Change Your Smile, Change Your Life

Post-Op Instructions

The Key to Better Results and Fewer Complications

How you take care of yourself AFTER many dental procedures is a critical part of getting great results and avoiding painful complications. Click below to find post-operative home care instructions for the following treatments:

Tooth Extractions and Oral Surgeries Post-Operative Instructions

What to expect after surgery?

  • Bleeding: After any oral surgery expect minor bleeding and “oozing” for up to 24 hours.
  • Pain: Pain and discomfort should slowly improve after 24-48 hours following surgery.
  • Swelling: There will be swelling in the surgery area for a week and swelling normally is the worst on the second and third day post-surgery.
  • Jaw Discomfort: It is common to feel stiffness in the jaw and jaw joint.

How to take care of your mouth after surgery?

  • Bite on Gauze: If you are biting on gauze when you leave the office, keep biting on it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the gauze and check it for red/pink blood. If there is bright red, dripping blood like a fresh wound, bite on a fresh piece gauze for 30 more minutes. Repeat the gauze biting and checking until the extraction site has stopped actively bleeding, is oozy and the blood is dark colored and clotting. Keep in mind that a small amount of blood mixed with saliva will look like a lot of blood. Don’t freak out – normally this is mostly saliva.
  • Protect Your Clot: Do not smoke, spit, drink through a straw, or drink carbonated beverages for 3 days after surgery.
  • NO Rinsing: NO rinsing for the first 24 hours.
  • Ice & Heat: For the first 24 hours, apply an ice pack to minimize swelling and pain. Cold should be used 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the first 24 hours while awake. AFTER the first 24 hours, discontinue ice and use warm, moist heat.
  • Tooth Brushing: Brush gently and avoid the extraction or surgery site for the first two weeks after surgery.
  • Prevent Sinus Damage: For the first week after UPPER teeth are extracted, do not blow your nose or sneeze. Some sneezes can’t be avoided. If you HAVE TO sneeze, keep your mouth open to protect your sinuses.
  • Salt Water Rinses: After the first 24 hours, start swishing gently with salt water to rinse the mouth after every meal. Use salt water rinses for 1-2 weeks after surgery. To make a salt water rinse: mix ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water.

How active can I be after oral surgery?

If you have received IV sedation do not drive for 24 hours or while taking Narcotics. Avoid intense exercise that highly elevates your heart rate for the first 24 hours.

What can I eat after oral surgery

In the first 24 hours, stick to soft, cool foods like: Jello, pudding, yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese and ice cream. Soup is fine as long as it is room temperature only (nothing hot). After 3-4 days, a normal diet is normally fine as tolerated. If your jaw starts aching, switch back to softer foods for a few more days. Avoid sharp or hard food like tortilla chips, peanuts, or crackers until the extraction site is healed shut, 1-2 weeks.

What can I do to treat pain after surgery?

The most effective pain control for oral surgery uses scheduled doses of NSAIDs. They are highly effective helping alleviate discomfort, pain and swelling. For some patients with medical complications such as limited kidney or liver function or who are taking PLAVIX or COUMADIN, other medications or opioids may be prescribed instead of the NSAIDs. That being said NSAIDs are the most effective drugs for dental pain and do not carry the risk of physical dependence or addiction that is seen with opioids.

Recommended Drugs for Dental Pain:
Ibuprofen (Advil), 800mg every 6 hours alternating with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), 1000mg every 6 hours.*

Example Dosing Schedule
8:00am Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
11:00am Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
2:00pm Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
5:00pm Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
8:00pm Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
11:00pm Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg

*IMPORTANT! For Patients on PLAVIX or COUMADIN, DO NOT take Ibuprofen or Aspirin products. Plavix and Coumadin do not combine well with Ibuprofen, Aspirin or other NSAIDs.

What other medications will I have to take?

If prevention of infection is critical to the success of the treatment, you will receive a prescription for antibiotics. It is critical to take them as directed to eliminate the infection and prevent it from spreading and causing complications.

What follow-up care do I need?

You should have a follow-up appointment to check healing approximately 1 weeks after surgery. Remember to jot down any questions you have and bring them to this appointment.

When should I call my doctor?

  • Swelling & Bruising: If swelling or bruising increase after day 3, please call.
  • Pain: If pain becomes severe, increases suddenly or stops responding to medication, please call.
  • Reactions to Medication: If you have experience rashes, nausea, headaches, vomiting, increased irritability, or constipation after taking a prescribed medication, please contact your dentist or physician immediately.
  • Fever: If your temperature exceeds 100.5 degrees, first make sure you’re getting enough liquids since dehydration can cause the body temperature to rise. If increasing hydration doesn’t help, please call.
  • If you are our patient and have concerns or questions post-surgery but aren’t sure if you need to see Dr. Bec or not, email Dr. Bec at drbec@adhsa.com.

Who should I call if I have questions?

Call our office both during and after hours at (210) 691-1211. After hours, our answering service will take your message and be sure that Dr. Bec is able to contact you.

Download extraction and oral surgery post-op care instructions

Implant Placement Post-Operative Instructions

Every patient’s body responds differently during the healing process. Depending on your body’s response it’s possible that not all of these instructions will apply to you. However, if you have any questions or concerns during healing, please don’t hesitate to call our office. Please note: our office does not charge any additional fees for post-op care!

Bleeding

What to Expect: Bleeding is usually minimal for implant placement because the surgical site is typically closed with sutures. Sutures may be either nonresorbable, which must be removed after 1-2 weeks, or they may be self-dissolving, which dissolve on their own after 5-10 days. Expect some bleeding and oozing during the first 24 hours.

What to Do:

  • For the first hour, keep a firm biting pressure on the gauze pack placed on the the surgery site. After an hour, toss the gauze pack and check the surgery site for bleeding. If the site is actively bleeding (bright red blood and dripping), place a new gauze pack over the site and again bite firmly for an hour. Repeat this until bleeding stops. If you run out of gauze packs, a tea bag may be used instead.
  • For the first 24 hours, avoid hard chewing, spitting and rinsing your mouth as well as sucking anything through a straw or continually pulling on your lip to check the site. It is critical to allow the tissues to rest in order to heal properly.

Swelling

What to Expect: Not every patient experiences swelling; however, those who do will see swelling peak 2-3 days after surgery. After that swelling should go down.

What to Do If You Experience Swelling:

  • Keep your head elevated either in a recliner or by using several pillows.
  • Apply ice packs, 20 minutes on 10 minutes off for the first 1-2 days.
  • If swelling continues to progress beyond the fourth day, call your dentist.

Oral Hygiene

What to Expect: The area around the surgical site may be tender and needs to be treated very gently and allowed to heal undisturbed.

What to Do:

  • Rinses: After the first 24 hours post-surgery, begin rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water rinse 3-4 times a day, particularly after meals. We recommend 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm (not hot) water. In some cases, we recommend using a prescription chlorhexidine rinse instead of salt water. If you received a prescription, use the chlorhexidine as prescribed.
  • Tooth Brushing: Brush your teeth as you usually do, except avoid brushing the area where the implant(s) was placed.
  • No Waterpik® or hydrogen peroxide rinses for at least 2 weeks post-surgery.

Diet

What to Expect: Sleepiness or fatigue is common after any surgery. After sedation expect extreme sleepiness for several hours.

What to Do:

  • Never drive or operate heavy equipment after sedation. A nap is the best activity after sedation!
  • To promote healing, physical exercise should be limited for 24-48 hours after surgery because a pounding heart rate can lead to complications like bleeding and discomfort.
  • If you lay down, keep your head elevated with a pillow or two or by sleeping in a recliner. Covering your pillowcase with a towel can prevent staining from reddened saliva, post-surgery.

Smoking

Smoking slows the healing process and raises the risk of infection and complications. Avoid smoking for at least 3 days after the surgery.

Pain

What to Expect: Initially, you may have discomfort or pain after surgery. The most effective pain control for oral surgery uses scheduled doses of NSAIDs because they are highly effective helping alleviate discomfort, pain and swelling. For some patients with medical complications such as limited kidney or liver function, other medications or opioids may be prescribed in addition to or instead of the NSAIDs; however, NSAIDs are the most effective drugs for dental pain and use of opioids always comes with the risk of physical dependence or addiction.

What to Do:
Recommended Drugs for Dental Pain: Ibuprofen (Advil), 800mg every 6 hours alternating with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), 1000mg every 6 hours.

Example Dosing Schedule
8:00am Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
11:00am Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
2:00pm Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
5:00pm Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
8:00pm Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
11:00pm Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg

Dental Prosthesis

Follow the instructions you received at your appointment regarding wearing and using partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures. If you were instructed to wear them, but they become too uncomfortable to wear consistently, this is typically due to the tissue changing size and shape as it swells and then heals post-surgery. Dental prosthesis are often adjusted at the first post-operative appointment to adjust their fit to match the healing tissues’ changes.

Post-Op Visits

Successful treatment always depends on successful healing, which is why it is so important to return for your post-op visit, in the first 1–2 weeks after treatment. Contact our office if you have questions or problems before that time.

When should I call my doctor?

  • Swelling & Bruising: If swelling or bruising increase after day 3, please call.
  • Pain: If pain becomes severe, increases suddenly or stops responding to medication, please call.
  • Reactions to Medication: If you have experience rashes, nausea, headaches, vomiting, increased irritability, or constipation after taking a prescribed medication, please contact your dentist or physician immediately.
  • Fever: If your temperature exceeds 100.5 degrees, first make sure you’re getting enough liquids since dehydration can cause the body temperature to rise. If increasing hydration doesn’t help, please call.
  • Bad Taste or Smell: If you notice a constant bad smell or bad taste around the surgical area that doesn’t resolve after gentle brushing and rinsing, it may be a sign of infection and you should be seen by your dentist.

If you are our patient and have concerns or questions post-surgery but aren’t sure if you need to see Dr. Bec or not, click here to contact our office with your questions.

Who should I call if I have questions?

Call our office both during and after hours at (210) 691-1211. After hours, our answering service will take your message and be sure that Dr. Bec is able to contact you.

Download Implant Placement Post-Op Instructions

Caring for Your Dental Implant Crowns

What to Expect: Dental implants are like natural teeth in almost every way and are cared for like natural teeth too!

What to Do:

  • Brushing: We recommend an ultrasonic toothbrush like the Oral B Smart Series or Sonicare Protective Clean Series. These brushes provide gentle and powerful cleaning at the same time and are very effective at removing the harmful biofilm that builds up throughout the day and can harm dental implants.
  • Flossing: Just like for natural teeth, daily flossing with Superfloss or with an interproximal brush is key to removing biofilm accumulated under the gums and keeping gums and bone healthy around a dental implant.
  • Rinsing: Daily rinsing with mouth washes reduce bacteria count in the mouth and help rinse the gums and cheeks. We recommend several mouthwashes: Listerine is great. Crest Pro-Health is alcohol free for patients with sensitive gums. Biotene is excellent for patients with dry mouths.
  • Periodic Cleanings: Like natural teeth, implants need to be professionally cleaned every six months. These cleanings remove hard-to-reach biofilm as well as calculus, reducing inflammation and protecting the bone holding on to the implant.
  • Yearly Implant Exam: Implants should be examined in detail by a dentist once a year to catch any early signs of mucositis or peri-implantitis and prevent bone loss and loss of the implant due to inflammation.
  • Nightguard for Grinders: The major difference between dental implants and natural teeth is that implants are very firmly gripped in the bone with hardly any give at all. This strong bone-implant fusion makes implants incredibly strong. It also makes them more easily damaged by overloading pressure from chronic clenching and grinding. If you are a clencher or grinder, wearing a nightguard at night is key to maintaining healthy dental implants.

Warning Signs of Complications:

  • Bleeding: Bleeding from the gums when you brush or floss is a sign of Mucositis, or inflammation of the tissue around the implant. Mucositis is caused by biofilm and leads to infection, peri-implantitis, bone loss and eventually implant loss. If you notice bleeding, your implant needs cleaning and attention to prevent peri-implantitis.
  • Bad Smell or Taste: If you notice your implant seems to be tasting or smelling funny and that the bad smell or taste doesn’t go away with brushing or rinsing, there is a good chance that you have developed peri-implantitis, or an infection around your implant. Call your dentist immediately. Immediate treatment can save your implant.
  • Gum Recession: If the metal of your implant becomes visible, you may have peri-implantitis, bone loss or another type of implant complication. See your dentist to evaluate the cause and get treatment to save the implant, if possible.
  • Loose Implant: Implants loosen for one of two reasons: either the implant never integrated with the bone or the bone has become infected dissolved away from the implant. In either case, the implant should be evaluated and the bone will need to be treated.

Who should I call if I have questions? Call our office both during and after hours at (210) 691-1211. After hours, our answering service will take your message and be sure that Dr. Bec is able to contact you.

Download Dental Implant Crowns care instructions

All-on-4 & Overdenture Post-Operative Instructions

Oral Hygiene

What to Expect: Good oral hygiene is essential for keeping implants healthy and functional. Implants can’t get cavities, but their functionality and esthetics depend on healthy bone and gums. Keeping your mouth clean is the best way to keep implants happy and healthy, working well and looking good.

What to Do:

  • In the first 24 hours, do not rinse, brush, floss or otherwise disturb the implant surgery sites.
  • After the first 24 hours, begin to gently and thoroughly clean your mouth after every meal using a salt water rinse made from 1 tsp salt in 1 cup of warm, but not hot, water.
  • Brush your new teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush and not-abrasive toothpaste after meals and at bedtime.
  • We highly recommend using a dental waterpik to clean and irrigate under your all-on-4 teeth; however, please DO NOT start using a waterpik until your dentist gives you the go ahead. Using it too early can interrupt healing.
  • If you have had the implants placed but were unable to have the initial teeth mounted on the implants at the surgery appointment, be sure to clean the denture daily in denture cleansing solution following the instructions on the package.

Bleeding

What to Expect: A small amount of bleeding and oozing is normal after an all-on-4 implant procedure. Bleeding is usually minimal for implant placement because the surgical site is typically closed with sutures. Sutures may be either surgical, which must be removed after 1-2 weeks, or they may be self-dissolving, which dissolve on their own after 5-10 days. Expect some bleeding and oozing during the first 24 hours. Pink or bloody saliva can occur for the first 2-3 days after surgery. This is normal and shouldn’t cause worry.

What to Do:

  • To stop bleeding: ently bite on a damp piece of gauze for 30 minutes, keeping your head elevated and resting calmly. After 30 minutes, toss the gauze and check the surgery site for bleeding. If the site is actively bleeding (bright red blood and dripping), place a new gauze and again bite gently for 30 minutes. Repeat this until bleeding stops. If you run out of gauze packs, a tea bag may be used instead.
  • What to Avoid: For the first 24 hours, avoid chewing, spitting and rinsing out your mouth as well as sucking anything through a straw. It is also important to avoid continually pulling on your lip to check the site. Allowing the tissues to rest is essential to proper healing.
  • Sutures: Sutures stay in place for 2-3 weeks. Do not pull or cut the suture material on your own since it can damage healing tissue. If the sutures are itchy, do not worry. Itchiness is a sign of healing tissue. Any non-dissolving sutures will be removed by the dentist at your two week follow-up appointment.

Swelling

What to Expect: Swelling is a normal part of the healing process. Swelling usually starts about 24 hours after surgery and peaks 2-3 days after surgery followed by a gradual decrease in swelling until the tissue returns to normal after 7-10 days.

What to Do:

  • Keep your head elevated. When you lay down, either stay in a recliner or use several pillows.
  • Ice Packs: To minimize swelling, apply ice packs, 20 minutes on 10 minutes off for the first 1-2 days.
  • Warm Compresses: After 48 hours, begin use of a warm, moist compress to the cheek.
  • If swelling worsens or increases after the fourth day post-surgery, call your dentist.

Medication / Pain

What to Expect: Unfortunately, some degree of discomfort is typical for surgery of any kind.

What to Do:

  • For patients who are able to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, we always recommend beginning with a dose of this medication before the numbing wears off. Recommended Drugs for Dental Pain: Ibuprofen (Advil), 800mg every 6 hours alternating with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), 1000mg every 6 hours.
    Example Dosing Schedule
    8:00am Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
    11:00am Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
    2:00pm Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
    5:00pm Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
    8:00pm Ibuprofen (Advil) 800mg
    11:00pm Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg
  • If you are prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse, please use it twice daily for the first two weeks following implant surgery.
  • Any prescribed antibiotics should be taken as directed. Always finish the entire antibiotic prescription to avoid re-bound infections.
  • No medication should exceed the recommended daily dosage.
  • conditions or problems, if you are taking medications such as Plavix or Coumadin that are known to have negative reactions with NSAIDs, or if you are allergic. If you have any questions about these or any other medications, please ask!
  • Important! If you are taking PLAVIX or COUMADIN, do NOT take Ibuprofen or Aspirin products.

Diet

What to Expect: After any oral surgery, the diet should be limited to foods that require minimal chewing to allow the mouth time to heal and to protect the surgical sites.

What to Do:

  • After General Anesthetic or I.V. Sedation: Liquids only for the first 24 hours.
  • While Numb: Cool or room temperature liquids and foods only. No hot liquids or foods.
  • Days 1-3 Post-Surgery: For the first few days, limit food to very soft foods or liquids like soup, mashed potatoes, smoothies and pudding. We recommend compensating for the limited diet with high protein shakes/smoothies such as Ensure.
  • Weeks 1-6: Limit food choices to a soft chew diet. Remember, if you can’t cut something easily with a fork, don’t eat it! You may gradually increase your food choices and go back to a more normal diet as tolerated.

Activity

For the first 3-4 days post-surgery, it’s important to rest so that your body can heal efficiently. Usually by the fourth day, patients can go back to regular physical activity and work-outs as tolerated.

Additional Care Instructions:

  • Cracked Corners of the Mouth: Sometimes the corners of the mouth can dry and crack after surgery. Applying an ointment such as Vaseline will keep cracked skin comfortable and help it heal.
  • Sore Throat: It is fairly common for patients to feel like they have a sore throat after surgery. This is usually because keeping the mouth open for a prolonged time dries the skin of the throat and also causes swelling in the throat muscles. Swallowing can be painful, but it should subside on its own in 2-3 days as swelling goes down.
  • Jaw Stiffness: Holding the the mouth open during surgery can also cause the jaw muscles to stiffen and make opening your mouth difficult for a couple of days. This can be relieved by massaging the muscles and applying moist heat. It’s important not force the jaw to open.
  • Nose Bleeds: When implants are placed in the upper jaw (the maxilla), patients sometimes have bloody noses for the first 2-3 days after surgery.
  • Temporary Denture Discomfort: It is normal to experience discomfort with the initial temporary denture during the first several weeks of healing. If your denture is uncomfortable or causing sores, come in for a denture adjustment.
    Your case is individual as no two mouths are alike. Discuss all questions or concerns with your implant coordinator

Download All-on-4/Overdenture post-op care instructions

Scaling & Root Planing Post-Operative Instructions

Welcome to a Healthier Mouth!

Your gums and teeth have just been deep cleaned, which means that bacteria and food buildup have been cleaned out from underneath your gums and that hard calculus has been removed off of your teeth and tooth roots. Your teeth and gums are going to be happier and healthier than they have been in a long time once your body completes the healing that this cleaning started.

What to Expect:

  • Expect some discomfort or pain for the first few days after your cleaning. This procedure doesn’t take place in a hospital; however, it is a micro-type of surgery and it is completely normal to be uncomfortable afterwards.
  • Expect tooth sensitivity. In the areas where built-up calculus and debris were removed, there are now parts of your teeth that have been buried for a long time that are suddenly being exposed to air and temperature changes that they are completely unaccustomed to. This is going to create a new level of sensitivity to heat, cold and air that will diminish with proper home care and with time.
  • Expect some jaw stiffness or soreness. You’ve held your mouth open for a longer period than you normally would in everyday life. If you jaw feels stiff or sore, apply a cold or hot compress to help relax the muscles. This should go away in a day or two.
  • Expect to spend more time than you have up until now caring for your teeth and gums. You’ve just sacrificed time, money and temporary comfort in order to save your teeth and treat your gum infection. The last thing you want to do is throw away what you’ve gained by going back to old home care habits. A little extra care (we’re talking minutes, not hours) goes a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy long term.
  • Don’t be surprised by tooth mobility. Periodontal disease destroys bone. If you have had an advanced periodontal infection in your mouth for a long time, the bone levels surrounding your teeth are going to be abnormally low. This means that the teeth are no longer supported by normal tissues. Removing built-up calculus from around and between the teeth helps them heal; however, it also removes the crutch that they are “leaning on.” In advanced cases, it is normal for tooth mobility to be more noticeable after root planing and scaling. Mobility will be evaluated at your post-treatment follow-up visit and recommendations will be made based on your body’s response and healing.

What to Do: How to Maximize Healing & Minimize Discomfort

  • Pain Control:
    • Take Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen before the anesthetic wears off. Continue to take a dose every 4 hours if needed for the first two days to minimize discomfort.
    • Tenderness or soreness at the anesthetic injection site is normal. Taking an over the counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help relieve this.
  • Eating:
    • Try to avoid eating until the anesthetic has worn off.
    • Stick to a soft food diet for the first 24 hours.
  • Oral Care:
    • Brush your teeth 2 or more times a day with a soft bristled toothbrush. A small amount of bleeding is normal in the first few days as the tissues heal. Use a sensitivity or prescription toothpaste for at least the first 1-2 weeks after surgery to help teeth heal and to minimize sensitivity.
    • Rinse 2-3 times daily with warm water salt rinses or fluoride rinses. Salt water speeds healing. Fluoride reduces sensitivity.
  • Smoking:
    • Smoking slows and complicates healing and recovery. No smoking for the first 24 hours.
    • Stopping smoking is HIGHLY recommended for the long term success of your treatment, health of your mouth and overall health. The chemicals in tobacco products and other smoked products interact with the body to damage tissue and slow healing.
  • When to Call:
    • Call if you experience severe pain or swelling or if pain persists more than 3 days.
    • If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call our office at (210) 691-1211.

Download Scaling & Root Planing post-op care instructions

Root Canal Therapy Post-Operative Instructions

What to Expect:

  • Expect some soreness in the area or a feeling of pressure for the first few days. This soreness generally goes away within a week.
  • Expect some tenderness when chewing.
  • Expect the tooth to feel “different.” With the infection and nerve removed from the tooth, you may notice that the tooth doesn’t feel “the same” as it used to when you chew. This isn’t a good or bad sensation – just a difference.

What to Do:

  • Eating:
    • Avoid eating for the first two hours or until the anesthetic has worn off. This protects both your new temporary filling and your mouth from accidents while you are numb.
    • Avoid hard or chewy foods and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth for the first 24 hours.
  • Medications:
    • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen before the anesthetic wears off to minimize discomfort.
    • Take and Finish any prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotic insures that the tooth infected is completely cleaned out and protects your tooth from re-infection.
  • Oral Care:
    • Brush normally but floss very carefully if you have had a temporary filling placed rather than a crown or permanent filling.
  • When to Call: Call us at (210) 691-1211 if you experience any of the following:
    • Visible swelling around the tooth, inside or outside your mouth
    • Intense pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days
    • Symptoms you had before treatment
    • A allergic reaction (rash, hives, itching) to any medication
    • Loss of the temporary filling
    • Your bite feels imbalanced or the tooth feels “high”
    • Tooth fracture

Download Root Canal post-op care instructions

Oral Sleep Appliance (OSA) Care Instructions

What to Expect:

  • Salivary Flow: You may experience a change in salivary flow (increase or decrease) for the first 7-10 days. This normal and is often temporary. It’s not a sign of any type of problem.
  • Jaw Tightness or Soreness: It is normal to wake up with some jaw soreness or tightness in the morning, especially during the first days or weeks of OSA therapy. This is typically not permanent. However, if you experience jaw pain, tooth pain or prolonged discomfort, call our office for instructions. Additional custom modifications may be needed to tailor your appliance to your jaw’s sensitivity level.
  • Difficulty Bringing Teeth to a Normal Close: After wearing an OSA all night, it is normal for teeth to come together in a forward position instead of their normal closing point. Wearing the AM Aligner when you first wake up will insure that this corrects back to normal within 10-15 minutes.

What to Do:

  • OSA Appliance Care:
    • Brush your appliance every morning with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Do not clean your OSA with hot water, denture cleaners, alcohol or mouthwash because these can damage your appliance or change how it fits.
    • Keep all OSA appliances out of range of pets, as they LOVE to chew them.
  • Oral Care:
    • Brush and floss as usual.
    • Only wear the OSA over clean teeth. Wearing an appliance on dirty teeth increases the risk of cavities and staining.
    • Use an AM Aligner EVERY MORNING after removing your appliance to keep your bite and jaw happy and stable.
  • OSA Follow-up Visits:
    • Follow-up evaluations should happen every 6 months to insure proper fit, function and effectiveness. These visits also include a bite assessment. OSA appliances can cause irreversible bite changes if an AM Aligner is not routinely used.
    • Bring your OSA to all dental visits for professional cleaning and to insure that all future dental work fits your appliance.
    • After an initial adjustment period, one or two additional sleep studies will most likely be prescribed to adjust it for maximal effectiveness and to assess fit during sleep.
  • Call Immediately if You Experience the Following:
    • Bite Changes: If you notice any bite changes, please contact our office immediately, or they may not be reversible.
    • AM Aligner Damage or Not Fitting: These must be used daily to bring your jaw back to its normal resting position. If your AM Aligner is damaged or if you forget to wear it for a period and it no longer fits, come in immediately to have another made before bite changes become permanent or exaggerated.

We guarantee our appliances for one year for conditions related to routine breakage, unstable fit, and the like. Damages caused by pets and extrinsic forces can be repaired at an additional charge.

Download Oral Sleep Appliance care instructions

Bite Splint Appliance (BSA) Therapy Instructions

What to Expect:

  • Salivary Flow: You may experience a change in salivary flow (increase or decrease) for the first 7-10 days. This normal and is often temporary. It’s not a sign of any type of problem.
  • Tooth Soreness or Sensitivity: It is normal for teeth to become sensitive during the adjustment period with a BSA. It is a sign that the jaw and muscles are loosening up and adjusting to the new “normal” in your mouth and that this is causing some teeth to bear more bite weight than others. Please note the sensitive areas and be sure to mention them at each follow-up appointment.
  • A Reduction in Headaches: As the muscles in your face and head adjust to the bite splint, overall muscle tension is reduced, the jaw relaxes and this normally reduces both the intensity and frequency of Stress and AM Headaches. This change is usually experienced in the first few days of therapy. If your headaches continue as before, call the office for an assessment.
  • Reduced Clenching and Grinding: For most patients, the smooth surface of a BSA helps deactivate muscles and interfere with the signals that stimulate many people’s clenching and grinding habits. If you still find yourself clenching or grinding while wearing the appliance, you may need a custom modification to the appliance to adjust which muscles are deactivated. Continued clenching and grinding can also be a sign of sleep apnea and a BSA will have little to no effect. In these cases, a BSA serves as a diagnostic tool helping us pinpoint the source of the clenching and grinding.
  • Your Teeth Don’t “Hit” Normally Anymore: A bite splint relaxes jaw muscles and this relaxation also changes how your teeth come together. This is normal; however, if the “new normal” doesn’t create a balanced bite when not wearing the BSA, a bite equilibration may be necessary once the jaw has stabilized in its healthier, relaxed position.

What to Do:

  • BSA Appliance Care:
    • Brush your appliance every morning with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Do not clean your OSA with hot water or alcohol.
    • Monthly soaking in denture cleaner or mouthwash can freshen up the device if it has begun to smell badly.
    • Keep all BSA appliances out of range of pets, as they LOVE to chew them.
  • Oral Care:
    • Brush and floss as usual.
    • Only wear the OSA over clean teeth. Wearing an appliance on dirty teeth increases the risk of cavities and staining.
    • Wear the appliance as instructed in order to experience the benefits. The appliance cannot help you if it is not in your mouth. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be instructed to wear the device continually or at night only.
  • OSA Follow-up Visits:
    • Follow-up evaluations should happen regularly for the first few months after appliance delivery. These appointments will be more frequent at first and are key to ensuring that the device fits and functions as it should.
    • Bring your BSA to all dental visits for professional cleaning and to insure that all future dental work fits your appliance.
  • Call Immediately if You Experience the Following:
    • Tooth Pain: Intense tooth pain or hot/cold sensitivity, whether spread over several teeth or centered on one tooth, is a sign that the fit of your appliance needs to be adjusted. It is normal for the device to need adjusting periodically as the teeth create wear patterns and as the jaw relaxes and shifts around. This is a normal part of Bite Splint Therapy; however, you should not put up with the pain. Call us immediately for an adjustment appointment.
    • Continued Clenching & Grinding: If you still find yourself clenching or grinding while wearing the appliance, you may need a custom modification to the appliance to adjust which muscles are deactivated. Call the office to schedule an appliance adjustment.
    • Continued Headaches: This is rare; however, if after a week of bite splint therapy your headaches are continuing without any change or relief, please make an appointment for re-evaluation. Your splint may need a custom modification or you may need referral to a headache specialist.

We guarantee our appliances for one year for conditions related to routine breakage, unstable fit, and the like. Damages caused by pets and extrinsic forces can be repaired at an additional charge.

Download Bite Splint Appliance care instructions

Invisalign Home Care Instructions

 

Congratulations! You’re on your way to getting the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Keep reading to learn what to expect with Invisalign treatment and how to take care of your aligners and your teeth to insure the best possible results!

What to Expect:

  • Soreness: Most people feel some soreness or tenderness for the first day or so of a new stage. Not only is this normal, it is an important sign that the aligners are working and are actively moving your teeth where they need to be.
  • Changed Speech: Thankfully, aligners never affect speech like regular braces do; however, during the first set of aligners, it can take a day to two to speak normally as your tongue gets used to the aligners in the mouth.

How to Get the Best Results:

  • Wear Your Aligners 22 Hours per Day: Aligners should only be taken out while eating and brushing. Brush, floss and replace the aligners as quickly as possible after eating
  • Keep Aligners and Teeth Clean: No one wants straight teeth that are full of cavities and stain. Brush your teeth and your aligners after every meal. If you brush your teeth, brush your aligners as well.
  • Inserting aligners: Start with your front teeth and gently move backward.
  • Removing aligners: Start with your back teeth by unseating the aligner with your finger nail in the back. Gently wiggle them off towards the front. NEVER pull straight down from the back because it can crack the aligner in half.
  • Changing Aligners: When you’re ready to switch aligners, we recommend switching before bed so that you sleep off any discomfort. Take Tylenol every 4-6 hours as needed for the first day or two of a new set of aligners to minimize discomfort.
  • Never Toss Used Aligners: When you’ve completed a set, clean them and store them in their original pouch. Used aligners are great back-ups if an aligner is lost or broken.
  • Lost Aligners: If you accidentally lose or break a set of aligners, wear your previous set UNLESS you are within 2 days of your next aligner switch. If you are within 2 days of your next switch, move up to the next aligner set.
  • Lost Bonded Attachments: If you lose an Invisalign “button,” off of your teeth, please make an appointment to have it replaced as soon as possible.
  • Drinking while Wearing Your Aligners: It is fine to drink while wearing your aligners. HOWEVER…
    • Beverages high in sugar and/or acid, which can cause tooth damage without aligners, cause exaggerated damage when the acid and sugar are trapped under the aligner and around your teeth for an extended period of time.
    • Avoid sugary, acidic drinks and always rinse your mouth after anything with sugar or acid.
    • Very hot drinks should be avoided as much as possible because they can warp and damage aligners.
    • Always rinse off your aligners and your teeth after drinking
    • Do not brush immediately after an acidic beverage. Rinse thoroughly and then brush.

Download Invisalign care instructions

Our Happy Clients

Knowledgeable and Nice People

I’d like to recommend Dr. John Bec and his entire staff for one of the best patient experiences that I’ve ever had. I was in for an emergency with an acute pain on my teeth and they treated me immediately. I was also impressed with the systematization of their processes, which I’m sure, contributed to the excellent service. 2 thumbs up for these knowledgeable and nice people!

Maria B.

5.0
2019-02-06T21:53:59+00:00

Maria B.

I’d like to recommend Dr. John Bec and his entire staff for one of the best patient experiences that I’ve ever had. I was in for an emergency with an acute pain on my teeth and they treated me immediately. I was also impressed with the systematization of their processes, which I’m sure, contributed to the excellent service. 2 thumbs up for these knowledgeable and nice people!

They Truly Care

Dr Bec truly cares about his patients. I am treated like family, which is something you do not experience much anymore. I would never consider going anywhere else.

Steve A.

5.0
2019-03-19T19:15:23+00:00

Steve A.

Dr Bec truly cares about his patients. I am treated like family, which is something you do not experience much anymore. I would never consider going anywhere else.

Extremely Professional

Had both upper and lower all-on-4 fixtures done. Dr. Bec and his staff are extremely professional and friendly. Best dental experience I’ve ever had and worth every penny.

Allen

5.0
2019-03-19T19:19:28+00:00

Allen

Had both upper and lower all-on-4 fixtures done. Dr. Bec and his staff are extremely professional and friendly. Best dental experience I’ve ever had and worth every penny.
5
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