Home Care Instruction
Most of the time, an anesthetic is given to numb the tooth prior to filling a cavity. The numb feeling lasts for some time after your childs dental visit. This numb feeling can affect the lips, cheek, and tongue for up to several hours after the visit. Your child should be kept on a soft or liquid diet until the numbness wears off. Parents should also watch the behavior of children that may be injurious during this time of numbness. This includes hands or fingers in the mouth, chewing motions while your child has no food in the mouth, or obvious lip biting or gnawing.
Occasionally, despite our best efforts, curious children still manage to bite their lip or cheek. If this happens, rest assured that the injury looks far worse than it is, and within a day or two tissues heal completely and without complication. A bitten lip should be kept moist with Vaseline or a suitable antibacterial ointment. Children should be given adequate fluids which will also serve to regularly flush the affected area and aid in healing.
Following a tooth extraction, the most important immediate precaution is constant pressure at the site of extraction. Your child should bite on a soft gauze. The gauze should be replaced every few minutes or when the gauze become wet with saliva. This should be repeated for about thirty minutes, or until bleeding has stopped.
Diet should be limited to soft bland diet and should commence only after numbness wears off. Spicy foods and foods which require a great deal of chewing should be avoided.
For several hours following an extraction, your child should refrain from strenuous activity, as this can cause bleeding at the extraction site to recur. The day of the extraction, it is not necessary to brush in the area immediately adjacent to the extraction site. However, as early as the following morning, children can return to regular brushing of all teeth, unless otherwise directed.
Following root canal treatment, children are numb and will remain so often for up to several hours after the dental visit. Therefore, the child should stay on a soft diet until numbness wears off. If your child has been prescribed an antibiotic to help resolve the underlying dental infection, it is important to complete the entire course of antibiotic therapy regardless of whether the childs discomfort is completely resolved or not. Root canal treatment on primary teeth is often less complicated than on permanent teeth. However, the long-term prognosis for your childs treated tooth may vary depending on the specific type of root canal treatment and/or the extent of the initial infection. Although the vast majority of root canal treated primary teeth remain problem-free until they are ready to fall out naturally, occasionally treated teeth need further examination and treatment. Dr. Lam will thoroughly review the possible outcomes, what to expect and what future treatments may be required for root canal treated teeth.
If a root canal treated tooth has a temporary filling placed, it is important for your child to avoid foods that are sticky or excessively hard until the following visit. Otherwise, the most common permanent restoration following root canal treatment on a primary tooth is a crown. To ensure that the crown is properly cemented to the tooth, it is important for your child to completely avoid chewing on the treated tooth for two hours following the dental visit.
Topical fluoride treatment is performed usually after a cleaning visit. In general, topical fluoride has ability to absorb into and help strengthen the surface of teeth for about 30 minutes following application. For this reason, patients are advised not to eat, drink, or rinse for thirty minutes following fluoride application. When caries risk is higher, or for particularly sensitive teeth, a high concentration fluoride varnish is used in place of the conventional topical fluoride treatment. In this case, patients are again advised not to eat, drink, or rinse for thirty minutes following application. However, varnish continues to adhere to the teeth and absorb for up to four hours. Therefore, although children can eat and drink after thirty minutes, hot foods and liquids should be avoided. Furthermore, the varnish should not be brushed off until the evening brushing that day.
General Dentistry Homecare Instructions
After Composite (White) Fillings • After Cosmetic Reconstruction • After Crown, Bridge, Inlay, Onlay, Veneer Appointments • After Braces and Invisalign® • After Teeth Whitening • After Root Canal Treatment
• After Tooth Extraction • After New Dentures
When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for up to several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lips 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 (taken as directed) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If sensitivity persists or worsens beyond a few days, or if your bite continues to feel uneven, please contact our office.
You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off.
Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.
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 (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild analgesic (one tablet of Tylenol or ibuprofen (Motrin) taken as directed) should ease any residual discomfort.
Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week.
Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new and improved dentition. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments with your dentist.
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, pencils, and/or sticky candies). Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries, curry.
If you engage in sports, let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the nightguard we have provided for you. 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.
Crowns, bridges, inlays/onlays, veneers usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are 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 restoration (“temporary”) may come off. Call us if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary restoration to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.
To keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), 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, but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.
It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.
If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Florham Park Office Phone Number 973-295-6600).
During orthodontic treatment your teeth are forced to move into their correct position in the arch. This movement of teeth through the bone may cause the distinct sensation of pressure on the teeth and mouth. Over time, you should get used to the new sensation and be less and less aware of the sensation.
Your oral hygiene is very important while wearing braces. Braces trap an enormous amount of food debris and plaque. If the food and plaque are not properly removed every day by brushing, flossing and other cleaning measures (using floss threaders, irrigating with Water Pik), they can cause tooth decay and severe inflammation of your gums.
For patients using Invisalign®, please remove the custom fit trays while eating, and please brush your teeth and any appliances before placing the appliances back in your mouth.
During whitening, the stains and microscopic debris that have accumulated within your teeth are removed. Subsequently, the deeper structures of the tooth are more exposed to the outside elements, and this may lead to some initial sensitivity to air, water and temperature.
To avoid any sensitivity it is advised to use desensitizing toothpaste before and after whitening. Motrin and Tylenol are also of great help in decreasing the initial sensitivity.
Some patients may experience some gum irritation for the first couple of days after whitening. Warm salt water rinses will help with any discomfort.
To avoid rapid recurrence of staining, please maintain immaculate oral hygiene, avoid smoking, drinking caffeine (use a straw), red wine, and foods that may cause discoloration. You will receive a take home kit for periodic touch-ups to maintain your teeth their whitest.
Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is done on teeth that have an infection which has spread deep into the nerve. During the RCT, every effort is made to remove all infection, and additional antibiotic is used to kill any remaining bacteria. Some teeth can be treated in one visit, others require two or more.
After the first day of RCT it is possible to experience slight discomfort and tenderness in the area. Please do not be alarmed. Usually the amount of discomfort is proportional to the amount of inflammation and infection in the tooth. Motrin, Tylenol, and antibiotics usually are effective at alleviating the discomfort until the next appointment. If, however, the discomfort does not dissipate, please schedule an appointment promptly so we can continue to treat your dental infection.
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 15-30 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad over the wound and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. Occasionally, replacing the gauze and biting on a wet tea bag will help stop ongoing bleeding.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids in healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Often, if the clot is dislodged, the socket becomes dry and very sensitive, in which case you will need to return to our office for follow-up treatment and medication application. Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
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. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. If no prescription was given, Tylenol should alleviate the discomfort. 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 fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important 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 have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Florham Park Office Phone Number 973-295-6600).
A new denture of any kind will initially feel like a foreign object in your mouth. None of the soft tissues (gums, palate, tongue) will be accustomed to having the denture in place.
It will take you some time to learn how to eat and speak with the denture.
Avoid sticky foods. Try to chew evenly with both sides to avoid loosening of the denture. In order to get accustomed to speaking with your new denture, try reading out-loud for the first week.
The denture may be irritating your gums and your tongue at first. Rinse your mouth with warm salty water periodically, brush your denture after eating, and leave your denture out at night to give your gums time to rest. Also, please note that every new denture requires periodic adjustment. Please make sure you return for your follow-up appointments so we can adjust your denture accordingly.