For Healthy Healing
In order to promote healthy healing after your dental treatment, here’s a list of aftercare instructions for several procedures.
The mouth is an extremely sensitive part of the body. Dental treatment of any kind requires taking extra care of the area after operation. Whether you have had a routine procedure, or something more complex like a tooth extraction or periodontal surgery, there are several important steps you can take to maximize the results of your procedure, prevent infection, and ease any discomfort you might experience. If you have any additional questions about your procedure or if you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, swelling, severe pain, or any reaction to medications, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Post-operative Care > Root Canal
- Until your root canal procedure is completely finished and the permanent filling or crown is in place, it is wise to minimize chewing on the tooth under repair.
- Upon completion of treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive for a few days due to natural tissue inflammation. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (e.g., Aleve).
- Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.
1. When can you eat after a root canal?
Until your root canal procedure is finished and the permanent filling or crown is in place, it is wise to minimize chewing on the tooth under repair. You can eat as soon as the numbness wears off. Waiting until it wears off will prevent you from biting your tongue or cheek.
2. Can I drink alcohol after getting a root canal?
You can drink alcohol after your root canal once the numbness wears off and you regain feeling in your mouth.
3. What can you eat after a root canal?
You can eat soft, lighter foods that do not require a lot of chewing.
4. What should I NOT eat after a root canal?
You should not consume hot food and beverages right after your procedure that will disrupt the sensitivity of your teeth or pose a risk of burning your mouth.
5. What should I expect after a root canal?
Upon completion of treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive for a few days due to natural tissue inflammation. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (e.g., Aleve). You should continue your regular dental routine the same day.
Pediatric Post-Operative Care > Extraction
- You can expect that your child will leave the office biting on gauze. They should remain biting on it for 30 to 45 minutes, or as directed by the dentist.
- You can expect your child to be numb and you should watch them closely. Kids can do a lot of damage by chewing on a numb lip, cheek, or tongue and not realize it until the anesthetic wears off.
- Keep activities low key for the first 24 hours. No running or jumping. Children should sit out of gym class as well. Reading, computer, homework, and television are some ideas for quiet activities.
- It is often best to give children ibuprofen or Tylenol (whatever you would normally give for a fever or headache) before the anesthetic wears off. This may be all the pain medicine that they need.
- No spitting or using a straw for the first 24 hours.
- Try to eat soft foods for the first couple of days. Avoid hard, crunchy things and very hot things like soups. Yogurt, eggs, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and applesauce are some good examples of things to eat during the first 24 hours.
- Brushing is ok, just be gentle in that area.
- You can expect the extraction site to ooze for the first few days and the saliva will likely be pink. This is normal.
Contact your dentist if the following develops:
- A fever.
- Severe swelling after the third post-op day.
- Prolonged, severe pain or increased pain after the third post-op day.
- Bright red bleeding you cannot control .
- Prolonged numbness the day after the extraction.
1. How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
It typically takes anywhere from one to two weeks.
2. How long does it take to stop bleeding after having a tooth pulled?
On average, bleeding will occur 24-48 hours after extraction. If bleeding persists, it is best to give us a call.
3. Can you smoke after having a tooth pulled?
It is recommended that you do not smoke after extraction because it may hinder healing and promote dry sockets.
4. How long do I keep gauze in after tooth extraction?
You should replenish your gauze every hour after tooth extraction or when each gauze is saturated, whichever comes first. Continue this process until bleeding subsides.
Post-operative Care > Crowns
Upon leaving after the first visit, you will have a temporary dental crown on your tooth. A few precautions should be taken:
- Avoid sticky or chewy foods (e.g., chewing gum and caramels), which have the potential of grabbing and pulling at the crown.
- Shift the bulk of your chewing to the opposite side of your mouth.
- Avoid chewing hard foods (e.g., raw vegetables), which can dislodge or break the crown.
- When cleaning your teeth, slide flossing material out rather that lifting it out. Lifting the floss out could pull off the temporary crown.
What’s safe to eat after crowns?
With a temporary crown, it is important to keep anything very sticky or crunchy away from the crown. This is simply so that the crown does not get pulled off or break under high force. Besides that, you may eat to your comfort level after the anesthetic is worn off. The gum and tooth may be tender in the area that the work was done, and sometimes it can be helpful to stick to a softer diet for the first few days. Once the permanent crown is cemented on, it is best to avoid sticky things for the first 24 hours. After that, you may eat, drink, and clean your tooth just like you did before. The crown and gum may be tender or sensitive for the first few weeks while the gum is healing from the work done.
1. Can I smoke after getting a crown?
You can smoke right way after receiving a permanent crown.
2. Can I drink alcohol after getting a crown?
You can drink alcohol right away after receiving a permanent crown.
3. What should I do if I have swelling after a crown?
It is normal to have some swelling to the gums around the crown, but pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help decrease the swelling and common side effects after getting a crown cemented.
4. Can I eat after a crown?
You can eat or drink 30-60 minutes after the cementing of your crown.
5. How long should I wait to eat after getting a crown?
You should wait about 30 minutes to an hour after the cementing.
6. What should I eat after getting a crown?
Once the permanent crown is cemented on, it is best to avoid sticky things for the first 24 hours. After that, you may eat, drink, and clean your tooth just like you did before.
7. What should I NOT eat after getting a crown?
Avoid sticky or chewy foods (e.g., chewing gum and caramels) within the first 24 hours, which have the potential of grabbing and pulling at the crown. Shift the bulk of your chewing to the opposite side of your mouth. Avoid chewing hard foods (e.g., raw vegetables), which can dislodge the crown.
8. What should I expect after getting a crown?
Expect to have some sensitivity or tenderness around the crown or gums for the first few weeks as your mouth heals from the work done. Expect to stay away from sticky and hard/crunchy foods the first day after receiving your crown. It is normal to experience mild discomfort for a few days, but you can take pain relievers such as ibuprofen to decrease your side effects and allow you to resume your daily activities including exercise or other physical activity.
9. Can you floss after getting a crown?
For the first few days after receiving your crown, use some caution when flossing. Slide the floss in and out instead of pulling up. After a few days, you can resume normal flossing. Practice good flossing and brushing habits twice a day since your tooth below the crown can still develop decay.
10. What should I do if I have a fever after getting a crown?
It is extremely rare to develop a fever after receiving a crown. If you do, feel free to contact us so we can help.
11. What should I do if my gums bleed after getting a crown?
You may notice some bleeding after receiving your crown. Rinse with warm salt water or Listerine Antiseptic mouth rinse to help heal the tissue. If bleeding persists, please contact us.
12. How long should I wait to see the dentist if my crown or temporary crown falls out or breaks?
Contact your dentist at your earliest convenience if your crown falls out. Although you should get it fixed as soon as possible, it is ok to wait up to 48 hours without it, especially if it occurs over the weekend. See question 13 below to learn more about what to do if your crown falls out.
13. What should I do if my crown or temporary crown falls out?
Apply a very small amount of vaseline or toothpaste on the crown to create a temporary adhesive to the crown/tooth. Avoid chewing on that side of the mouth and call your dentist as soon as possible to get it fixed.
Follow-Up Care > Dentures
Cleaning your dentures every day is one of the most important things you can do to help your smile keep its attractive appearance. If you skip cleanings, plaque can form on dentures, making them less bright. Failing to clean your dentures regularly can also result in staining and denture odor. To clean your dentures, apply a denture cleansing paste to a denture brush or soft bristled toothbrush. Brush all surfaces thoroughly. While you sleep at night, soak your dentures in a cleanser (e.g., Fixodent). Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a toothbrush to remove plaque and stimulate circulation.
1. How do I clean my dentures?
To clean your dentures, apply a denture cleansing paste to a denture brush or soft bristled toothbrush. Brush all surfaces thoroughly. While you sleep at night, soak your dentures in a cleanser (e.g., Fixodent). Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a toothbrush to remove plaque and stimulate circulation.
2. How do you store dentures?
After removal, clean well and soak them in room temperature water or denture cleaning solution. Soaking in hot or even boiling water can cause damage to the structure of the dentures.
Post-operative Care > Veneers
- Following the preparation for cosmetic veneers, it will take two to three weeks for the dentist to receive the veneers back from the lab.
- Occasionally, temporary dental veneers can be placed until the permanent veneers are back.
- Dental veneers do not require any special care once placed.
- Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing.
Post-operative Care > Dental Bonding
Following the bonding procedure, avoid excessive biting pressure on the teeth. Avoid chewing on ice, pencils, and hard objects. Continue to brush and floss regularly.
Pediatric Post-Operative Care > Fillings
- You can expect to be numb.
- Avoid eating anything sticky or hard during the first 24 hours.
- It is best to wait until anesthetic wears off before eating because it is very easy to bite and traumatize some of the numb tissues in your mouth if you were to eat before it wears off. If you have had a ‘white’ resin filling, the filling is cured up completely after it is placed in your mouth, and after the numbness wears off, you can resume eating and drinking as you normally would.
- If you had a silver metal filling, you can resume eating once the numbness wears off, but it is important to avoid anything significantly sticky or crunchy on the filling for the first 24 hours. After this initial 24 hours, you may eat and drink as you normally do.