10 Tips for Post-Operative Success



Knowing what to expect after oral surgery can help guide you towards a speedy recovery.  With any type of surgery, proper post-operative care is very important.  To help minimize unnecessary pain and complications, here are some important tips to follow.

  1. Pain – Discomfort following oral surgery usually begins as the local anesthetic wears off. Take the prescribed pain medication as ordered at this time.
  2. Bleeding – Slight bleeding, oozing or redness in the saliva is normal and not uncommon following oral surgery. Bite down on MOIST GAUZE packs with steady firm pressure for approximately 30 minutes.  You may also bite down on moist tea bags to control bleeding.  Tea contains tannins, which is an astringent that can help form a clot by shrinking blood vessels.
  3. Rest – Rest during the first 24 hours after oral surgery will help minimize pain, swelling and bleeding. We typically recommend avoiding strenuous activity at work or play for at least 1 week.
  4. Ice, Ice Baby – Swelling is normal after surgery. Apply ice packs during the first 24 to 72 hours.  Apply to the affected areas, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to minimize swelling.
  5. Eat Soft Foods – Avoid foods that are crunchy, tough to chew, or hot and spicy for the first 24-72 hours. Opt for soups, mashed potatoes and gravy, polenta, macaroni & cheese, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies.  Regulate your food intake by the comfort of chewing.  Ice cream is highly recommended, so stock up!  It will help soothe your mouth and help minimize swelling.
  6. Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of fluids. We recommend drinking lots of water, Gatorade and nutritional drinks.
  7. Avoid Straws – The suction can increase the risk of excessive bleeding by dislodging blood clots. This can increase chances of developing a dry socket.
  8. Avoid Smoking – Tobacco use decreases the healing potential of wounds. The suction can also disturb the clot formation.  Refrain from smoking for at least the first 24 hours, preferably for several days to a week after your procedure.
  9. Brushing – After the first 24 hours, gentle brushing is recommended. However, you must take extra precaution near the surgical site not to irritate the wound.
  10. Salt Water Rinse – After the first 24 hours, gently rinse with a salt-water solution several times per day. The salt water helps aide in the healing of tissues and minimize the risk of infection.

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