After Care Instructions
General Instructions for Conventional Dentures
1. It is normal to have a feeling of fullness and excessive salivation initially with dentures. Becoming familiar with your new dentures will take time. Do not expect results for several weeks. During this adaptation period you will likely experience: sore spots, difficulty eating, difficulty speaking, cheek/lip bitting and frustration.
2. Don’t invite criticism of others as denture fit is highly dependant on the anatomy of your mouth.
3. Remove dentures from the mouth every night and store in a glass of water. This allows your gums to heal and recover. You may use freshening tablets if you desire, but do not use bleach or toothpaste. Massage your gums with a soft, wet towel to keep them firm and resistant to denture irritation. Do not use adhesives until you have discussed it with Dr Andrus. He will tell you to use as little as possible and he prefers the powder type because it is easy to clean out and so there is less risk of it piling up and throwing off the fit.
4. Clean with a denture brush and mild hand soap—this is the best way to control odor and stain. Clean over a towel on the side of the bed or over a full sink of water—this will prevent breakage if they are accidentally dropped.
5. Chewing with dentures is different than with natural teeth. Learn to chew small pieces on both sides of the mouth at the same time to keep the denture balanced. Foods such as corn and apples will need to be cut with a knife instead of biting them. Biting with the front teeth will always cause the dentures to tip.
6. Practice reading out loud to improve speech.
7. Settling of the new denture can cause the bite to need to be adjusted. Once the teeth are removed the jaw bone will shrink causing the denture to loosen. This will continue throughout your life to some degree. Also, since denture teeth are made of acrylic, the biting surfaces may wear out from normal chewing. This may alter the bite and accelerate the jaw bone shrinking process which in turn affects the fit. For this reason it is important to have dentures evaluated at least every year and it may be suggested that they be relined every 3 years and remade every 5-6 years.
8. Sore spots may develop during the first week of wear. If this occurs, leave the dentures in for at least 4 hours prior to coming for adjustment so that the irritating area can be more easily identified.
Additional Instructions for Immediate Dentures (denture you get the same day the teeth are removed)
9. First 24 hours: Leave dentures in. The denture acts as a pressure bandage to stop bleeding and prevent swelling. Dr Andrus will remove them and adjust sore areas at the 24 hour appointment.
10. Immediate dentures usually have to be relined or remade after 3-4 months of healing because of the bone and gum shrinkage that occurs during healing
Extraction Home Care
Wound Care: Bite firmly on gauze pack if it has been place by us until you arrive home, then remove it gently so as to not disturb the fragile clot. Do not smoke for 12 hours because this will promote bleeding and interfere with healing. Avoid vigorous spitting, rinsing, or sucking--anything that would cause a negative pressure in your mouth as this can disturb the fragile clot. If the clot is lost, the bone of the socket can become exposed to the air and germs in your mouth and feel like a dull ache a few days after the extraction. This "dry socket" heals slower and more painfully than normal. If this develops our office can apply medicated gauze to the socket to soothe the socket during the healing process.
Bleeding: It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery. You may find a blood stain on your pillow in the morning. If bleeding begins again, place a small damp gauze pack directly over the tooth socket and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Rest quietly with your head up.
Discomfort: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled by not eliminated by taking the pain pills that we have prescribed. Take your pain pills with a whole glass of water and with a small amount of food if the pills cause nausea. Do not drive or drink alcohol if you take prescription narcotic pain pills.
Diet: It is important to drink plenty of liquids. Do not drink through a straw, because this may promote bleeding. Eat normal regular meals as soon as possible after surgery. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day.
Oral Hygiene: Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After that, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water) every 4 hours. Also, gently use the mouthwash if it has been prescribed to you.
Swelling: Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction. It reaches its maximum about 48 hours after surgery and usually lasts 4 to 6 days. Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first 12 hours helps control swelling and may help the area to be more comfortable. Packs of frozen peas or carrots that you have at home can work well.
Rest: Avoid strenuous activity for 12 hours after your surgery. Rest quietly with your head up.
Bruising: You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your surgery. This is a normal response in some persons and should not be cause for alarm. It will disappear in 7 to 14 days.
Stiffness: After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of you mouth. This is normal and will improve in 5-10 days.
Stitches: The stitches will dissolve over the next 7-10 days if you were told that they were the dissolvable type.
Call the office at 435-674-3100 and, if after hours, pres #1 if:
1. You experience excessive discomfort that you cannot control with your pain pills.
2. You have bleeding that you cannot control by biting on gauze.
3. You have increased swelling after the third day following the surgery.
4. You feel that you have a fever.
5. You have any questions.
After Crown/Bridge/Filling Appointments
Anesthetic Numbness: When anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for a few hours after the appointment. Avoid hot beverages, eating hot foods, or biting your lip until the numbness is completely worn off.
Temporary Crowns and Bridges: Temporary crowns and bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the final restorations are being made. Occasionally a temporary may come off. Call us at (435) 674-3100 if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it or give you other instructions if you are out of town. 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. Avoid eating sticky foods or 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; rather, pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.
Sensitivity: It is normal to have some hot and cold sensitivity after fillings or crown and bridge appointments. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive until then. Your gums around the teeth and the injection sites 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 remaining discomfort. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (435) 674-3100.
Care For Your New Teeth: Daily plaque removal and regular cleaning appointments are critical for the long-term success of your new teeth. Avoid sticky or hard foods and substances (such as sticky candy, ice, fingernails, or pencils). Smoking will stain your new teeth. Avoid foods that stain such as red wine, coffee, tea and berries. If you play sports let us know so we can make a custom mouth guard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have made for you. Flossing bridges is different than normal flossing—you have to go under them. Make sure to use the recommended special flossing aids for this.