The essential guide to maintaining good oral hygiene after dental work.

Taking care of your teeth after treatment is crucial to maintaining good oral health.

This guide provides detailed information on how to care for your mouth and teeth after a dental procedure, including advice on pain management, oral hygiene, diet, and activities to avoid. By following the recommendations in this guide, patients can minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of infection, and promote a speedy recovery.

Smiling dentist and patient

Immediate denture care

During the first week after the denture is placed, you should not remove it for more than five minutes at a time. If the denture is left out of the mouth for a more extended period, the tissue may swell to the point the denture will not go back into place. The denture should be removed just long enough to rinse it off and, at the same time, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Immediately replace the denture in your mouth.

Bleeding

Some bleeding can be expected from under the denture. Gently rinse your mouth with warm water, leaving the denture in place as often as needed.

Irritation and discomfort

Sore spots will occur due to changes in the tissue after the denture is placed. After the first week, dentures should be taken out at night (always) for best tissue health. Appointments will be made as needed to relieve soreness. Sometimes several appointments may be required. If not excessively uncomfortable, continue to wear the dentures until the adjustments can be made. Otherwise, remove dentures and use warm salt-water rinses several times a day.

Stability and fit

Initial looseness may be experienced. The stability of dentures depends mainly on the nature of the supporting tissues, which varies among individuals. Adequate ridges are necessary for maximum stability. The harmonious interaction of dentures with the mouth's environment requires a few days for the best fit to be achieved.

Diet

A soft diet is recommended during the first few days to minimize chances of discomfort until the need for adjustment can be evaluated and the tissues have had time to adapt to the new demands.

Adjusting to dentures

A denture is a substitute for "Nature's Own" and will not be as efficient. It requires time and patience, like adjusting to new glasses. One must relearn to chew by practicing with the dentures. Speech likewise requires some practice. Find a quiet place and practice reading aloud to yourself for a few minutes several times a day.

Staying in touch

We will work closely to help you adjust to your new dentures. Keep in touch. There is no substitute for communication. Any problem you are having has been experienced before with new dentures, and our interest is in serving you.

Follow-up

Denture wearers should be examined annually to ensure that the mouth is healthy. Minor irritations from dentures may not be particularly bothersome or even noticed. Soft tissue changes do occur, affecting dentures' long-term fit and tissue resistance to disease.

Post surgical care

Use ice packs externally for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off for the first 24 hours following surgery. Ice packs are not needed while eating or sleeping.

Gauze pads

If gauze pads are placed over the surgical sites, change every 20-30 minutes until the bleeding stops. Biting down firmly will help the bleeding to stop quicker. Oozing is not uncommon for 8-10 hours following surgery. Remove the gauze to eat, then replace it with new ones when finished. Do not go to sleep with gauze in. Remove the gauze and place a towel over your pillow.

Diet

Keeping your body well nourished is essential to aid the healing process. Eat cold, soft foods the day of surgery (milkshakes, ice cream, jello, pudding, yogurt, etc.) Switch to warm, soft foods for the next five days (scrambled eggs, soup, oatmeal, etc.) and then return to your regular diet. Avoid drinking through a straw for one week. Avoid carbonated beverages for one week.

The After surgery

The day after your surgery—in addition to brushing your teeth, you should rinse with warm salt water after each meal. Use 1 tsp of salt in 8 oz. of warm water. Take a mouthful of the salt water and tip your head to the left for 20 seconds and then to the right for 20 seconds – no vigorous swishing. Repeat until the water is gone.

Pain management

Pain medication, if required, should be taken 45 minutes after eating. Start off taking just one pill; you can take a second one 45 minutes later if you feel you need it and the first one has not upset your stomach. Avoid alcohol while taking pain medications. Do not drive, use dangerous machinery, or make important decisions while taking pain medication.

Hygiene

Continue gently brushing your teeth after each meal, even on the day of surgery. Use a moist Q-tip instead of a toothbrush near the surgical areas. Keeping your mouth free of bacteria will also help the healing process.

Rest

Rest is desirable for two to three days—usually, swelling peaks around the third day after surgery.

Smoking & Spitting

You must avoid smoking or spitting for at least one week after surgery.

Deep cleaning aftercare

Following dental deep cleanings, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your gum health can be maintained with proper home care and regular professional care.

The following may be experienced immediately following your appointments:

Discomfort/Pain

Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually a slight throbbing or aching and may be uncomfortable enough to require a mild analgesic such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). This discomfort should not be severe and should subside in a few hours to a few days.

Typically, patients may experience a slight throbbing or aching sensation immediately following treatment, which may potentially cause discomfort requiring mild analgesics like Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). It is important to note that this discomfort is not expected to be severe and should resolve within a few hours to a few days.

Tooth Sensitivity

Teeth may be sensitive to temperature change and/or sweets. The temperature sensitivity may be intense for the first several days and usually diminishes quickly. If tooth sensitivity persists beyond two weeks, a desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium nitrate (Sensodyne, Prevident – dispensed from our office) should be used twice daily. Occasionally, a professional application of a desensitizing agent is required.

Bleeding

Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings, but the bleeding should steadily decrease after two or three days.

Appearance

Root surfaces may be more exposed as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away. This may result in more space between the teeth.

Minimizing discomfort

Diet

Chewing hard foods, such as chewy meat or hard vegetables, may be uncomfortable initially, but this should only last a few days. A diet of a softer consistency would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable.

Proper cleaning

Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly using a toothbrush that has been softened by holding it under warm water for thirty seconds. Warm salt water rinses (1 tsp salt per cup of warm water) or antimicrobial mouthwash can be used to rinse the mouth twice daily. The day after cleaning, begin flossing at least once daily.

Upkeep

The upkeep of gum health can be sustained through diligent home care and scheduled professional care. After deep dental cleanings, patients typically observe a reduction in gum tissue redness, bleeding, and swelling. Immediately after the appointment, patients may experience the following effects:

We're here to help you

If symptoms are severe or if any abscess or gum boil should appear, please call the office at (208) 667-5447.
Smiling dental worker

Need more advice?

We are dedicated to providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your oral health. If you require further information about your dental treatment and aftercare management, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

We are here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today

Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best possible care and support. Whether you need routine dental cleanings or have a more complex issue, we are here to help. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you and ensure your visit with us is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Idaho Family Dental Center Dentists with their families.
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