Aftercare Instructions

Teeth Whitening
The basics
  • The top teeth-stainers are coffee, tea, colored soda and red wine.
  • Tea stains teeth worse than coffee.
  • Whitening products, as well as power bleaching trays, only work on natural teeth.
Power bleaching
  • Power bleaching costs about $500, and is typically not covered by insurance.
  • Power bleaching uses a combination of gel and lights and takes about one hour. Results last up to two years.
  • Power bleaching patients have to follow some strict dietary restrictions for 24 hours after the process -anything that will stain a white shirt will stain the teeth during that time.
Bleaching trays
  • Bleaching trays cost $300.
  • Bleach used in the trays ordinarily contains 16% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Trays are custom-made to fit the mouth.
  • Most patients use the trays for five to seven days; however, very yellow or grayish teeth may take three weeks or more.
  • Overuse of bleaching trays may cause your teeth to look translucent.
  • Trays no longer need to be worn overnight, and you shouldn’t do so.
  • Bleaching trays can be used for a touch-up every six months.
  • Bleaching gel can be used for up to three years.
Over-the-counter whitening strips
  • Over-the-counter strips for home use cost around $15.
  • You can safely use up to two boxes every six months.
  • Make sure teeth are completely dry before applying the product.

*Some whitening toothpastes contain tin oxide, which some studies have linked with lung problems.

After a Crown or Bridge Treatment

Following the first appointment for a crown or bridge procedure, a temporary is usually placed on the tooth or teeth involved. This will protect them while the custom restoration is being made.

Temporary crowns are of a universal size and shade that also serve a cosmetic function for front teeth. Your final restoration will be shaped and shaded better than the temporary to match your other teeth in both color and function.

The use of a temporary cement is for easy removal on your next appointment. If your temporary comes off between appointments, slip it back on and call us for an appointment.

Many crowns fit below the gum line. Therefore, you may experience some discomfort for a few days due to the irritation of that area during the procedures. Sensitivity to cold or pressure is also possible.

After the final cementation of your fixed restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, be sure and call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.

Proper brushing and flossing is recommended to help you retain your final restoration the only area of a crowned tooth that can decay is at the edge of the crown at the gum line.

Call our office if any unusual symptoms occur.

After an Amalgam or Composite Filling

Do not bite together hard or eat on fresh amalgam fillings for 2-3 hours. Composite fillings set up hard right away.

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.

Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a few days following a dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be.

The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days along with the anesthetic injection site.

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.

After Tooth Extraction

Bleeding after an extraction, a wet gauze pack is placed over the extraction site to prevent excessive bleeding and to promote the healing blood clot. Keep pressure on it for 30-45 minutes and replace if bleeding continues. Slight bleeding may occur up to 2 days. Avoid activities that could apply a suction action to the blood clot such as smoking or sucking through a straw.

Rinsing do not rinse your mouth today. Tomorrow you can rinse your mouth gently with a glass of warm water mixed with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can do this every 3-4 hours a day, especially after meals.

Swelling following an extraction, some swelling and skin bruising may occur. A cold moist cloth or an ice bag applied to the cheek will keep it to a minimum. Place on affected area for about 15-20 minutes of every hour for the next 6 hours.


If non-aspirin pain medication doesn’t relieve the discomfort you may experience, a stronger medication can be prescribed. Be sure to use all medications as directed.


A light diet with plenty of fluids is recommended the first day. Avoid carbonated or hot beverages. Chewing should be done away from the extraction site.

Oral Hygiene

Continue brushing and flossing, being extra gentle near the extraction site.


During healing, you may notice small bony fragments working their way through the gums. We can easily remove them if they are too annoying.

Call our office if any unusual symptoms occur.

After Root Canal Treatment

Endodontic treatment can take 1, 2 or 3 appointments depending on each case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments: sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling.

If you experience swelling, call our office. It may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic for you.

A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits.

Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.

During endodontic treatment the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This will cause the tooth to become brittle and prone to fracturing which can result in the need to extract the tooth. In many cases a full coverage crown restoration (cap) may be recommended to prevent this from happening.