These simple steps will help you care for your mouth guard to help it last longer:

  • Brush and floss your teeth before wearing your mouth guard.
  • Rinse your mouth guard well directly before, and then directly after each use.
  • Avoid chewing on your mouth guard. Chewing may distort the mouth guard and weaken the effectiveness of the laminated material.
  • Keep your mouth guard clean. Don’t throw it in your bag, uncovered, amongst dirty, sweaty sports gear. Store the mouth guard in its own hygienic rigid and ventilated plastic case, so that it remains clean when placed in your mouth.
  • After wearing your mouth guard, when you get home, clean it with cool water and soap and brush it with your toothbrush. This will remove the bacterial film transferred from your mouth during usage. Follow by rinsing the mouth guard with an anti bacterial mouth rinse or specific mouth guard or denture cleaner (available at our practice). Don't forget to clean the storage case too!
  • Keep your mouth guard out of direct sunlight and don’t leave it in a hot car, as mouth guards will distort in high temperatures.
  • Do not let others use it.
  • Have your mouth guard assessed by Dr. Maria at our practice, at the beginning of each sports season. Custom fitted mouth guards generally last a year or more.
  • If your mouth guard becomes loose, feels too tight or causes you any discomfort, don’t try to change the fit of your mouth guard yourself, have Dr. Maria adjust it for you.
  • Replace your mouth guard as soon as possible if it gets damaged, so you continue to be protected by a top quality guard.

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Immediate Care to Control Bleeding:

It is normal for tooth sockets to bleed slightly (no more than a small amount of ooze), in the first few hours directly after an extraction.

To control bleeding from the extraction site, use the sterile gauze squares (provided after your procedure) to apply firm pressure to the bleeding socket, as demonstrated at your appointment and outlined below. During this process, please take extra care if you are still numb to avoid accidently biting your lip or cheek.

  • Take one sheet of sterile gauze material from the sealed square packs provided and fold into half, multiple times, until you form a small firm pad, approximating the size of your socket space. Place the gauze pad over the bleeding socket and bite on it for at least 30 minutes.
  • After this time, check the socket. If bleeding continues, repeat the previous step a further 2-3 times, applying firm pressure to the bleeding site, and each time using a fresh gauze pad for intervals of 30 minutes. You should notice less blood oozing from the socket and remaining on progressive gauze pads as the bleeding begins to reduce, until it eventually stops.
  • In the unlikely event that bleeding still persists or becomes excessive, please contact Dr. Maria Petricevic at Melbourne Dentistry for immediate attention during business hours 7.00-5.30pm on 03 9650 0033 or after hours at Alternatively, you may present at your nearest public hospital emergency department for urgent assistance.

Directly After Your Procedure:

  • When the bleeding has stopped, you can remove the gauze pad from your mouth. You do not need to keep it in your mouth continuously. Use the gauze only when needing to control active bleeding. Always remove this gauze pack from your mouth before going to sleep.
  • Do not rinse your mouth until tomorrow morning. Rinsing should be avoided today as it can disturb the forming blood clot and stimulate bleeding.
  • DO NOT SMOKE!!! (Avoid smoking for a minimum of 24 hours after your extraction). Smoking will increase your likelihood of developing painful complications such as a dry socket, infection and delayed healing.
  • Do not drink alcohol (to avoid interactions with prescribed analgesic or antibiotic medications) or take part in strenuous activities, (and avoid swimming) for at least 24 hours after your procedure, as all may stimulate bleeding.
  • Pain is usually worst when the anaesthetic first wears off and then in the first 24-72 hours after surgery. Thereafter, it should settle and resolve. To manage post treatment pain, you may take an analgesic such as Panadol (as directed). To reduce discomfort, preferably take the first analgesic tablet just before your numbness wears off. Aspirin should be avoided after surgery, unless it needs to be taken for medical reasons.
  • Avoid eating very hot, spicy or hard foods, (to avoid irritating the socket) or foods consisting of small particles such as rice or other grains, nuts and seeds (to reduce the likelihood of small pieces becoming trapped within the wound and interfering with healing).
  • Drink copious amounts of fluid for good hydration. When the numbness wears off, begin to eat soft nutritious foods over the next few days (e.g. steamed or boiled vegetables, mashed potatoes or other root vegetables, steamed fish, chicken, boiled or scrambled eggs, yoghurt, milk or cheese or comparable foods in accordance with any pre-existing food intolerances you may have). With regular nourishment you will feel better, gain strength and heal well.

The Day After Your Extraction:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salty water 3-4 times per day, directly after every meal, to prevent food from becoming lodged in or around the surgical site. This salty water rinse may be prepared by dissolving 1 teaspoon of table salt in a glass of boiled water, cooled to a warm temperature comfortable for rinsing your mouth.
  • Resume good oral hygiene this morning - brush and floss all your teeth gently and thoroughly, twice a day. If you have dentures, clean them well too!
  • Avoid meddling with your socket or any sutures. Usually dissolvable sutures will dissolve on their own over the next 7-10 days. If non-dissolving sutures are to be used, you will be advised of this and these will be removed at the time of a specifically scheduled post-operative visit.
  • You may resume your usual healthy diet in 2-3 days or once you feel able to do so.
  • Bruising may sometimes occur on the skin near the jaw or mouth and may take 1-2 weeks to resolve.
  • Some patients may experience sensitivity of teeth adjacent to their extraction site due to a change to gum contours (exposing root dentine) around adjacent teeth. This may take a few weeks to resolve. Using a desensitizing toothpaste may help. If of concern, please contact our practice for review.

Pain, Swelling and Additional Concerns:

  • If you experience continuing or increasing pain, swelling or fever, have developed a bad taste or smell in your mouth (these symptoms may indicate problems with the socket healing) or, if you have a reaction to the medications, or have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Maria Petricevic immediately for further attention and advice.

Tooth extraction sites take approximately 6 weeks to heal completely. After this time, it is appropriate to consider the future management of your extraction site/remaining space.

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Suggested Reading - dental books for children

Suggested Children’s Dental Books:

Most of the following dental books (*) are part of the Children’s Library at our practice. We have divided suggested reading into subject sections, but some books discuss more than one of the topics listed. These books would be appropriate for children of all ages.

 Going to the Dentist

  • Murkoff, H. and Rader, L., What to expect when you go to the dentist, New York, Harper Collins, 2002.*
  • A Little Golden Book - Let’s visit the dentist, Golden Press, 1969.*
  • Ziefert, H and Murphy, L., ABC Dentist, Maplewood, New Jersey, Blue Apple Books, 2008.*
  • Steig, W., Dr. DeSoto, United States, Particular Books, 1982.*
  • Berenstein, S. and Berenstein, J., The Berenstein Bears visit the Dentist, New York, Random House, 1981.*
  • Perez, M., Rey, M. and Rey, H.A., Margaret & H. A. Rey's Curious George visits the Dentist, HMH, 2014.*

Teeth and the Mouth

  • Miller, E., The Tooth Book - A guide to healthy teeth and gums, New York, Holiday House, 2008.*
  • Suess, Dr.(LeSieg,T.) and Mathieu, J., The Tooth Book, New York, Random House, 2003.*
  • Keller, L., Open Wide, Tooth School Inside, Square Fish, 2003.*
  • Cook, J., Jana, L and Valentine, A., Melvin the Magnificent Molar, National Centre for Youth Issues, 2010.
  • Grisham, A.N. and Kersey Jr, G. L., Everyone Smiles, Ambassador Intentional, 2015.

 Teeth Brushing

  • Padron, A. and Children's Press., Brush, Brush, Brush, (Rookie Toddler Board Book), Scholastic, 2010.*
  • Mc Guire, L. and Pidgeon, J., Brush Your Teeth Please – A Pop Up book, Reader's Digest, 2013*
  • Tourville, D., Brush, Rinse, Floss – Caring for Your Teeth and Gums, Picture Window Books, 2008.
  • Dahl, M., Pony Brushes his Teeth, (Hello Genius Board Book), Picture Window Books, 2013.

 Sugar and Tooth Decay

  • Palatini, M. and Davis, J.E., Sweet Tooth, New York, Simon and Schuster, 2001.*
  • Booth-Alberstadt, S and Hall, N., Maggie McNair has Sugar Bugs in There, Daphne, Alabama, SBA Books, 2012.*
  • Piper, S., Roos, E. H. and Escobar, L., Sugar Bugz: They Live on Your Teeth, Bliss Bless Press, 2011.
  • Magleby, B., Sugar Bug Doug - All about Cavities, Plaque and Teeth, Book Surge Publishing, 2009.

 Losing the First Tooth

  • Wurm, K. and Chesworth, M., Truman’s Loose Tooth, Appelton, Wisconsin, Spirited Publishing, 2006.*
  • Sis, P., Madelenka, New York, Francis Foster Books, 2000.*
  • Bate, L. and De Groat, D., Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth, New York, Alfred A. Knoff, 1975.*
  • Beeler, S.B. and Karas, G.B., Throw your tooth on the roof -Tooth traditions from around the world, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.*

 The Tooth Fairy

  • Berenstein, J. and Berenstein, M., The Berenstein Bears and the Tooth Fairy, HarperFestival, 2012.*
  • Durrant, A. and Cabban, V., Dear Tooth Fairy, Candlewick, 2004.
  • Bell-Rehwoldt, S. and Slonim, D., You think its easy being the tooth fairy, San Francisco,Chronicle Books, 2007.*
  • Barry, D., What does the tooth fairy do with our teeth?, Mascot Books, 2014.*

 Eating Healthily

  • Berenstein, S. and Berenstein, J., Berenstein Bears and too much junk food, New York, Random House, 1985.*
  • Rabe, T., Oh the things you can do that are good for you: all about staying healthy, New York, Random House, 2001.*

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