Home Care Instructions

Anytime that you have a procedure that requires a recovery time at Hunsaker Dental we will send you home after carefully detailing special instructions on how best to take care of yourself. If you find that you forget, or need a reminder on a particular care instruction, please feel free to give us a call or look below for the instructions on your procedure!

General Post-Operative Tips and SuggeStions

Often, when we perform procedures we will use a local anesthetic to numb an area of the mouth. We do this for your comfort so that you can sit back in the chair and relax without feeling excessive vibrations or heat. It can take a while for the numbness to wear off from areas like the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth. Please refrain from drinking any beverages or eating any food during this time.

Eating sticky or hard foods after any procedure is not advised. If you have had a temporary restoration placed while you are waiting for the permanent one, we haven’t used full-strength dental adhesive to hold it in place. Rather, we have used a temporary dental adhesive that can give if faced with particularly sticky or hard foods.

If there is a problem that persists for more than a week contact us and schedule an appointment to come in. We are happy to make any changes to your appointment.

If you regularly engage in sports or intense physical activities, please let us know so that we can create a custom mouthguard for you. Also, if you tend to grind your teeth at night, or wake up with a sore jaw, please let us know. We can create a nightguard that will help you sleep more soundly and wake fully rested.

Pain medication should always be used as directed.

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

When we make substantial or minor changes to the way your teeth look you should expect the sensation of the changes to feel large or awkward in your mouth for at least a few days. Consider that nothing has drastically changed in your mouth for many years, and when something does (like biting your cheek) your mouth tends to obsess over the new sensation. So when a tooth changes texture, size, and thickness it is very reasonable to expect it to be a point of annoyance for a few days, until your mouth gets used to it.

If after a week or so you still notice an irregularity in your bite or in a sensation that is problematic, contact us and we will be happy to schedule an appointment to make changes to the reconstruction.

Another thing to expect for a couple of weeks while you get used to your new reconstructions is sensitivity to heat and cold. Teeth will require time and exposure to heal and get used to the new sensations and will be tender in the meantime. Gums will also take some time to cease feeling sore or minutely painful. These issues can generally be treated with a rinse of warm salt water a few times a day and after meals. Salt water will help to reduce swelling and pain at the site. Light pain medications are fine to take and do a great job of reducing discomfort and swelling.

If your speech is affected by the introduction of a new reconstruction, there is a good chance that it will pass in a few days. Many people report that they tend to salivate more after cosmetic dental procedures – which is a normal response. Your brain thinks that something must be washed out of the mouth and is responding by flooding the mouth with excess saliva. This ought to subside in around a week.

It is important that you continue your normal oral health routine of brushing at least twice a day and flossing once. While your new cosmetic reconstructions are not natural teeth, they still need to be treated as though they are, more carefully in fact.

It is critically important to avoid chewing on hard things like ice or using your teeth to open the packaging. Your new teeth are brittle and can be chipped or cracked. Some of the foods that you might want to avoid chewing with your new teeth are:

  • Sticky or hard candies
  • Ice
  • Hard nuts
  • Peanut brittle
  • Fingernails
  • Pencils and pens

It is wise to refrain from foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth as they can have a similar but more pronounced effect on cosmetics. Things like coffee, red wine, and tea have a particularly strong staining effect on teeth and cosmetics.

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges are dental appliances that take two visits to our office to finish. During the first appointment, we will measure your teeth for restoration and place a temporary crown over the tooth/teeth to be restored. The temporary is only made to stay on your teeth for a couple of weeks and must be easily removed, thus it can’t stand up to sticky or hard foods.

It is normal to be overly sensitive to heat and cold. Try to shift very cold or hot foods or drink to the other side of your mouth until the sensation stops being so pronounced.

If your temporary restoration comes off, please give us a and come into our office, and we will be happy to place it again.

After Tooth Extraction

When a tooth is extracted, it’s important that a blood clot forms in the extraction site in order for it to start healing. Leaving the gauze pad on the site for 30 minutes to an hour will allow a good clot to form. If for any reason the site bleeds or oozes simply place another gauze pad into the area and apply some pressure to it with your jaw. Once the blood clot has formed it is important that it stay in place. Blood clots in the mouth are subject to a lot of different elements that can make it challenging for them to stay put. We recommend that you avoid the following activities while waiting for the site to heal (for about three days):
  • Using a straw
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • brushing teeth near the extraction site
  • Vigorous physical activity
If there is swelling feel free to apply a cold compress to the site. Swelling typically takes two to three days to subside. If we prescribe antibiotics, please make sure to complete the full set. Stopping antibiotics in the middle of the prescription is never advisable.

After Composite (White) Fillings

Composite and other forms of fillings allow the most leeway and are the most forgiving form of restorative dental procedures we offer. The site will be numb, so it is important to wait for the numbing agent to wear off before you eat or drink lest you accidentally bite yourself. It’s fine to eat and drink as soon as the numbing agent wears off as the filling material is already firmly set in place.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our Salem Office at (503) 877-1598 or our Monmouth office at (503) 877-1590.