Tips for Recovery Post-Dental Surgery

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Whether you’ve had a tooth extraction, root canal therapy, or a more complex dental procedure, there are certain things you can do after it’s complete to increase your comfort and promote healing. In this article, we offer a few basic recovery tips.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Avoid physical activity and exercise for two to three days. Vigorous activity soon after your procedure can dislodge the blood clots that are necessary for your mouth to heal. When lying down, you can keep your head propped up with pillows to help reduce any swelling.

2. Ice As Necessary

Ice helps keep inflammation down and helps to numb the area of pain. If you don’t have a proper ice pack, you can put ice in a ziplock bag and wrap it in a hand towel, or even just place ice directly in a towel. Then, place the ice pack on the affected area for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off. Remember to never place ice directly onto your skin or to ice longer than 20 minutes.

3. Eat Soft Foods Only

For the first few days after surgery, be sure to follow a liquid or soft food diet. Drink plenty of water and avoid soda. Pureed soup, yogurt, smoothies, pudding, gelatin, and mashed sweet potatoes are tasty and easy to eat. Definitely avoid drinking through straws and eating anything hard or crunchy until a dental professional gives you the go-ahead. Also, until the anesthesia wears off, avoid anything hot, because the numbness can cause you to burn your mouth without even knowing it!

4. Take Prescribed Antibiotics

As in general medicine, antibiotics are also sometimes prescribed in dentistry. If prescribed antibiotics for an infection, it’s very important to finish the entire course as directed. Not doing so can be harmful to public health by ultimately leading to antibiotic resistance.

5. Brush Gently & Keep Your Mouth Clean

Although you shouldn’t brush or floss the teeth in the surgical area for at least 24 hours, you should continue to gently brush and floss the other parts of your mouth. After 24 hours have passed, you can rinse gently with warm salt water. However, avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting. In many cases following oral surgery, the antibacterial rinse chlorhexidine is prescribed, which provides the surgical area with extra protection.

6. Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol

Smoking and using other forms of tobacco are incredibly harmful for oral health. Not surprisingly, it should be avoided when recovering from oral surgery — as should alcohol, because they both can interfere with the healing process.

Further Concerns? Contact Us!

If you have any questions about your after-care instructions or if you experience abnormal pain, swelling, or bleeding, call us at 916-691-6802. Dr. Tin and our team at Villa Vista Dental are here to make your recovery as smooth, pain-free, and successful as possible.

Reach out to us with any additional questions about your recovery!


4 Tips to Help Your Breath Smell Fresh

Brunette woman hides behind a gray curtain with only half her face showing due to embarrassment about her bad breath
Is bad breath bringing you down? Don’t let morning breath and garlic breath ruin your whole day. Here are four tips and tricks to make sure your mouth stays minty fresh!

1. Follow a Routine Oral Care Regimen

Following a strict oral care regimen is essential to not only ensure that your mouth is healthy, but that it smells good, too. Make sure you are brushing twice a day for two minutes each time (don’t forget to brush your tongue!) and flossing at least once a day. Plaque and tartar can release gases that are less than pleasant to smell, so keeping your teeth squeaky clean is a good start to getting your bad breath under control. If you’re noticing particularly serious issues with plaque buildup or if you have persistent bad breath, try chewing sugar-free gum after every meal and decreasing your intake of sugar and processed foods. You may be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after eating, but wait to brush your teeth for 30-60 minutes after eating and drinking anything other than water to allow your enamel time to re-harden from any acids in your meal.

2. Mouthwash Is Your Friend

For those who are experiencing bad-breath issues and even for those who aren’t, adding an alcohol-free antibacterial/antiplaque mouthwash in to your oral care routine is a good way to combat bad breath. Just swish and gargle at least two to three times a week, and you should notice a significant difference.

3. Hydrate with H2O

Did you know that saliva actually helps fight bacteria in your mouth? If you suffer from dry mouth, that could be the cause of your bad breath. When your mouth is dry, the saliva isn’t breaking down that bacteria. Thus, a dry mouth allows yucky oral bacteria to proliferate and produce foul-smelling gasses. Stay hydrated with water throughout the day to keep bad breath at bay.

4. Visit Villa Vista Dental Every 6 Months

Even if you’re already doing all the above, there are just some nooks and crannies you have difficulty reaching yourself. When plaque starts to build up in these spots, those foul gases can rear their nasty heads. But we’re here to help you have a clean mouth and excellent oral health. By visiting us every six months, we can help keep your mouth smelling less like death and a lot more fresh. Contact us to schedule your next appointment!

Don’t let dragon breath set fire to your self-confidence.


Dental Fads to Avoid

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The internet is filled with a whole host of tips and tricks on how to save time and a few dollars. When it comes to your mouth, Dr. Tin wants you to be armed with the facts about dental fads: Not only do the vast majority of them not work, some can even be harmful to your oral health. Read on for a tour into today’s dental fads, arranged here from the controversial (but not necessarily harmful) to the dangerous.

Oil Pulling

Advocates of oil pulling claim that swishing oil (usually coconut oil) in your mouth for a prolonged period of time will strengthen gums, whiten teeth, and fight plaque. The proclaimed benefits of oil pulling go oven further to improved sleep and an overall body detoxification. However, as noted by the American Dental Association, there is a lack of scientific studies showing that oil pulling improves oral health. Snopes, the definitive internet resource for urban legends and misinformation, debunked oil pulling in an extensive article.

Who should use it?

Although swishing oil in your mouth has not been scientifically proven to improve oral health, it’s unlikely to be damaging. Swishing water in the same way, or better yet antibacterial mouthwash, will be just as effective.

Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

The movement towards organic and all-natural everything has reached toothpaste. The main thing that distinguishes natural toothpaste is that it does not have fluoride.

Who should use it?

Fluoride-free toothpaste makes sense for children under the age of two, because most kids that age won’t fully understand how to spit it out and will be tempted to swallow their toothpaste. Ingesting high amounts of fluoride is unsafe and can lead to the development of dental fluorosis.

For everyone else though, fluoride toothpaste is generally the way to go. Fluoride is hugely beneficial because it remineralizes teeth and helps to prevent tooth decay. Topical fluoride in toothpaste is one of the main reasons that dental cavities aren’t as much of a problem as they were before fluoride.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Does it seem counterintuitive that black charcoal would help to whiten your teeth? Although charcoal toothpaste (in its activated form, not the stuff you use on the grill!) is making the rounds as the latest and greatest thing for brightening your pearly whites, there are serious concerns about the abrasiveness of charcoal.

Who should use it?

Steer clear! Using charcoal toothpaste to whiten your teeth can actually cause more harm than good. Once you lose enamel, there’s no getting it back, and enamel erosion can lead to extreme tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and cracks and chips in the enamel.

Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly are great first steps to take toward a brighter smile. Next, biyearly checkups with the team at Villa Vista Dental are also crucial to your oral health. If you’re worried about tooth discoloration, talk to our office about professional teeth whitening options.

Have more questions or want to schedule an appointment?


Why You Should Brush Your Tongue

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Here’s the deal: no one wants to have bad breath. Bad breath can affect your social life and how people see you professionally. But don’t despair—there’s an easy way to fight one of the leading causes of bad breath, and it’s probably simpler than you think: brush your tongue!

The Importance of Tongue Brushing

Can you believe that some 700 different types of bacteria live in your mouth, some of which cause bad breath? By brushing your tongue, you’re helping to make sure harmful bacteria doesn’t spread throughout your mouth, causing other dental problems including foul breath. If you’ve never brushed your tongue before, it might seem strange at first, but it’s an effective way to maintain your dental hygiene.

How to Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue is extremely simple. After you brush your teeth at night, use your toothbrush to brush your tongue. Work your way from back to front and side to side to make sure you’re covering as much surface area as possible to pick up the maximum amount of bacteria. Then rinse with water at the end, and gargle if you wish. Get into the habit of brushing your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

Do I Need Special Equipment?

Some drugstores sell special tongue cleaners or tongue scrapers, but your regular toothbrush is sufficient. Just make sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every use. This will help it work more effectively and last longer.

Part of Your Dental Routine

Brushing your tongue is one of the easiest things you can do to improve the freshness of your breath. If you don’t brush your tongue, you’re not just dealing with stinky breath—you’re at a greater risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Do you have other questions about maintaining your dental health?