Aftercare Instructions

The best way to ensure a smooth recovery with few complications after oral surgery is to follow our aftercare instructions. Below, you will find some general guidelines to follow. Our dentist will provide specific instructions after your surgery to help you heal properly.

Patients should generally wait two hours after surgery before eating. This gives the anesthesia enough time to wear off, preventing soft tissue damage that can occur while you are still numb. If you have any questions about our aftercare instructions in Bowling Green, Kentucky, please contact Brighten Dental at 270-770-0250.

Root Canal Therapy

Soreness after root canal treatment is normal and can last for a few days. Avoid using the operated side of your mouth to chew. This will allow for proper healing and prevent potential irritation. Call our office immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Increasing pain or tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Temporary restoration loss

Crowns and Bridges

You will be sent home with a temporary restoration before receiving your permanent crown or bridge. Since this one is not as sturdy as the permanent one, you will need to take extra care when eating and cleaning your teeth. Brush the area gently and avoid pulling the tooth when flossing to prevent the restoration from dislodging. You will also want to avoid sticky or chewy foods with your temporary crown or bridge.

Sensitivity and irritation are normal after placing your crown or bridge but will go away after the soft tissue heals. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help, or you can take over-the-counter pain medications (Tylenol or Advil) for discomfort. Please consult with Dr. Chrislyn Fite for recommendations pertaining to your care.

Your permanent crown or bridge may feel slightly awkward for a couple of days after placing it. This is due to your mouth adjusting to the new tooth, and it should feel more natural after about a week. Please let us know if your bite feels abnormal. To take care of your bridge or crown, brush and floss regularly like you would for your natural teeth.

White Fillings (Bonding)

You will likely experience tooth sensitivity after the anesthesia wears off from your dental filling. Avoid foods and drinks that are too hot or cold for the first few days after the appointment. Your teeth should feel normal afterward, and you can continue your normal hygiene routine.

Scaling and Root Planing

It is normal to experience sore and irritated gums after scaling and root planing treatment. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Do this two to three times a day.

You can gently brush and floss right after the procedure to prevent further irritation. Relieve any swelling or stiffness in the area by holding a cold compress on the site and taking pain medication as needed or prescribed by Dr. Fite.

You should avoid hard or chewy foods for two to three days after the procedure to ensure the area correctly heals. Call the office if you are experiencing pain or swelling after the third day.


You will be sent home with a temporary veneer before receiving your permanent one. You will need to take extra care when eating and cleaning your teeth, as the temporary ones are not as sturdy as the permanent ones. Brush and floss your teeth gently and avoid sticky or chewy foods until you receive your permanent veneers.

It is normal to experience sensitivity and irritation after your veneer placement, but the feeling will go away after the soft tissue heals. Rinsing with warm salt water or taking over-the-counter pain medications can help.

Your final veneer placement may feel awkward for a few days as your mouth adjusts to the new tooth structure. It should start to feel more natural after about a week. When brushing and flossing, pay close attention to the space between the veneer and the tooth at the gum line. Contact our office if your bite feels abnormal.


You may experience bleeding at the extraction site. To control it, apply gauze to the area and change it once it becomes soaked. Call the office if bleeding lasts longer than 24 hours.

When lying down, prop your head up on a pillow to avoid prolonging the bleeding. Take your prescribed pain medication as directed and apply ice to the area to control swelling. You may also need to clean the extraction site with the cleaning solution our dentist may provide you.

You will be limited to soft foods that will not require chewing for a few days after the extraction. Some recommendations include:

  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Ice cream

Avoid drinking through a straw to prevent loosening the sutures and slowing the clotting process. You also should not smoke during the healing process. Call our office for a follow-up if your extraction site is not healing properly or if you are experiencing prolonged bleeding, pain and irritation.

Dental Implants

Depending on which implant the doctor has placed in your mouth, you may have metal showing through your gumline. Do touch the area with your tongue or fingers. You can brush the area lightly and may need to use a prescribed mouthwash.

Sometimes an antibiotic is prescribed, and taking the entire dosage prescribed is very important in the healing of the implant. Be very careful when chewing in this area. Most dental implants heal within three months, and that is when a fake tooth (crown) can be added by your dentist.

General Considerations

Bleeding: It is normal to see some bleeding or redness in the saliva for 24 hours after surgery. If you experience excessive bleeding, you can control it by biting on a gauze pad for 30 minutes. Please contact the office for further instructions if bleeding persists.

Swelling: It is normal for swelling to occur after surgery. You can apply ice to the area to minimize swelling and discomfort. For best results, apply the ice as much as possible for the first 36 hours after surgery.

Diet: It is crucial to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated after surgery. You also want to avoid hot foods or beverages on the day of the procedure. You are free to return to your normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise instructed.

Pain: Moderate pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications, such as Extra Strength Tylenol or ibuprofen. For severe pain, take what has been prescribed to you by the dentist. Do not take anything that you are allergic to or have not been instructed to use by your doctor. Be sure to consult with your dentist about specific pain or discomfort and listen to their recommendations on controlling pain and discomfort.

Antibiotics: The dentist may need to prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection. Make sure to take as directed.

Oral Hygiene: Practice good oral hygiene to promote healing. After eating, you can cleanse the area by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water four to five times a day. Use caution when brushing the surgical site.

Activity: Immediately following surgery, you should rest and keep physical activities to a minimum. Bleeding or throbbing may occur if you start exercising —stop immediately if this happens.

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