Once you are home from dental treatment it is important to follow instructions Dr. Connelly has given you. This helps make sure your smile stays healthy, and can make sure you heal properly. Taking care of your teeth lowers your risk for disease, complications and procedure failure.
Oral Hygiene – Post Treatment Home Care
We want you to keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. We are happy to explain and demonstrate proper home care. However, responsibility for your oral health ultimately lies with you. Yes, it is really up to you to keep things on the right track. If you do the following every day, you will significantly increase the likelihood of a lifetime of good oral health.
Floss is used to remove plaque and whatever else decides to take refuge on your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Plaque refers to the bacteria and other things that stick to your teeth. There is direct connection between plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Therefore, if you don’t remove the plaque, you will get gum disease and tooth decay.
Glide Floss is one of top floss products currently available. It is designed not to shred or get caught on your teeth or fillings. Take about an 18 inch length of floss and wrap it around your 2 middle fingers. Hold about a 1 inch length of this floss between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, keeping it tight. Gently place this 1 inch tight piece between the tooth contact. When you reach the gum line, hold the floss against one tooth and move it into the space between the gum and tooth below the gum line. While keeping the floss in contact with the tooth, move it up and down along the side of the tooth, from just below the contact to as far as you can comfortably get below the gum line. It is important that you get the floss in the space between the gum and tooth, as this is where gum disease begins. Repeat this procedure for the tooth on the other side of the contact. As you move from tooth to tooth, use a fresh section of floss.
If you haven’t flossed in awhile, your gums may bleed at first when you do this. If you are doing it correctly (and at least once a day), your gums will start to heal and the bleeding should stop in no more than 2 weeks.
Brushing removes plaque and food debris on the chewing, inside and outside tooth surfaces. After flossing, use a soft brush along with a fluoride containing brand-name toothpaste. For the inside and outside surfaces, hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the teeth and gums and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. This technique will not only clean your teeth, it will also keep your gums healthy. It is important to have the brush contact the teeth and gums at the same time. On the chewing surfaces hold the brush flat and use a gentle scrubbing motion.
Brush for two minutes. That is a long time, but it will be much more effective than the 20-30 seconds that most people do. Since two minutes standing by the sink is much longer than most people think, you may benefit by using a toothbrush timer. Brush at least 2 times a day, especially in the morning and at bedtime.
When done, spit out as much as you can. Don’t swallow any of the toothpaste, and don’t rinse out with any water.
A tongue scraper is great for removing bacteria and food debris on the tongue. These substances get stuck in the deep crevices of your tongue, and if not removed, the byproducts give you bad breath. After brushing, a tongue scraper followed by a rinse is frequently the best way to control bad breath.
The tongue scraper we give you has two sides, regular and soft. Usually you will use the regular side.
Hold the scraper with two hands, between the thumbs and forefingers. Bend the scraper so that it forms a “C”. Stick out your tongue and start scraping from back to front several times. You will notice a creamy film develop on the scraper. Rinse it off. Repeat the scraping and rinsing until the film coming off your tongue is clear.
Rinse and dry the tongue scraper. It is designed to last a long time.
An antibacterial rinse is just that, a rinse that cuts down on the bacteria that causes gum disease and cavities, plus it reduces those bacteria and the bacterial byproducts that cause bad breath. After scraping your tongue, it is recommended that you use a non-alcoholic anti-bacterial rinse, such as BreathRx or Crest Pro Health Rinse. This will significantly decrease the bacteria and volatile sulfur compounds (the substances responsible for bad breath). It will improve the health of your mouth and you will be a delight to be near. Why a non-alcoholic rinse? Most mouth rinses (such as Scope) contain a high percentage of alcohol. Alcohol dries your mouth out. Just put some alcohol on your hand and observe how quickly the skin dries out. Using a mouth rinse with a high alcohol content may make your mouth smell nice for only a short period of time. Once the alcohol begins drying the tongue and gums, your breath can actually smell worse than before you used it. Therefore, an alcoholic mouth rinse is not recommended.
Use a very small amount (you need less than you think) of mouth rinse and swish for 10-15 seconds and spit it out. No rinsing with water.
Remember: You don’t have to clean all your teeth; only the ones you want to keep. Congratulations! You are on your way to excellent oral health.
Silver Amalgam Restorations Care
We have just placed silver amalgam restorations in your teeth. This high quality material should provide you with years of service. However, you should be aware of the following information about your new restorations:
CHEWING: They do not have their maximum strength for 24 hours. Chew only soft foods on the new restorations until that time.
SENSITIVITY: Metals conduct heat and cold faster than tooth structure. Therefore, you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods a few days to a couple of weeks. This sensitivity should begin to gradually disappear. If it does not do so, please contact us.
RECALLS: Visit us at regular six-month recall periods. Often problems that are developing around the restorations can be found at an early stage and corrected easily, while waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration. We will contact you when it is time for your recall.
PREVENTIVE PROCEDURES: Use the following preventive procedures that are checked:
- Brush and floss after eating and before bedtime.
- Swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily with one of the following products: (1) Colgate FLUORIGARD; (2) Johnson & Johnson ACT; or (3) LISTERMINT with Fluoride. The best time is immediately before bedtime (.05% neutral sodium flouride)
- Swish vigorously with .2% neutral sodium fluoride. (This requires a prescription from us.)
- Use a Water Pik
THE FUTURE: Small silver amalgam restorations will serve for many years in your mouth. However, larger silver amalgam restorations may break, or the tooth structure around them may break in the future. In this event, the involved tooth or teeth would require a crown (cap) for optimum strength. The restorations we just placed in your mouth were:
- Small with optimum longevity potential.
- Moderate to large with good longevity potential.
- Very large and with questionable longevity potential.
AGGRESSIVE CHEWING: Do not chew ice or other very hard objects. Avoid chewing very sticky “hard tack” candy because it can remove restorations.
PROBLEMS: IF ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS OCCURS, CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY TO AVOID FURTHER PROBLEMS:
- A Feeling of movement or looseness in the restoration.
- Sensitivity to sweet foods.
- A peculiar taste from the restoration site.
- Breakage of a piece of material from the restoration.
We have done our best to provide you with the finest quality oral restoration available today. However, as with a fine automobile or watch, only our continuing care and concern can assure optimum service longevity.
Composite Fillings – Post-Treatment Instructions
- Composite fillings set up hard right away. There is no waiting time to eat. 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 to hot and cold is common for a few weeks following dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
- 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 shape than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference and will become adjusted to this in a few days.