 weeks, depends on the appliances used, severity of the case and other factors.
- What will they do at follow-ups?
- The orthodontist will always replace the elastic bands on each bracket and may also take out and replace the wire. Each adjustment should only take about 15-20 minutes, unless the patient didn’t follow proper eating or cleaning instructions and broke 1 or more brackets, which will be time consuming.
- Will it hurt?
- Most patients are sore for anywhere from a few hours to a few days after each regular adjustment. This feeling can be anything from a mild, unpleasant pressure to more significant pain. However, any discomfort shouldn’t last very long.
- Changing to a stiffer archwire may also be uncomfortable until the mouth gets used to the extra pressure.
- If the orthodontist decides to add auxiliaries, such as elastics or rubber bands, these can sometimes be painful at first.
- To deal with any post-adjustment soreness, just return to a temporary “soft food” diet and the same pain management techniques that you used when you first got your braces.
- How long do most people have braces?
- Most patients wear braces for 1-3 years, so be prepared for a lot of follow-up visits. However, the length of time in braces can vary greatly for each person based on growth, the severity of the problem, and how well the patient takes care of their braces and keeps up their oral hygiene.
- How long will it take to get my braces taken off & will it hurt?
- It takes about an hour to remove all brackets and remaining adhesive.
- You should feel a little pressure when the braces are being removed, but no pain.