Serving Van Buren County, Cass County, Kalamazoo County, Berrien County, St. Joseph County, and Allegan County.

Home Care Instructions

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. This is a little like the “new shoe feeling”, and may last one to two days. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums 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 discomfort. A mild pain medication (one tablet of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) every 3-4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.

Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. It will help to practice reading out loud.

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.

Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard or brittle foods and substances (such as chicken or rib bones, peanut brittle, ice, homemade popsicles, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies.

If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you.

Have fun with your new smile! People will say “Something looks different about you, what is it?”. You can just smile!

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges usually take two appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed so that you can smile and eat with comfort while the custom ceramic restoration is being made. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until numbness is completely worn off.

Very 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 temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), and very hard foods. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully. Don’t pull up on the floss, just slide it out the side so you do not dislodge the temporary. These will not be concerns with your permanent crown.

If your bite feels uneven after one to two days, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office!

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form where the tooth was in order to stop the bleeding. The blood clot is like a moist scab it begins the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment. Very slight bleeding or oozing may continue for the remainder of the day, and is normal. If you experience heavy bleeding with clots, wipe the clots away and bite on a Lipton tea bag (black tea) for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, the office answering machine gives you Dr. Moussalli’s home and cell phone numbers.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not 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, resulting in a painful complication called a dry socket. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

You should not rinse the area or spit for the remainder of the day as this may dislodge the clot. However, the morning after extraction please begin gentle rinsing of the area with warm salt water (1 teaspoon per cup) three times daily.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. Ice is a benefit for the first twenty four hours, and especially the first two hours. An ice pack or cold pack applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Take pain medications and any antibiotics as prescribed. 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 fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

Take any medications you normally take on their regular schedule.

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 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately!

After Composite Fillings (white fillings)

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for 2-4 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 lip while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If discomfort on chewing persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office!

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office.