General Guidelines For All Procedures
Do not chew on hard, sticky, or chewy foods for at least 24 hours. Never chew on ice. Avoid aggressive chewing and sticky foods such as “hard tack” candies that can loosen or damage a restoration. Carefully follow all guidelines provided by the doctor and their team and most importantly practice good oral hygiene.
Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the below topics for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
A thorough cleaning may produce some bleeding and tenderness or discomfort around the gums. If this persists 2-3 days after the cleaning, you may help your child rinse with warm salt water 2-3 times per day. For discomfort, you may also give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child.
After most fluoride treatments, patients should not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to increase the fluoride’s direct contact with the teeth.
After a sealant is placed, your child may feel the coating on their teeth. The feeling subsides within 24 hours. After the sealant appointment, your child should refrain from eating sticky or chewy foods for 24 hours.
Following anesthesia, monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off. Remind your child to refrain from biting, picking, scratching, sucking, or playing with the numb areas.
Some tooth and gum tissue manipulation was necessary to perform the procedure and may result in sensitivity or discomfort. Should this occur, you may give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child. If sensitivity or discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, please contact our office.
(aka Pulpotomy/Pulpectomy/Baby Root Canals)
If your child is experiencing sensitivity after this treatment, you may give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child. If sensitivity or discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, please contact our office.
Please instruct your child not to rinse, spit, or drink through a straw. Have them keep their fingers and tongue away from the area. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold it in place for 30 minutes. Repeat every 30 minutes until the area is no longer bleeding. Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid strenuous exercise and physical activity for the rest of the day after the extraction. For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child. If sensitivity or discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, please contact our office.
Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day-to-day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.
If you play a wind instrument, several companies make mouthguards and lip protectors, although you may not need them.
For certain sports, it is a good idea to wear a mouthguard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment.
When making your dining choice, choose softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy, or sticky. Cut or tear pizza and sandwiches before eating them rather than trying to bite through them. Chopping up items like apples or carrots before eating them is a good idea. When your braces are adjusted, your teeth may be a little more sensitive, so choosing softer food like pasta, soups or a healthy smoothie can be a good choice. Please avoid chewing gum or ice.
Carefully follow all instructions you are given regarding your dental care. Specific steps may vary depending on the type of braces you have. Be sure to brush thoroughly after any meal or snack. It is important to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible to avoid potential problems. Also, rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush when you will be away from home. Before going to bed at night be sure to brush thoroughly and floss carefully. It may take a little extra time but this is an important step in maintaining your oral hygiene on your way to a better smile and healthier teeth.
Use a soft rounded-bristle toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothbrushes will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often when wearing braces, so be sure to keep some spare toothbrushes on hand. When brushing you should also brush your tongue and rinse thoroughly when done.
Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. With braces, it may take a little more time and practice, and a floss threader may be necessary to get the floss under the archwire. Make sure you clean along and under the gum lines with floss each night before going to bed. After you have properly brushed and flossed, your braces should look clean and shiny, making it easy to see the edges of the braces.
Cleaning Your Removable Appliance
If you have a removable orthodontic appliance, it is important to clean it each night and morning to remove dental plaque. Remove the appliance and clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Dental wax can be very helpful with any areas that are irritating your mouth or gums. This can be especially helpful at night when sleeping when your mouth may get drier than during the daytime when you can regularly hydrate.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Wear a mouthguard when playing sports to protect the mouth from injury.
Useful Items For Orthodontic Patients
Keep these materials on hand to help with the most common orthodontic maintenance and minor emergencies:
- Interdental or Proxabrushes fit between teeth and help patients to clean around wires without damaging them.
- Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating gum tissues.
- Antibacterial mouthwash can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. For minor sores in the mouth, Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide may be used up to 4 times per day after brushing. Refer to the product label for specific instructions.
- Dental floss, an interproximal brush, or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
- Sterile tweezers can be used to replace orthodontic rubber bands that have come off.
- A Q-tip or pencil eraser can be used to push a wire up against a tooth if it has come loose and is irritating the cheeks or gums. If it is not possible to reposition the wire so it is more comfortable, place wax over the end of the wire and call our office so that we can set a time to have the wire adjusted and put back into place.
- Salt is used for warm salt-water rinses, which help heal sore gums and tissues in the mouth.
- Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
- Topical Anesthetic Treatments, such as Orabase or Ora-Gel, can be applied with a Q-tip to any abrasions or sores in the mouth should they occur.
- Use your fingers to put your aligners in place. First, place the aligners over your front teeth, and then use your fingers to push the aligner down gently over your molars. When aligners are correctly inserted, they will fit all the way down on the teeth, with no space between the top of the aligners and the top of the teeth. Aligners will fit tightly at first but should fit well at the end of the two-week period.
- Keep aligners in except when flossing, brushing, and eating. It’s also best to remove the aligners when drinking warm beverages such as coffee or tea.
- Remove the aligner by pulling it off both sides of your back teeth simultaneously then lifting it off of your front teeth.
- Place your aligners in the case we provided any time they are not being worn.
- Clean aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Wear each set of aligners for two weeks unless our office directs you to vary from this schedule.
- Wear aligners in the correct numerical order. (Each aligner is labeled by number and with a U or an L to designate upper or lower.)
- Keep all of your old aligners and bring them to your orthodontic appointments.
- Don’t place your aligners in or on a napkin or tissue. Many aligners have accidentally been thrown out this way!
- Don’t use your teeth to “bite” your aligners into place.
- If you have pets, don’t place your aligners anywhere that your pets can reach them. Pets are attracted to saliva and would enjoy chewing on your Invisalign trays!
- Do not use denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
- Do not use boiling water or warm water on your aligners.
- Don’t chew gum with your aligners in.
- It would be best not to smoke while wearing aligners. The smoke can stain the aligners as well as your teeth.
Just In Case
If you lose the tab attached to your tooth that helps the aligner snap on, please call our office right away so that we can determine if you need to come in before your next scheduled appointment.
If you lose one of your aligner trays, please wear the next tray if you have it. If you do not have the next tray, please wear the previous tray. It is extremely important to use a tray to keep teeth from shifting. Call our office to let us know which tray was lost so that we can determine if a replacement tray is needed. There will be a fee if replacement trays are required.