Home Care Instructions

Greenville Dental Studio

Greenville Dental Studio

Home Care Instructions

Following your dental visit, it’s crucial to adopt proper home care instructions to ensure the best outcomes and maintain optimal oral health. Whether you’ve received a routine cleaning, a filling, cosmetic procedures, or more extensive dental work, adhering to specific aftercare guidelines can significantly impact your recovery process and the longevity of the dental treatment. By carefully following these post-operative care tips, you can help prevent complications, protect your dental investments, and promote faster healing, ensuring your smile remains healthy and bright.

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Immediate Aftercare

  • Sensitivity: It’s normal to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures for a few days after the procedure. This should gradually decrease over time.
  • Eating: Avoid eating until the numbness from anesthesia wears off to prevent accidentally biting your cheeks or tongue. Once the numbness has worn off, start with soft foods and gradually return to your regular diet.
  • Chewing: Try to chew on the opposite side of the treated area until the veneers have fully bonded to your teeth and any adhesive has set, usually within a few hours after the procedure.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brushing: Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly at least twice a day using a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching the veneers.
  • Flossing: Continue to floss daily, taking care to get between the veneers and the natural teeth to remove any plaque buildup.
  • Rinsing: Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria and maintain healthy gums.

Foods and Beverages

  • Avoid Hard Foods: Hard foods can damage or chip the veneers. Avoid biting directly into hard foods like apples or carrots; instead, cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Limit Staining Foods and Beverages: Coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco can stain veneers. Limit your intake of these substances, or consider using a straw when consuming beverages that stain.


  • Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects: Chewing on pens, ice, fingernails, or other hard objects can chip or damage veneers.
  • Wear Protection: If you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a night guard to protect your veneers. Similarly, wear a mouthguard during sports.

Regular Dental Visits

  • Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings, typically every six months, to maintain the health of your gums and the integrity of your veneers. Your dentist can monitor your veneers and address any issues early on.


  • Check for Changes: Regularly check your veneers for any changes in fit, color, or if there are signs of damage. If you notice any issues, contact your dentist immediately.

After Crown & Bridge Appointments

Immediate Aftercare

  • Bite and Pressure Sensitivity: It’s normal to experience some sensitivity and discomfort around the treated area. This should subside within a few days. If your bite feels uneven, or the sensitivity persists, contact your dentist.
  • Temporary Crown or Bridge: If you have a temporary crown or bridge, avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods that could dislodge or damage it. Be particularly cautious when cleaning around it.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brushing: Continue brushing your teeth gently but thoroughly at least twice a day. Be gentle around the new crown or bridge to avoid dislodging any temporary dental work.
  • Flossing: Floss carefully to remove plaque from the area. If you have a bridge, use a floss threader or water flosser to clean under the pontic (false tooth). Avoid pulling up on the floss when cleaning around a temporary crown to prevent dislodging it; instead, slide the floss out to the side.
  • Rinsing: You may be advised to rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) several times a day to reduce swelling and discomfort.

Eating Habits

  • Chewing: Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the crown or bridge was placed until the permanent fixture is installed and the anesthesia has worn off. This prevents damage to the temporary and reduces discomfort.
  • Diet: Stick to soft foods for the first few days if you experience any sensitivity or discomfort. Gradually reintroduce harder foods as comfort permits.

Pain Management

  • Discomfort: It’s normal to experience some discomfort after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage this.
  • Temperature Sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot and cold is common but should decrease over time. If sensitivity increases or persists, contact your dentist.

Avoid Certain Habits

  • Hard and Sticky Foods: Avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage or dislodge crowns and bridges.
  • Oral Habits: Refrain from habits like biting nails, chewing on pens, or using your teeth to open packages, as these can damage your dental work.

Regular Dental Visits

  • Follow-Up Care: Attend any scheduled follow-up appointments to ensure your crown or bridge is fitting correctly and to receive the permanent restoration.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Continue with regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

When to Contact Us

  • Loose or Damaged Restorations: If your temporary crown or bridge becomes loose or falls out, keep it safe and contact us immediately for advice. Do not try to reattach it yourself.
  • Persistent Pain or Discomfort: If you experience ongoing pain, discomfort, or bite issues, consult us as soon as possible.

After Tooth Extraction

Immediate Aftercare

  • Bite on Gauze: Immediately after the extraction, bite down gently but firmly on the gauze pad placed by your dentist to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket. Keep it in place for about 30 to 60 minutes. If bleeding continues, replace it with a new gauze and continue to apply pressure.
  • Rest: Rest for the remainder of the day. Avoid any strenuous activities for at least 24 hours as this can increase bleeding and affect clot formation.

Managing Bleeding

  • Minimal Bleeding: Some oozing of blood is normal within the first 24 hours. If bleeding persists, apply a dampened gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You can also use a moistened tea bag; the tannic acid helps form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels.

Swelling and Pain Management

  • Ice Packs: Apply an ice pack to the cheek near the extraction site to reduce swelling. Use for 10 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off, during the first 24 hours.
  • Medication: Take any prescribed pain medication or over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by your dentist. Always follow the recommended dosage and instructions.

Oral Hygiene and Eating

  • Oral Hygiene: Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours. After that, gently rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed. Avoid commercial mouth rinses during the initial healing period.
  • Eating: Start with soft and liquid foods. Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. Do not use a straw for the first few days as the suction can dislodge the blood clot in the socket.

Avoid Certain Activities

  • Smoking: Avoid smoking for as long as possible after the extraction, as it can impede healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • Sucking Motions: Avoid sucking actions (such as using a straw) for at least 48 hours to protect the clot.
  • Rinsing or Spitting Forcefully: Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting for 24 hours to prevent dislodging the clot.

Monitoring Healing

  • Dry Socket: Be alert for signs of dry socket, which include severe pain a few days after extraction, an unpleasant taste, and possibly a fever. Contact your dentist if you suspect a dry socket.
  • Infection: Watch for signs of infection, including fever, severe pain, swelling that worsens after a few days, and unusual discharge from the extraction site.

Follow-Up Care

  • Sutures: If sutures were placed, follow your dentist’s instructions regarding their care. Some sutures dissolve over time, while others may require removal.
  • Follow-Up Visits: Attend any follow-up appointments as recommended by your dentist to ensure proper healing.

When to Contact Us

Contact your dentist or oral surgeon if you experience:

  • Persistent or severe bleeding
  • Severe pain not relieved by prescribed medication
  • Signs of infection, such as fever and swelling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain

Following these post-operative instructions after a tooth extraction can help ensure a smooth recovery and minimize the risk of complications.

After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)

Immediate Aftercare

  • Sensitivity: It’s normal to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after the procedure. This should subside within a few days to a couple of weeks. If sensitivity persists, contact us right away.
  • Numbness: If local anesthesia was used, your mouth might remain numb for a few hours after the procedure. Be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue while the area is numb.
  • Chewing: Avoid chewing directly on the new fillings for at least 24 hours if possible, especially if the filling is in a critical biting or chewing area of the mouth.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brushing and Flossing: Continue your regular brushing and flossing routine, but be gentle around the new fillings. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Mouthwash: Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash to avoid irritation in the treated area.

Eating Habits

  • Eating: You can eat immediately after the procedure since composite fillings set right away. However, if your mouth is still numb, it’s advisable to wait until the numbness wears off to prevent accidentally biting your cheek or tongue.
  • Foods to Avoid: In the first 24 hours, avoid very hot or cold foods and beverages if you’re experiencing sensitivity. Additionally, sticky, hard, or chewy foods should be avoided to prevent putting excessive pressure on the new fillings.

Discomfort Management

  • Pain and Discomfort: Some discomfort is normal after the anesthesia wears off. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used as directed for any pain.
  • Bite Issues: If your bite feels uneven or if you have persistent pain when chewing after the numbness has completely worn off, please call us. The filling might need to be adjusted.

Long-Term Care

  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Regular check-ups are important to monitor the condition of your fillings and your overall oral health.
  • Good Oral Hygiene Practices: Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash, helps extend the life of your composite fillings.

When to Contact Us

  • Persistent Sensitivity or Pain: If you experience sensitivity or pain for more than a few weeks, it’s important to contact us as soon as possible.
  • Damage or Loss of Filling: If you notice any damage to the filling or if part of it comes out, please let us know. 


Patient Information

Online Map & Driving Directions

Greenville Dental Studio

644 N Main St Suite 111,  Greenville, SC 29601