Home Care Instructions

After Cosmetic Reconstruction (veneers)

Veneers or 3/4 crowns usually take two or three appointments to complete. Generally, the first visit involves discussing your esthetic goals and taking preliminary impressions to help design your smile.  In the next visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary veneers are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and/or 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 veneers may come off or crack. Call us at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705 if this happens and bring the temporary veneer with you to the office 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.  Don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary veneer.  If you use an oral irrigator, place it on a lower power while you are in temporaries.

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 saline rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will help reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication may also be used, as directed by our office.

Once your permanent veneers are in place it is important to 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 Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

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, flossing and oral irrigation 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 at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705.

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 Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705 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. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm saline rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will help reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication may also be used, as directed by our office.

If your crown was planned as part of your treatment because of a crack in your tooth (also diagnosed as “Cracked Tooth Syndrome”), it is important to know that a crown, although the first course of treatment, may not fully resolve your symptoms.  If you have pain with biting pressure, please contact Dr. Jill Colson or Dr. Chad Colson, as additional treatment may be necessary to fully resolve your dental issue.  

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705.

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 or bite down on a wet teabag for 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.  Do not sleep with gauze in your mouth.

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, spit, 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 applied to the extra-oral area of the extraction will keep swelling to a minimum. Apply the ice during the first 12 hours after extraction.  The swelling usually will peak 48 hours after the procedure, then subsides.

It is imperative that you use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705 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.

24 hours after the extraction, begin warm saline rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) every 4-6 hours for at least 3 days.  Swish gently for about a minute and when finished, allow the fluid to drip out of your mouth instead of spitting.

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.  Avoid things with small seeds that could get caught in the extraction site.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine for the other areas of your mouth 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 72 hours, you can gently brush the teeth around the extraction site and then gradually return to your normal routine.

Usually after 7-10 days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities.  Over the next few weeks, you may feel small slivers of bone coming from the extraction site and this is normal.

If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, fever, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705 or go to your local emergency room.

After Composite Restorations (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 and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Mild pain medications, as directed by our office, 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 Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705.

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 Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705

After Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a non-surgical periodontal therapy to remove bacterial plaque and calculus from around teeth and below the gumline.  This promotes healing of the inflammation and infection that causes gum disease.  Generally, the area of your mouth to be treated is anesthetized (numbed) for your comfort.  Following scaling and root planing therapy, we advise the following:

Care of your Mouth  Start brushing, flossing, and continue your prescribed oral hygiene regime immediately. You may have to GO GENTLY at first, but make every effort to keep your mouth plaque free. We recommend rinsing your mouth several times on the day of treatment, with warm saline rinses (use 1/4 tsp salt to 8 oz. water).  Avoid using mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

Discomfort  Some discomfort is expected when the anesthesia wears off. Usually, a mild pain reliever or what you normally take for a headache will eliminate any discomfort. Sensitivity to cold or touch may temporarily occur. Brushing with a desensitizing tooth paste or a fluoride paste that we may prescribe will usually reduce or eliminate sensitivity in a day or two.

Eating Your next few meals should be soft. Avoid any hard, gritty foods such as peanuts, popcorn, chips, or hard bread for at least 3-4 days. Also, it is best to avoid hot, spicy foods and alcohol for at least 24 hours.

Bleeding Slight bleeding may continue for several hours following the procedure. This is not unusual and should stop. If bleeding persists beyond a few hours, please call our office at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705.  You may also notice slight bleeding with brushing over the next few days.  Do not allow this to deter you–continue with your homecare as directed.   

Swelling You may notice swelling after your treatment and it may take up to a week to resolve.   Rinse your mouth every few hours with warm saline rinses (use 1/4 tsp salt to 8 oz. water).

Smoking Please refrain from smoking for 24 hours or longer after scaling and root planning procedures. Tobacco use interferes with the healing.  Consider quitting!

Exercise Avoid any aerobic activity for the rest of the day; e.g., jogging, tennis, racket ball, anything strenuous. Take it easy and rest.

After In-Office Whitening Treatment

These home care instructions are for the Philips Zoom QuickPro In Office Whitening Treatment.  After the treatment is complete in the office, you are dismissed with the whitening varnish on your teeth.  This material should remain on your teeth for a total of 30 minutes.  Do not eat, drink or smoke during this time.  After 30 minutes, simply brush or wipe off the varnish.  As a general guide, do not eat or drink anything that would stain a white t-shirt for the next 24 hours.  Philips recommends having the treatment every 6 months at routine cleaning appointments and no more than 12 times a year.

Clear Correct Treatment

In our office we use Clear Correct – a company that develops and fabricates custom, clear, removable dental braces (known a clear aligners) to straighten and align teeth.  Your initial appointment involves an evaluation by Dr. Jill Colson or Dr. Chad Colson to see if you are a candidate for the treatment.  Once approved for treatment, your impressions, photographs and radiographs are taken for submission with Clear Correct.  Together with Clear Correct, we design your treatment plan.  Once the treatment plan is approved, Clear Correct begins to manufacture you Starter Aligners.  

Wearing the Starter Aligners will help you get used to wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours a day, and you will become more comfortable (and compliant) when the time comes to wear aligners. This will help you achieve the best result at the end of treatment. You will also get used to cleaning the aligners, taking them in and out of your mouth, and any “lisp” or foreign feelings that are associated with wearing any orthodontic device. You should feel slight pressure due to the retention of these aligners. The pressure felt may also be the beginning of the teeth preparing to be treated, thus speeding up the tooth movements with later aligners. The starter aligners are acting as a retainer and are keeping your teeth in place, so that the Phase One aligners will fit. If the starter aligners do not fit, and the treatment set up has already been approved, a revision is needed and new impressions will be taken.

A patient undergoing treatment with ClearCorrect is instructed to wear the aligners 22 hours a day. COMPLIANCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS!  They are removed when eating or drinking and to brush and floss your teeth. The patient sees the providing dentist every six weeks and is given two sets of aligners at a time. Each set is worn for three weeks and the patient is instructed when to change to the next aligner. The patient typically feels significant pressure when starting a new aligner and the pressure gradually subsides as the aligner is worn over the three-week span. When treatment is completed, the patient is given the final set of aligners to be worn as retainers. Retainers are recommended to be worn for the remainder of the patient’s life, usually at night time, to help maintain the final result of treatment. The retainers can be easily replaced if worn out or lost, for a nominal fee. 

After Dermal Fillers

Following the placement of dermal fillers, apply ice to the treated area for the first 24 hours. 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off is a good rule to follow.  The injected points are very small and need little care. At home, you can clean the area with a non-irritating cleanser such as Cetaphil. Make-up can be worn one-hour after the procedure.  A feeling of numbness or swelling in the treated area is normal and it will relax within a few hours.  Your skin will be sensitive to the sun. You should apply a 15 SPF or greater sunscreen 3-4 times a day when you are exposed to moderate amounts sun.  

For the first 72 hours you should refrain from massaging the injected area. The area may feel lumpy and is normal. However, if a visible lump is seen after the initial 3 days, you may gently massage it for the next week which will smooth the area.  The first post-procedure visit, if recommended, will be in two to three weeks. Please notify Dr. Chad or Dr. Jill Colson of any unexpected problems or concerns at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705.

After Denture or Partial

Now that you have your new dentures, here are some suggestions for living with them. Some temporary problems are a normal part of adjusting to new dentures. However, with time and practice, you will make the adjustment to dentures and be eating and talking with confidence. You should plan on regular visits to our office so we can monitor the health of your mouth and the fit of your denture. We will also let you know when it is time to adjust, reline, or replace your denture. Call us at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705 when the bite feels uneven, your dentures become loose, you have persistent discomfort, you have gagging that persists beyond the initial adjustment period, or if you have questions or concerns.

Immediate Dentures

When all of your upper or lower teeth must be removed, an immediate denture is a good interim treatment for replacing them. An immediate denture is one that is placed on the same day the teeth are removed. With proper home care and regular adjustments, your immediate denture can provide a good short-term treatment for a functional bite and smile. Depending on the circumstances of your extractions, we may opt to gently close the gum with stitches. Then we will insert the new immediate denture in your mouth. You will wear the denture continually for one to three days. It will probably feel tight because the gums are swollen. As the gums and jawbone change shape over the next several months, the surface of the denture will need to be relined at least once for a better fit.

Chewing and Eating

For the first few months, while you are learning to chew with your denture, start with soft foods, then gradually add more variety. Continue to eat a healthy diet, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. To make this easier, cut your food into small bites. Bite into your foods with the side of the teeth, not the front. If you denture tips when you chew, try keeping some food on both sides of your mouth to help balance the denture. Occasionally, small pieces of food will work their way under your denture while you eat. Simply remove your denture and rinse it with water. To protect your denture, avoid chewing ice or other hard objects. Speaking and staying comfortable You may have difficulty speaking for a short while. If this happens, practice by reading aloud in front of a mirror until you are comfortable. You can also try speaking more slowly and quietly. While your mouth gets used to the new denture, it may seem bulky, you may notice increased salivary flow, and your tongue will feel crowded. These sensations should pass with time. An upper denture causes some people to gag. A lower denture without implants will move out of place as your tongue moves.

Cleaning and Using Adhesives

Brush your tongue, gums, palate and any remaining teeth at least twice a day to keep them free of plaque and bacteria. Brushing also massages the gums and keeps your breath fresh. In addition, we may recommend dental floss, mouth rinses, or other cleaning aids. Clean your denture over a sink full of water to prevent your denture from breaking if it is accidentally dropped. We may recommend special denture cleansers or brushes. Use your denture brush and a denture cleaning product at least once a day to thoroughly clean all of the surfaces of your denture. Also, soak your denture periodically in a commercial soaking solution. After soaking, rinse dentures thoroughly in cool water.

Sleeping and Storing Your Dentures

Unless we tell you otherwise, remove your denture for sleeping or at least 6-8 hours a day. Store your denture in water or a soaking solution whenever it is out of your mouth, so it does not dry out.

After Endodontic Treatment (root canal treatment)

After endodontic treatment been completed, the root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please be sure you make this appointment with us within 30 days of completing your endodontic treatment.  If your permanent restoration is not placed within 30 days of endodontic completion, the seal on the root canal system may be compromised.

Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until we have placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, we may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. If an endodontist performed your treatment, we will work with him or her to determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.

Dr. Jill Colson and Dr. Chad Colson both perform endodontic treatment in the office but at times, there are challenging cases they may choose to send to a dentist who specialiizes in root canal therapy, an endodontist.  If you do see an endodontist for treatment, please make an appointment with our office within 30 days of completed treatment to have your permanent restoration placed.

Are There Any Potential Problems After Treatment?

Lower teeth and nerve injury: There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower posterior teeth.  For lower posterior teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin and gums. Your treatment will be design to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation or, in rare cases a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks or months. In rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.

Upper teeth and sinus communication: The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in a communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.

Post-operative infections: Post-operative infections occasionally occur. This usually requires just an office visit and examination. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. If you notice swelling and/or pressure, fever or intense pain please call us immediately at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-271-6705.