Home Care Instructions

Please click the procedure to gain more information about home care instructions.


After Cosmetic Reconstruction

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 as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office at Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730 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 (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (one tablet of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) every 3-4 hours) 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 dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.

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, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries.

If you engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard 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.


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 Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730 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, 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 Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730.


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 30-45 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, 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. 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 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. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730 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 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 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 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730.


After Composite (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. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730.

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 Shoreline Dental Phone Number 831-384-7730.


After Amalgam (Silver) Fillings

Do not bite together hard or eat on new amalgam fillings for 2 to 3 hours. Do not eat hard or very crunchy foods for 24 hours.

Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks or tongue, which can cause serious damage.

The numbing in the upper jaw will last approximately 1 hour, and the numbing in the lower jaw will last up to 4 hours. A soft diet is recommended until the numbing wears off. Also, avoid hot drinks or foods until the numbing is gone.

Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common following a dental restoration. The sensitivity may last several days to several months depending on how deep the cavity penetrated your tooth. The sensitivity is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic wears off and then disappears slowly.

The gum tissue may have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The site where the anesthetic injection was given may also be sore for a few days.

Please follow prescribed oral hygiene instructions-45 degree angle brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to avoid getting a cavity or gum disease around the filling.

The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days.


Denture Care

Advice and tips on caring for your dentures

  • Only your dental professional is qualified to diagnose your oral health and adjust your denture or partial.
  • Dentures should be brushed inside and outside daily with a soft, large nylon denture tooth brush with round-ended bristles.
  • Use denture creams instead of toothpastes, which are too abrasive and will scratch your denture. Rinse with cold water.
  • Dentures warp if placed in hot water.
  • Inspect your denture regularly for worn teeth.
  • Worn and stained dentures can make you look older and cause your dentures to function poorly.
  • Discuss all your current medications with your doctor and dental professional.
  • Be sure to visit your dental professional regularly.
  • Have loose dentures checked immediately as they can cause friction and pressure on the gum tissues and bones.
  • When not in use, cover dentures with water or a denture-cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out.
  • Most dental insurance policies provide coverage for new dentures every 5 years.

After Root Canal Treatment

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed.

NOTE: Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately.


Take Home Whitening Instructions

  1. Keep your whitening gel in the refrigerator. This will make it a little easier to manipulate.
  2. Before starting, floss and brush thoroughly.
  3. Place a VERY SMALL amount of whitening gel in each tooth slot on the cheek side of your custom whitening tray.  It is best to place it towards the top of the slot to allow the gel to disperse evenly downward.
  4. Place tray and rub the front of your teeth to spread whitening gel.NOTE:  if whitening gel comes in contact with your gum tissue, remove tray and rinse mouth.  This means that there is too much gel in the tray.  Apply less gel at next application
  5. Allow trays to stay in place for ONE HOUR.  Do not drink or eat during this time.
  6. Remove trays, rinse and brush them with cool water.  Using hot water may distort trays making them less effective.
  7. Rinse mouth with warm water and brush teeth thoroughly.
  8. Repeat these steps every day for TWO WEEKS to enjoy your new bright smile.

Troubleshooting:

  • If teeth are really sensitive, try leaving the trays in place for 30 minutes TWO TIMES per day
  • To conserve on whitening gel look at your smile in the mirror and place gel as far back as you can see.  You can also skip any teeth that have crowns.  The whitening gel will only affect natural tooth structure.
  • If the gel still oozes onto gum tissue, continue to decrease the amount of gel being used.  Only a VERY SMALL amount is needed.  If the gum tissue turns white, discontinue use until natural color returns.