Home Care Instructions

After Composite Fillings (white fillings)

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for 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 lip while you are numb. It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at Padilla Dentistry & Orthodontics Phone Number 505-292-2323. You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the 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 Padilla Dentistry & Orthodontics Phone Number 505-292-2323.

After Braces/Orthodontics

Before your braces are put on, small devices called “spacers” will be placed between specific back teeth. These spacers may cause discomfort of the teeth they are placed next to (this is normal). Once you do get your braces on, you may feel a general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3-5 days. Rinsing your mouth with cold water may relieve this soreness, as the wires we place are thermally activated. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!  

With braces, it is more important than ever to brush and floss your teeth. Braces can act as plaque traps and good oral hygiene is a MUST! Some patients may require more frequent dental cleanings to help them maintain good dental hygiene. Remember, the teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears any prescribed rubber bands, head gear, or other specific devices. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Once your braces are removed, this is not the end of treatment. Treatment continues for life with retainers. Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise. When retainers are not in your mouth, they should be in a protective case. 

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges 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 is completely worn off. Occasionally, a temporary crown may come off. Call us at Padilla Dentistry & Orthodontics Phone Number 505-292-2323 if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you, so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration. To keep your temporaries 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 and floss carefully around the temporary. Do not pull up on the floss, as this may dislodge the temporary, but rather 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 Padilla Dentistry & Orthodontics Phone Number 505-292-2323.

After Tooth Extraction

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 60 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, or drink alcohol. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Brush teeth next to the extraction site gently for the next 72 hours. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 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 discomfort 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. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Use the pain medication as directed. 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 fluid 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 twice 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 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Padilla Dentistry & Orthodontics Phone Number 505-292-2323.