Post-op Instructions

Not sure what to do after your appointment or procedure?
Click on any procedure below to see or share the home care instructions that need to be followed.

Please follow these home care instructions for composite (white) fillings:

  • After the use of local anaesthetics (an injection to block pain), your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment.
  • Avoid chewing for about 2 hours or until the numbness is gone, otherwise you can bite your tongue or lip and injure yourself while it is still numb.
  • Your new fillings are fully hardened before you even leave the office, but it is a good idea to chew on the other side until the local anaesthetic wears off.
  • You may take any over the counter pain medication for tenderness or discomfort. You may take Paracetamol (Panado), Aspirin (Disprin or Grandpa) or Ibuprofen (Nurofen, Advil, Brufen, Mypaid, Myprodol, Gen-Payne, Mybulen), unless you are allergic to these medications or have a medical condition that would prevent you from taking these medications. This will help with any soreness at the injection site(s) where your local anaesthetic was administered.
  • Only take the pain medication for the time that you have pain.
  • It is normal to experience some hot-, cold- and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Hot or cold sensitivity may linger for several weeks after the placement of the fillings. Usually these symptoms will disappear over time.
  • It may happen that your bite feels uneven or incorrect – it will feel as if you bite high and that you do not bite at the same time on each side of your mouth. This can happen when we use the local anaesthetic injection before filling the tooth, because you will not be able to feel that you are biting unevenly when you leave the office. If this happens with the tooth that we worked on, please call us on 012 327 2309/10 to schedule an appointment so this can be corrected free of charge.
  • You will not be able to grind the filling down or bite it into the correct position yourself – having an incorrect bite can cause toothache and headache, or a feeling that the tooth “shocks” when it connects with an object, and it will have to be corrected by the dentist.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Quagga Dentist on 012 327 2309/10

  • Bite on the cotton wool roll that the dentist placed, for 30 minutes after leaving the surgery
  • Do not spit out the blood, rather swallow it
  • Thereafter take the cotton roll out carefully and discard responsibly
  • If the bleeding continues after that, you can bite on a wet tea bag (not Rooibos) for about 20 minutes
  • When the local anaesthetic injection has worn off and the numbness is gone, you can use an ice pack or packet of frozen food to reduce the swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth or towel and apply over the face over the extraction site for 20 minutes, and then remove for 20 minutes. You can continue doing this for the first 24 hours after the extraction
  • For one week: Brush your teeth as normal but do not rinse the mouth, and do not brush the extraction site (hole) or any areas that were involved in the surgery
  • For 3 days after your procedure: DO NOT SMOKE, DO NOT SUCK on a straw or any other object, and DO NOT chew gum
  • For one day: Do not drink any hot beverages, eat a soft diet like yogurt, scrambled egg, soups, soft bread without crusts, liquids, jelly, ice cream and other soft foods like mash
  • Eat on the other side from where the extraction was done
  • Do not place ANYTHING into the extraction site (hole) – not a finger or a toothbrush or any other object
  • Leave the extraction site (hole) alone
  • Take your pain medication before the local anaesthetic injection wears off
  • Do not use alcohol while under the influence of your pain medication
  • AFTER ONE WEEK: You can start rinsing the mouth gently with lukewarm salt water
  • Do not consume any alcohol for at least 24 hours before and after your procedure, since alcohol can make your blood thinner and it can be difficult for the body to form a blood clot after the tooth was extracted

Call our practice immediately on 012 327 2309/10 if you feel any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or swelling that does not improve after 5 days
  • Extreme pain
  • Heavy or increased bleeding
  • A bad taste or smell in your mouth

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Quagga Dentist on 012 327 2309/10

  • A root canal treatment is usually done in TWO parts during two visits
  • Today we have started the first part of a root canal
  • You MUST come back after one week (not more than 2 weeks) so that we can finish the treatment
  • Today we relieved your pain and we placed medication into the root to help the tooth to heal
  • Remember, this treatment is not complete: we can only complete the treatment if you come back after one week.
  • If the second treatment is not done and the root canal is not completed, your symptoms will come back eventually, and you may lose your tooth

Immediately after your treatment:

  • You may feel some tenderness after your treatment. This is normal and may take a few days to go away as your body heals the tooth
  • You may feel tenderness in your jaw from opening your jaw for so long during the procedure
  • Over the counter medications like Panado, Mybulen or Gen-payne work very well at relieving the symptoms
  • Do not eat anything for 2 hours or until the numbness is gone. You can injure yourself by biting your cheek and tongue while the local anaesthetic injection that we placed, wearsoff.
  • Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until it has been restored with a permanent filling (after your second appointment)
  • After the second part of the treatment is done, and the permanent filling was placed, you will need a crown on that tooth. Root canal treated teeth are frail and weak because the nerves that was keeping it alive and strong, is removed during the procedure. If you do not place a crown (cap) on the tooth that can protect it, it may fracture (break) in the future

Call the practice if you develop any of the following:

  • A visible swelling inside or outside your mouth
  • An allergic reaction to medication, including hives or itching
  • Return of original symptoms

Remember that good oral hygiene is very important. Brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and then also at night before you go to bed. Also floss your teeth to remove plaque in-between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Quagga Dentist on 012 327 2309/10

New dentures always require a period of adjustment – remember that dentures cannot chew the same as natural teeth. First time denture patients may require several weeks to get used their new appliance. Speech may be changed and may require adaptation of the tongue and lips. In the meantime, you can practice to say: “sixty six” and “fifty five” several times a day to help your speech adjust.

  • If you have an immediate denture where the dentist removed teeth and then placed the denture, you should leave the denture in your mouth for the first 24 hours after teeth were extracted. Keep in the mouth for the first night, do not remove the first night.
  • After 24 hours, remove the denture and clean properly with sunlight liquid and a soft toothbrush. Do not brush or rinse the areas where teeth were extracted. Follow all the post-operative instructions for extractions.
  • For the first few days, wear your dentures for as long as possible.
  • Remember, dentures cannot chew the same as natural teeth so you may have some trouble eating. Chew soft foods in small bites.
  • You may develop sore spots in your mouth where the denture presses on gums. Please come into the practice one week after your denture was placed, to make any adjustments needed.
  • Also come into the practice about 3 months after that to check that the dentures are fitting well and did not become loose

General instructions once you have adjusted to your dentures:

  • Do not wear your dentures to bed – your jaw and gum must rest at night.
  • Over time or if you lose weight, your gum and bone can change shape, so please come into the practice at least once a year to have your dentures checked.
  • Keep the denture moist when you are not wearing it – you can wrap in a moistened paper towel or keep in a glass with water or special soaking solution
  • Clean your dentures 1 – 2 times a day. Use sunlight liquid and a soft toothbrush and clean in and around the artificial teeth and also in and around clasps if you have any
  • Use cold or lukewarm water to wash your dentures, because hot water may change the shape of dentures.
  • Brush and floss all remaining teeth, if you have any, especially any teeth next to the partial denture
  • Handle your denture carefully as it may damage if it falls
  • When cleaning, place a towel on the sink, and also add water to the sink so that it does not damage if it falls into the sink. Do not bend the denture while cleaning.
  • If your dentures are damaged, please bring it into the practice to have it fixed
  • If your dentures have any clasps, do not try to adjust it yourself – please bring it into the practice for an adjustment.

If you do not wear your denture for a period of time, you will notice that it will not fit properly because your bone and gums change. Please bring your dentures into the practice to have it checked.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Quagga Dentist on 012 327 2309/10

Please read this information if your child needs a dental procedure in the theater of a day clinic or hospital, or your child has just been for this procedure.

This is also important information to know to prevent your child from needing a dental procedure in a clinic or hospital.

It is important to understand why your child needed the treatment and how you can prevent your child from developing tooth problems in the future.

The most common reason that children develop tooth decay, is because the child’s teeth are frequently exposed to sugar. The sugar can come from sugar-containing fluid, usually kept in a baby bottle, but sippy cups and drinking straws can also cause this problem.

The fluids that can cause a problem are:

  • Baby formula
  • Expressed breastmilk
  • Juice
  • Cold drinks
  • Tea with sugar
  • Milky drinks like Milo

The sugar in these drinks stay on the teeth and the bacteria that live in the mouth use this sugar to live inside plaque on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed from the teeth, the child will have caries (decay or holes in the teeth) that can affect the structure and strength as well as functioning of the tooth.

You will know if your baby has these caries if they have black mottling (stains) on the teeth and the teeth have visible holes.

The cavities or holes are painful, and the teeth cannot function as normal because they are weak. Most of these teeth will have to be extracted if they cannot be filled. Filling a child’s teeth or extracting their teeth can be very traumatic to the child so the best option is to do the fillings and extractions while in the theater of a clinic or hospital.

Children whose teeth are extracted at a very young age, can have other problems in the future while we wait for the adult teeth to grow.

If teeth are extracted too early, your child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth and damaged adult teeth. The chances that your child’s adult teeth will end up being crooked are very high, so they will then need braces that are costly.

What can you do to prevent this?

General instructions once you have adjusted to your dentures:

  • Do not expose their teeth to a sugary substance for too long. This includes milk, sugar water, breast milk, baby formula, tea with sugar, juice, cold drinks as well as sweets and chocolates.
  • Do not let your child eat a lot of sweets or drink a lot of juice, cold drinks or tea with sugar
  • If your child eats sweets or drinks something with sugar, let them first rinse with water and then brush their teeth afterwards, even if it is in the middle of the day. This also applies to normal meals for older children – whenever teeth have been exposed to starches in food, like bread or potatoes, bacteria can feed on these starches and cause tooth decay
  • Your child’s teeth need to be brushed TWICE a day: in the morning when they wake up and at night just before they get into bed. Nothing else should be eaten after brushing at night.
  • You need to floss your child’s teeth to clean the spaces in between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Do not let your child go to bed or fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup that contains milk, sugar, chocolate milk or Milo, sweetened tea, juice or any cold drink.
  • When your child drinks juice, make sure that they drink it from a normal cup or glass without a sippy-attachment and without a straw. The sippy cup and the straw puts the sugar directly onto the child’s teeth.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey.

When should you start brushing your child’s teeth?

You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears in their mouth. This can be as early as 4 months! Always brush twice a day. You can use a soft toothbrush specially for babies, a soft cloth, cotton wool or gauze with some baby toothpaste.

Some toddlers do not like to have their teeth brushed, but it is your responsibility as parent to ensure that this job is done. Just like feeding your child, it is your job to keep your child clean and to keep their teeth healthy. Sometimes it will help to hold your child tight while you brush their teeth.

You can take your child to the dentist as soon as you see the first tooth, so that they can get to know the dentist as a friendly place.

Remember: if you start early, your child can have a lifetime of good oral health.

It's never too late to break bad habits. If your child drinks sweetened liquids from a bottle or sippy cup and/or sleeps with a bottle, break the habit now by gradually diluting the bottle contents with water over two to three weeks. Once that period is over, fill the bottle with water only.

Checklist to prevent tooth decay in children:

  • Brush TWICE a day
  • Floss whenever necessary
  • No sweetened liquids in a sippy cup or with a straw
  • Never let the child go to bed without brushing their teeth

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Quagga Dentist on 012 327 2309/10