Home Care Instructions

Top-Rated Prosthodontist Serving Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Arlington & the greater Washington DC area

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Your cosmetic reconstruction has been fabricated to blend with your gum tissue and for you to have a solid bite. It may require a brief period of adaptation. You will want to maintain a diligent home care program.

Daily brushing and flossing 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.

Smoking stains all teeth. Foods that stain natural teeth such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries will also stain composite resins over a period of time.

If you engage in sports, let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the nightguard we have provided for you. In select cases, adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile may take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.

After Crown & Bridge Appointments

After the treatment visit:

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 has completely worn off. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

Temporary crowns:

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us 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 temporary 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.

After Implant Surgery

To decrease the inflammation and resulting discomfort after your surgery or restorative procedure, we will usually give you an anti-inflammatory medication before dismissing you, prior to your anesthetic wearing off. This usually decreases the amount of swelling and should be continued for at least 24 hours. Nevertheless, following the surgery, you may experience some discomfort. It is important to take the prescribed medication as directed. Please do not wait until you are experiencing severe discomfort before taking your pain medication. Pain medications are most tolerable when taken with food.

As stated, there may be swelling as a result of the procedure. To reduce post operative discomfort, apply an ice pack as follows:

  • ON for 15 minutes, OFF for 15 minutes, for up to 36 hours.
  • Use of the cold compress in the first 5 hours will help to minimize swelling. The ice pack that you will be given can be refrozen. It is normal for swelling to increase for the first 1-2 days after surgery.
  • If after 36 hours the area is still swollen, apply warm compresses to the area.
  • If swelling continues to increase beyond 2-3 days, please call our office at 202-244-2101.

YOU SHOULD AVOID ALL HOT LIQUIDS AND EXCESSIVE CHEWING FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS. Avoid spicy food as the pepper may cause some burning sensation. Do not suck forcefully on a straw. Do not smoke.

Please avoid any exercise routines and over-exertion for the next 48 hours because it may cause increased bleeding. It is suggested to sleep with your head slightly elevated.

Plaque removal is important not only for your periodontal and dental health, but also for an increase in the speed and comfort of your healing. You may experience slight bleeding when you brush. This is normal. Gentle plaque removal will not harm the healing process. DO NOT brush the surgical site with toothpaste. Instead, utilize the toothbrush dipped into the prescription rinse. Brush the teeth at the gum line, NOT the gums. DO NOT USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH.

Rinse your mouth with Peridex , PerioGuard, or other prescription, antimicrobial mouth wash according to the directions on the label. DO NOT rinse with commercial mouth rinses.

Remember to take an adequate daily amount of Calcium (1200 mg per day) so that it is available for the regenerating bone.

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 over the wound and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids in healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, 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 first 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 or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesnt 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. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine 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 a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

After Composite (White) Fillings

Composite fillings require minimal care. 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 lips while you are numb.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off. Composite fillings 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 Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. at 202-244-2101.