Post Operative Care Instructions

Here you will find various instructions to help you after dental care.  Click on the appropriate section to view the relevant information.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns after your dental appointment, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

1.  Change gauze every 30 mins until the bleeding stops. If the blood has turned to a pink/watery colour it is ok to stop using the gauze. If the blood is still dark red in colour place another piece of gauze to the area of the extracted tooth.

*If bleeding persists, apply a lightly moistened black tea bag to the area. Black tea contains tannic acid which aids in the formation of blood clots required for healing. Red and green teas do not contain tannic acid and therefore are not an effective substitute.

2.  No spitting or drinking through a straw for the next 24 hours. These actions cause a vacuum to the oral cavity. This vacuum effect has the potential to disturb the clotting process needed to promote healing. Instead of spitting allow saliva to dribble out without using any excessive force. Choose to drink directly from a cup instead of using a straw.

3.  No alcohol for 24 hours after extraction. Alcohol thins the blood and can result in the bleeding process to begin all over again.

4.  No smoking for 24 hours after extraction. Smoking cause a suction force that can disrupt the clotting process and cause the site to start bleeding. Cigarattes also contain toxins that can be damaging to the surgical site and are better left out of contact.

5.  No physical activity for the first 48 hours following an extraction. Avoid any vigorous activities such as sports, exercise, etc.

6.  Consume a soft food diet for 24-48 hours post extraction. Avoid hot foods such as soup, hot coffee, etc. to avoid irritation of the extraction sites. Choose cold, soft foods, or allow hot foods to cool before eating.

7.  If swelling occurs use a cold pack to the area. Place a cold pack in 30 minute intervals to the exterior of the cheek around the surgical site.

8.  Allow stitches to self dissolve within a week of the extraction. Stitches will initially feel and look like strings within the oral cavity. Allow the stitches to dissolve naturally, there is no need to have them removed by the dentist.

9.  Brush and floss the remaining teeth as normal. Be sure to provide a clean environment for the surgical site to heal properly and quickly. Maintaining a proper oral health routine will keep bacteria levels to a minimum.

10.  24 hours after the extraction begin using salt water rinses. Mix 1 cup of lukewarm or room temperature water and 1 teaspoon of regular table salt together. Swish the solution around similar to a mouthrinse. Use the salt water rinse as a replacement for mouthrinse for a week after the extraction to promote healing. Salt water rinses help to prevent infections and bad breath. Be sure to rinse after eating and brushing to keep the extraction site clean.

* If you are a smoker and resume smoking 24 hours after an extraction, use a salt water rinse after each cigarette to allow any harmful toxins to be removed.

Crowns and bridges are very durable and if properly cared for can last for 10 years or longer. Be sure to brush and floss around your crown, as you would with your natural teeth. When flossing ensure that you are accessing the root area below the margin of the crown for effective plaque removal, allowing the gingival tissue to heal. Use of a floss threader allows access to the area under a bridge around the artificial tooth.

As crowns and bridges are not as strong as your natural teeth, remember not to bite down on hard objects or use your teeth to open or cut things. If a crown or bridge does chip, if your bite feels uneven, or if you have persistent pain please call the office to set up an appointment to have it checked out.

As with all your teeth, regular dental visits and professional hygiene scaling are important.

Braces are the most common appliance choice used by dentists to correct tooth misalignment concerns. With braces comes a whole new set of oral hygiene routines to prevent decay from happening while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Proper care and brushing techniques:

Brushing and flossing becomes a challenge while wearing braces but it is very important that both are done on a consistent basis. Choose toothbrushes with soft bristles, and be sure to brush after every meal. Brush for a full 2 minutes each time and avoid rushing so that plaque can be effectively removed from around the brackets.

Use of a floss threader or superfloss helps to feed the floss between the teeth. Take your time and floss carefully around the gums to ensure healthy tissues and reduced incidence of inflammation.

Foods to avoid during orthodontic treatment:

Hard Foods: Hard candy, Corn Chips, Popcorn, Jerky, Ice, Nuts, Pizza Crust, Corn on the Cob, Jolly Ranchers

Soft Foods: Bubble Gum, Starbursts, Gummy Candies, Caramels, Taffy, other sticky/chewy candies, beverages that contain sugar

* Whole fruits and vegetables should be cooked or cut into small pieces to limit excessive force on orthodontic brackets.