General After Care

The following is a list of general instructions following surgery. These general instructions are designed to minimize your post-operative discomfort and inform you of situations which can and may arise.

  • DO NOT rinse for at least twenty-four hours.
  • DO NOT rinse for three days following a bone graft surgery.
  • DO NOT over exercise. (The heart rate will increase and thus bleeding will increase.)
  • DO NOT SMOKE. If you smoke, your implant(s) will likely fail.
    Rest- and plenty of it.
    Ice- Cold compresses on the swollen area.
    Pressure – Light pressure on the area.
    Elevation – Elevate your head whenever you lie down. Two to three pillows are usually sufficient.
Do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication.

  1. DO NOT wear tight fitting clothing. Wear comfortable and loose clothing, preferably short sleeved. NO tight T-shirts. Bring a light weight jacket or sweater and remove all jewelry around the neck and ears.
  2. DO NOT wear nail polish.
  3. DO NOT wear high heels or elevated platforms as your reflexes may be slowed and walking in them may be hazardous.
  4. DO NOT wear makeup. Cosmetics can contaminate the surgical site.
  5. All patients who are taking prescription medications regularly  must know the name of the medicines they use and must bring the medicines in the prescribed containers to your treatment.
  6. Diabetics should take 1/2 the dosage of insulin in the morning of their dental appointment. Diabetic patients taking insulin will have early schedule priority.
  7. Patients scheduled for sedations should plan to spend a minimum of two hours in the office.


  • Leave alone. You must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Drive or operate a vehicle or heavy equipment.
  • Note: A blanket and pillow in your motor vehicle is advisable for comfort on your return trip home.


To slow and prevent bleeding, bite with light pressure on a gauze pack that has been placed over the surgical site. (if applied by your doctor) Pressure should be applied in 30-minute intervals and repeated until the bleeding is controlled. Pressure will assist in the body’s natural blood clotting process.

If the bleeding persists, without slowing for several hours, apply a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze and repeat the step above. The Tannic Acid in the tea will assist in controlling the bleeding.

If active bleeding is still occurring after 3-4 hours, and the above measures have been taken, call your doctor’s offices immediately.

After 24 hours, gently rinse with warm salt water. DO NOT use vigorous mouth washing action. This may dislodge the body’s natural clotting processes and reopen the area to bleeding.

DO NOT exercise, use physical force or enter stressful situations for the five twenty-four hours or until the medication and process allows. This will increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This also has an adverse action on the body’s natural healing processes.

DO NOT operate heavy or hazardous equipment for the first twenty­ four hours or until the prescribed medication and natural healing processes allow.

Follow the additional instructions provided that are pertinent to the particular medications that your doctor has prescribed for you.

  1. If an antibiotic is prescribed during treatment, you should take the medication exactly as described on the prescription to completion.
  2. If you were sedated for surgery, do not drive or operate heavy equipment, do not work around machinery, and do not climb ladders or work at unprotected heights for twenty-four hours or until the effects of sedation have vanished.
  3. Do not consume alcoholic beverages until the healing process is complete and while you are under medication.
  4. Do not exceed the prescribed and recommended dosage. Take only the medication as directed on the prescription.
  5. Do not give any of your medication to any other individual, including members of your family.
  6. Do not leave your medication exposed and available to children.
  7. Notify your doctor if you have any symptoms that may be related to an allergic reaction. If you cannot reach your doctor, contact the local hospital Emergency Room.  At that time, have the prescribed medication with you so that you can discuss the matter with emergency room personnel.
  8. After the initial twenty-four hours following surgery, in the morning only, you may begin using Perio-Med mouth rinse, following the directions on the bottle.
  9. After forty-eight hours following surgery, prior to bedtime, begin using the Peridex mouth rinse.
Apply ice packs at fifteen-minute intervals to reduce swelling. After seventy-two hours heat will relieve it. Swelling is a part of the body’s healing process and can be expected for three days to several weeks depending on the nature and extent of the surgery. After seventy-two hours heat may be applied to the swelling. Heat will increase circulation and aid in the healing process.

DO NOT try to eat solid foods until the local anesthetic wears off. You will have no feeling in the surrounding area, including your tongue, and may unknowingly bite yourself.

DO NOT use a straw when consuming liquids. The sucking action will cause a vacuum in the mouth and may dislodge the body’s natural clotting process.

A nutritious diet throughout your healing stage is most important to your comfort temperament and healing. Hungry people become irritable and less able to deal with discomfort that can follow surgery. Since you will be taking medication, it is important that you are aware that eating can prevent nausea sometimes associated with certain medications.

Milk, along with cooked cereals, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and milk toast are recommended for the initial day following surgery.

Soups, broiled fish, stewed chicken, mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables can be added to your diet as your comfort indicates. Do not eat sticky or hard foods.

Nutriment, Metrecal, Sego and/or Yogurt supply excellent added nutrition. These are especially indicated if other soft foods are not consumed.

Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, orange juice and citrus fruits. Sensitivity to cold on the natural teeth can occur and will disappear gradually with time. Avoid ice, ice cream, cold drinks and solids.

DO consume liquids immediately and prior to taking any pain medication. This will help prevent nausea and upset stomach and expedite the medications’ effects.

Begin taking 1500 mg. of Vitamin C per day 5 days before your surgery and continue until your treatment has been completed.
When to contact Dr. Bush:

  • If active bleeding continues after 3 hours of applied pressure to the surgical site.
  • If  you are still experiencing numbness after the initial day of surgery.
  • If pain or swelling increase after the third day.
  • If post operative bleeding has not decreased after 48 hours.
  • If sutures become loose or dislodged prior to the third day.
  • If an implant becomes loose or fractures.
  • If you have any symptoms that may indicate a reaction or allergy to medications, such as:  skin rash, elevated temperature of 100.5 F (orally), increased or erratic heart rate, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/fainting, blurred vision.
  • If you are unable to return to a nutritious diet after 48 hours.

Patient Education

  • After each use, rinse mouthguard with cold water.
  • Clean your mouthguard with soap and water ONLY.
  • Store your mouthguard in the container provided by Dr. Bush.
  • Do Not scrub your mouthguard with an abrasive toothpaste.
  • Do Not soak in mouthwash, denture cleanser, or hot water.
  • Do Not expose to direct sunlight or heat as the mouthguard could distort and change the
  • If you have any questions, please call our office.
Frequency of meals impacts the health of your teeth. Multiple smaller meals are health-promoting, but food intake at too high a frequency creates an acid saliva, which can be harmful to teeth and gums. Breakfast — snack — lunch — snack — dinner –snack, with nothing but water in between works best to preserve your teeth and gums.
Electric toothbrushes are far more effective than manual brushing. Once children can cooperate, they can use it. The two-minute timer ensures no rushing through this very important preventive activity. Again, wait until your children are old enough and coordinated enough–otherwise, they should be supervised or helped. We have recommended electric toothbrushes available to you.


Fluoride preventive treatment gel can be used daily to prevent and control dental decay or to reduce tooth sensitivity. Regular use will help prevent new decay, slow down present decay, and desensitize sensitive teeth.

This is a professionally dispensed, maximum strength prescription fluoride. Ask your oral care professional for a new prescription when finished.

Follow directions that have been recommended by your dental professional.


  • Place a thin ribbon of the fluoride covering the inner surface of each tray.
  • Place the trays into your mouth, sealing them completely.
  • Let the fluoride trays remain in your mouth for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the trays and spit out the gel.
  • For best results, do not rinse, eat, or drink for 30 minutes.
  • Wash trays with water and place them upside down to dry.
  • Carry out this procedure daily, unless otherwise instructed.
  1. Brush and floss your teeth.
  2. Place a small amount of bleaching gel into each space in the tray for every tooth to be lightened.
  3. Gently insert and lightly press the tray over your teeth to move gel into place.
  4. Gently remove excess gel that my flow beyond the edge of the tray.
  5. Wear loaded tray for 1 hour, once a day. Resume your normal activities (except for eating, drinking, or smoking).
  6. After one hour, remove the tray, brush and rinse the residual gel from your teeth.
  7. Wash and clean the tray with tap water and a toothbrush to remove the gel.
  8. For best results, follow this procedure every day until you have used up all of the whitening gel.

Note:  If you want to bleach your teeth faster, the bleaching gel can be reapplied up to three times a day.

General Instructions:

The average time for optimum color change to occur when bleaching 1-3 hours per day is 2-5 weeks, although color changes may be noticed as early as a few days.

Things to Remember:

  • Brown, orange, and yellow stains bleach faster and easier than blue or gray stains; teeth are naturally darker at the gumline and usually remain slightly darker than the rest of the tooth surface.
  • Periodic touch-ups as frequently as every six months to once a year may be needed to maintain maximum brightness of the desirable bleached shade of the teeth
  • Store whitening gel syringes at room temperature or keep refrigerated. Do not expose to heat or sunlight.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while wearing trays in the mouth.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Tooth sensitivity:  A few people experience tooth sensitivity. This condition is minimized if bleaching times are reduced. You may bleach every other day, or use a fluoride or desensitizing treatment in you custom tray and war it for 30-45 minutes.
  • Gum Tenderness:  Occasionally, gum tissues become irritated, and sometimes mild sloughing of the superficial layers of the gums occurs. Proper placement of whitening gel in the trays, reduction of bleaching time, or elimination of bleach stops the sloughing.
  • Discomfort in Jaw Joints:  If bleaching trays are worn too long during any given day, discomfort in jaw joints may occur. It is reversible when the bleaching trays are removed.
  • Soreness of the tongue or throat

Note: If any of these symptoms do occur, they will not last for more than a day or two. Discontinue bleaching if tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, or any other negative event occurs.