Skip to content

Home Care Instructions

Home Care Instructions

Top-Rated Prosthodontist Serving the greater Washington DC area

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Your cosmetic reconstruction has been fabricated to blend with your gum tissue and for you to have a solid bite. It may require a brief period of adaptation. You will want to maintain a diligent home care program.

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.

Smoking stains all teeth. Foods that stain natural teeth such as coffee, red wine, tea, and berries will also stain acrylic resins used in temporary composite resins over a period of time.

If you engage in sports, let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the nightguard we have provided for you. In select cases, adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile may take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.

After Crown & Bridge Appointments

After the treatment visit:

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth and provide aesthetics while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

Temporary crowns:

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 temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and, if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and pull gently up on the floss without pulling hard on the temporary, itself, to prevent dislodging it, and then pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.

Watch: Dr. marlin Discusses How Long Should a Dental Crown Last

Play Video

After Implant Surgery

The vast majority of our patients only require the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil, Motrin, or generic ibuprofen, although we prescribe a stronger medication, as well. To decrease the inflammation and resulting discomfort after your surgery or restorative procedure, we will usually give you an anti-inflammatory medication before dismissing you, prior to your anesthetic wearing off.

This usually decreases the amount of swelling with a significant reduction in discomfort, and should be continued for at least 48 hours. Nevertheless, following the surgery, you may experience some soreness.  It is important to take the prescribed medication as directed. Please do not wait until you are experiencing severe discomfort before taking your pain medication. Pain medications are most tolerable when taken with food.

As stated, there may be swelling as a result of the procedure. To reduce post-operative discomfort, apply an ice pack as follows:

  • ON for 15 minutes, OFF for 15 minutes, for up to 36 hours.
  • Use of the cold compress in the first 5 hours will help to minimize swelling. The ice pack that you will be given can be refrozen. It is normal for swelling to increase for the first 1-2 days after surgery.
  • If after 36 hours the area is still swollen, apply warm compresses to the area.
  • If swelling continues to increase beyond 2-3 days, please call our office at 202-244-2101.


Avoid spicy food as the pepper may cause some burning sensation. Do not suck forcefully on a straw. Do not smoke.

Please avoid any exercise routines and over-exertion for the next 48-72 hours because it may cause increased bleeding. It is suggested to sleep with your head slightly elevated.

Plaque removal is important not only for your periodontal and dental health, but also for an increase in the speed and comfort of your healing, but minimal hygiene is to be performed to prevent suture pulling for the first 48-72 hours after the procedure. We will advise you on the cautionary time frame to protect the sutures. You may experience slight bleeding when you brush. This is normal. Gentle plaque removal will not harm the healing process. DO NOT brush the surgical site with toothpaste. Instead, lightly rinse the area after 72 hours with the prescription antimicrobial mouth rinse (see next). Brush the teeth at the gum line, NOT the gums. DO NOT USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH.

Rinse your mouth with Peridex , PerioGuard, or other prescription, antimicrobial mouth wash according to the directions on the label. DO NOT rinse with commercial mouth rinses.

Remember to take an adequate daily amount of Vitamin D2 (2,000 IU per day), timed-release Vitamin C (1000mg), and Calcium (1200 mg per day) which can help with bone regeneration.

If you have undergone a bone graft procedure, you may see a white area under your sutures. Do not be concerned as that is not infection, but, rather, the “barrier membrane” or filter that we have inserted to protect your underlying bone graft and “growth factor”.

Watch: Dr. Marlin Explains What Are Dental Implants

Play Video

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process, and, in most instances, your bleeding will have stopped before we dismiss you. In the event that your extraction site has not stopped bleeding, we will ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad over the wound and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids in healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities could dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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 fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally after 48-72 hours.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 48-72 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 two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

After Composite (White) Fillings

Composite fillings require minimal care. When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several 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 lips while you are numb.

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

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call Elite Prosthetic Dentistry at 202-244-2101.

Contact Elite Prosthetic Dentistry Today!

If you are ready to schedule your appointment with our trusted, experienced, and caring prosthodontist, please call 202-244-2101 today. We welcome patients from Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Fairfax, Reston, and all surrounding communities.

Our office is conveniently located one block from the Friendship Heights Metro Stop on Wisconsin Ave in the Chevy Chase-Friendship Heights region. Because of our well-situated uptown location and our high-efficiency treatment regimen resulting from working directly with our own in-house technician, many downtown-area patients come to us at the beginning or end of their busy workday.