Home Care Instructions

After Cosmetic Dental Reconstruction

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office at Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (two tablets of Tylenol or two tablets of Ibuprofen (Motrin) every 4-6 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.

Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week.

Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work unless otherwise specified. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.

Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries.

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

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Cerec dental crowns and bridges may be completed in one appointment. Other crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds or Cerec scans of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Cerec crowns and bridges that are completed in one visit do not require a temporary and you will leave with a final restoration. 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 is completely worn off, you could injure yourself.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us at Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953 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 temporaries 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. Floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary. Pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown. A temporary bridge also needs to be cleaned with a floss threader of Soft Pick to remove any debris underneath. Waterpiks may also be used.

It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we 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 or moist tea bag on the site and bite gently 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 healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 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 for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off 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 at Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working or is making you ill. 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 fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice 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, fever, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at  Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953.

After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)

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 lip while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your dental filling appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), (two tablets with food every 4-6 hours as needed for pain), Tylenol or aspirin (two tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they 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 our office at Dr. Barry Murphy Phone Number 410-823-2953.

After endodontic treatment (root canals)

After endodontic treatment has been completed it is important to allow continued healing. The symptoms you were experiencing before treatment may not subside immediately. The area that was treated can remain tender for up to a week or longer.

During the healing process you may notice discomfort while eating, therefore it is best to avoid chewing on the treated tooth. You may chew on the other side of the mouth until the discomfort is gone.

It is normal to experience tenderness and soreness after endodontic treatment. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) 3 times a day will help. Ibuprofen (Motrin), (two tablets with food every 4-6 hours), Aspirin or Tylenol (two tablets with food every 4-6 hours) as needed will alleviate the pain. If pain persists or gets worse contact our office at 410-823-2953.

A temporary restoration has been placed while the treated tooth heals. You will need to return to our office for a permanent restoration to protect the tooth. Until you have the permanent restoration place chew on the tooth carefully (as long as there is no discomfort).

After Implant Placement Surgery

After implant placement it is important not to disturb the surgical site so the healing process can begin. It is advised to apply an ice pack for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours to reduce swelling. Wrap the ice pack in a paper towel as it should not be applied directly to the skin. It is normal to experience some pain and swelling.

Implants that are covered with a healing cap can be cleaned after the first 24 hours. This can be done gently with a soft toothbrush twice daily when brushing your teeth.

Implants that were placed requiring sutures need to be undisturbed during the initial healing process. Do not brush this area until instructed to do so at your next appointment. You may brush the surrounding teeth after the first 24 hours. Your sutures may be dissolvable and fall out on their own or be removed at a healing check appointment.

Pain medicine can be used as directed. The combination of Tylenol and Ibuprofen used alternatingly usually eliminates the need for a narcotic. If the medication does not seem to be working call the office at 410-823-2953.

After the implant placement surgery it is important to limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours. Exercise will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding at the surgical site.

A soft diet should be followed for the next 2-3 days. Nuts, seeds, chips and popcorn need to be avoided because they can get lodged in the surgical site. This can cause irritation leading to infection which may compromise the healing process. Once you feel comfortable you may resume a normal healthy diet. Keep in mind, if sutures were placed this area still needs to be avoided by chewing on the other side of the mouth.

Good home care will aid in the healing process. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, fever, continued swelling after 3 days, or a reaction to the medication call the office immediately at 410-823-2953.

After Teeth Whitening

After teeth whitening in the office or at home your teeth may become sensitive. This is normal and goes away after treatment is completed. If you are whitening at home and your teeth become overly sensitive, space the whitening out over more days by adding “rest days” in between “whitening days”. Continue using the recommended toothpaste for sensitivity. The same day of treatment you can apply the fluoride/desensitizer varnish as instructed. This will also help relieve any sensitivity you may have.

The whitening process leaves the teeth dehydrated. Until the teeth re-hydrate they can pickup stains easily. Food and beverages that should be avoided are berries, tea, coffee, red and white wine, soda, citric and acidic foods. If you must consume drinks that stain, you can try drinking through a straw. The longer these foods can be avoided the longer the whitening will last. Smoking should be avoided altogether.

Teeth will naturally pick up stains. With the proper home care, regular hygiene visits to our office and an occasional at home touch up, you can maintain the level of whitening achieved from the initial treatment.

If during your treatment the whitening agent irritated your gingiva (gums) leaving a tissue burn, you can use warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day until healed.

Any question or concerns please call the office at 410-823-2953.

After Receiving your Nightguard

A nightguard is an appliance to be worn primarily at night but can be used during the day if needed. It is custom fit and has been adjusted precisely to achieve the ideal relationship with your bite and jaw joint.

There are many different reasons you may need to use this appliance. A nightguard will absorb the grinding and/or clenching forces, which will protect your teeth and restorations (fillings, crowns, bridges and veneers). It can also alleviate pain from sore facial muscles and headaches.

Once you have brushed your teeth for the night you can put the nightguard in (with clean hands). When you wake up it can be removed. Brush the nightguard with a soft toothbrush and tooth paste when you brush your teeth. Always dry and store the appliance in the case provided. You should also clean it once a week with a denture or retainer cleansing tablet (following the manufacturer’s instructions). Don’t forget to keep your case clean too.

Bring your appliance with you when you come in for hygiene appointments. The office has an ultrasonic cleaner for a deeper clean. We can also inspect the nightguard for any cracks or breaks. The better you take care of your appliance the longer it will last.

The first few nights of use will be an adjustment. Your mouth may produce more saliva than usual, trying to flush out the foreign object. This will subside as you adjust.

Reasons to call the office at 410-823-2953 regarding your nightguard: The bite feels different, one side is heavier than the other; the fit is loose or too tight; symptoms persist; the nightguard cracks or breaks. If any of these things happen do not use the appliance until it is adjusted, repaired or replaced.


Don’t touch. Avoid touching areas of your gums that your dental professional has treated.

Wait to brush. Wait 12 hours before brushing your teeth in areas that have been treated with ARESTIN®.

Wait to floss. Wait 10 days before flossing or using toothpicks or other devices that clean between your teeth in areas that have been treated with ARESTIN®.

Avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for 1 week after treatment.

Always follow up. Because the bacteria that cause periodontal disease are persistent, the infection can return. Please be sure to make follow-up appointments with your dental professional to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

Keep your scheduled appointments. It is important to keep all of your dental appointments so that your dental professional can re-examine you gums, make sure the infection is under control, and measure the success of your treatment.