Avoid Oral Surgery

Whether you had your wisdom teeth removed or attempting to alleviate TMJ pain, there are many different reasons oral surgery may be necessary. We’ll take the very best care of you here in the office, but there are things you or a caretaker can do at home to help make sure your experience is as positive as possible!
Before coming in, you should make arrangements according to the following recommendations:

  1. Take it easy on the day of your surgery. If you want to lie down, and for the first night following surgery, keep your head propped up with pillows if possible to limit excess swelling and bleeding.
  2. Apply ice packs to your face for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off to reduce swelling.
  3. After the bleeding stops, you can eat soft foods. Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for the first day or two. Examples include soups, yogurts, fruit milkshakes, smoothies and mashed potatoes.
  4. If you’ve been given antibiotics, take them as prescribed and make sure you finish the course.
  5. Keep your mouth clean. While you may be advised not to rinse for the first 24 hours, after this initial period you should gently rinse four times a day using warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Be sure to rinse after every meal and snack, making sure that the water removes any bits of food around the surgical area. In some cases your dentist may recommend a chlorhexidine rinse to kill bacteria and keep the mouth clean.
  6. Follow a balanced diet. In particular, eat foods rich in vitamins A and C, which contribute to the healing process. A vitamin C supplement may also be helpful. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), getting plenty of vitamin C is one way oral surgery patients can ensure timely recovery.
    In addition, you should avoid the following:

  1. Overexerting yourself. Don’t bend over or do heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for two to three days after surgery.
  2. Hot food or drinks until the numbing wears off. You cannot feel pain while you’re numb, and you may burn your mouth. Also take care not to accidentally chew your cheek!
  3. Chewing hard or crunchy foods, such as carrots or popcorn, in the area of the surgery for six to eight weeks.
  4. Chewing hard or crunchy foods, such as carrots or popcorn, in the area of the surgery for six to eight weeks.
  5. Smoking. Try not to smoke for as long as possible after surgery, but at the very least for the rest of the day. Smoking can interfere with the healing process and the sucking motion can dislodge blood clots that are forming as part of the healing process.
  6. Alcohol for 24 hours, as it can delay the healing process.