Dental Post Care
Patient Post Care
The Code to Aftercare
You’re all done at the dentist! Now what?
Let’s quickly walk through our code to aftercare to ensure you know what to expect and how you can best manage your oral wellbeing post treatment.
Following an anaesthetic injection, you may experience numbness for a period of 6 to 8 hours. It's important to be cautious during this time and avoid exposing your mouth to anything that is too hot or cold, as you won't be able to feel any pain if you accidentally burn yourself.
Also, be careful not to bite your soft tissues, such as your lip, cheek, or tongue, as doing so could cause injury. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your recovery proceeds smoothly and without any further complications.
Post cleaning and deep cleaning
Tooth sensitivity following a deep clean is common, keep on brushing, flossing and using interproximal brushes as your clinician has advised. Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Some bleeding or discomfort on any areas that needed deeper cleaning is common, this should subside in due time. Commence use of any medicated toothpaste or mouthwash that your provider has prescribed. If you are unsure of how to use them, call us for advice. We highly recommend using sensitive toothpaste, tooth mousse, and RECAL dent chewing gum to help reduce any sensitivity.
Post white filling
After a tooth-coloured filling, it is important you avoid any colourful foods (such as curries) for 24 hours as the filling material can take on the colour.
Post teeth whitening
Sensitivity or ‘zingers’ are common for 2-3 days following your treatment. Please use sensitive toothpaste or Tooth Mousse to help reduce the sensitivity. These are available for purchase at DNTL Code.
Following teeth whitening it is important you avoid any colourful foods (such as curries) for 24 hours, as it can discolour the treated teeth.
After oral surgery, keep pressure on the gauze for 20 minutes, then remove and replace it if it is still bleeding, and apply pressure again for 10 minutes.
Do not rinse for the rest of the day (you can resume brushing, eating and drinking once bleeding and numbness have stopped).
Starting from the next day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salty water, but do not spit. Tilt your head to the side and let it run out. Do this 3 times per day until your mouth heals.
Do not eat anything too hot (temperature) or spicy for 2-days (as this can increase bleeding). Stick to eating soft foods, such as pasta, fish, mince, yoghurt, porridge, etc. Avoid anything hard, crunchy or grainy to reduce the risk of it getting caught in the healing socket.
In the first few days following the extraction avoid drinking through a straw and blowing your nose, (we advise wiping it instead). If you need to sneeze, do it with an open mouth.
If pain is intense, rest with your head raised. Take 2x 200mg Paracetamol or 2x 200mg Ibuprofen (if no allergies) for any ongoing pain. Do not take Aspirin this can prolong the bleeding.
Please do not smoke, drink alcohol or participate in strenuous exercise for at least 2 days post extraction.
Post root canal treatment (RCT)
In the 48-hours following root canal treatment (RCT) it is common to experience some discomfort. Allow time for the medication to diffuse into the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth.
It is common to experience a sensitivity to cold following a crown preparation. Avoid eating hard or sticky things on that side due to the risk of fracturing or dislodging the temporary crown and avoid eating or drinking really cold things if it is causing sensitivity. Floss down, but then let the floss go and pull it out to the side to reduce the risk of the temporary crown dislodging.
Following cementation of a permanent crown, cement is set hard, but doesn’t finish chemically setting for 24 hours. Please avoid eating anything hard or sticky on that side for another 24 hours.
The permanent crown is hard, actually harder than your natural tooth, but it is brittle, the same as enamel, and therefore, if you bite into a fork or a bone or something that could fracture your normal tooth, it can also fracture the crown.
It is also important to maintain your regular dental comprehensive exams and cleans to ensure the health of the crown in the long term.
Bleeding is a natural and expected aftermath of oral surgeries and extractions. We encourage you to gently bite on the gauze pack over the wound for 30 minutes after treatment to encourage clotting, replacing it as required. It is also important to rest during this time.
It is normal for some blood to ooze from the socket for several hours. However, if the wound starts to bleed excessively, fold the cotton-gauze or a clean handkerchief and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. If prolonged bleeding occurs, contact DNTL Code or your local hospital for further assistance.
Swelling and bruising
Swelling and bruising are common after any oral surgery, but the degree of severity can vary among individuals. Typically, it takes about 3-days for swelling and bruising to reach its maximum and then another ten days for it to subside.
If you experience any swelling or bruising, applying an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 1 to 2 days can help. If you don't have an ice pack, you could use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a paper towel.
Additionally, gently talking and chewing can also help to minimise swelling and associated jaw stiffness.
Pain is a common and expected occurrence after extraction or oral surgery and can last for about 7 to 10 days. If the pain is mild, you can take Paracetamol or Ibruprofen (if no allergies). However, if the pain is severe, you should take both Paracetamol and Ibuprofen together, (but only if a doctor or pharmacist has not advised against it in the past).
Take pain relief medication about 2-hours after your extraction and then every 6 to 8 hours on the day of the treatment. If pain persists, continue taking over-the-counter pain medication for 7 to 10 days. Avoid taking Aspirin, as it may increase bleeding.
If you experience severe or spreading pain, please contact DNTL Code or your local doctor's office for further assistance or advice.
If your oral surgery required stitches, you can rest assured that they will dissolve on their own within 14 to 20 days, so you will not need to make a return trip to have them removed.
While it's important to resume your normal teeth brushing routine 12 hours after the extraction, you should be gentle around the stitches and avoid being too vigorous with your toothbrush. Excessive force can harm the stitches and interfere with the healing of the surrounding tissues. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your recovery proceeds as smoothly as possible.
A dry socket is a condition that can develop within 3 to 5 days after surgery. It is typically caused by the blood clot being dislodged from the socket and exposing the bone underneath, which can interfere with normal healing.
If a dry socket develops, pain may increase rather than subside. However, by following the above post care instructions, you can minimize your chances of developing a dry socket.
Despite best efforts, dry sockets can still occur in around 2% of all extractions. It's important to note that smoking can increase the risk of developing a dry socket 10-fold, so it's advisable to avoid smoking for the first 7 days after surgery to reduce the risk of developing this condition.
If pain, swelling or bleeding worsens please get in touch for further advice.
We’re here to help
If you have questions or ongoing concerns, schedule a follow up with our expert team
Have a question?
Please complete the contact form below if you have any questions or post treatment concerns. Our friendly team will get back to you shortly.