If you are planning to have oral surgery, the best thing you can do is to take good care of your mouth post-recovery. This way, recovery can be quick and easy with few complications. Oral surgery, like wisdom teeth removal or dental implant surgery, can be easily navigated if you follow some simple steps to limit discomfort and prevent infection. In fact, by following some basic steps, you can speed up and enhance your overall recovery!
- Rest Up: You will want to spend your day after surgery resting as much as possible. That is probably easy because sedation can leave you feeling sleepy. Don’t think about driving, doing any strenuous movement or exercising. You want to avoid loosening the blood clots from the surgery and excessively bleeding. When lying down, be sure to elevate your head with a few pillows to ease swelling, too.
- Lessen Bleeding: The surgical site might bleed for 24 hours after your procedure. Keep gauze on the extraction site to diminish blood flow. As the blood clot heals, don’t interfere with the healing process by drinking through a straw, smoking, or indulging in alcohol or fizzy drinks.
- Follow Surgical Instructions: Take the time to follow our post-surgical instructions, especially for the first 24 hours. Do not brush your teeth, use mouthwash or brush the surgical site. To ease discomfort, you can gently rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution (put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water), swish it around, and spit it out (gently).
- Apply Ice: If you have swelling or bruises, you can alternate holding an ice pack to your jaw for 30 minutes, take it off for 15 minutes, and repeat. If you had surgery on both sides of your mouth, try alternately applying the ice pack to each side. Before you know it, the swelling will be gone, and the area will no longer feel overly tender. Note: Please call us if your surgical site secretes pus or you notice a fever.
- Mindful Eating and Nutrition: Stick to cold, soft foods and liquids after your surgery. It helps lessen the odds of having complications or irritation at your surgery site. Enjoy your favorite treats (ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, applesauce, cool rice pudding, instant oatmeal, cream of wheat or mashed potatoes). Fiber from ripe bananas, brown rice, smoothies and other whole grains helps healing. Protein from eggs and dairy products as well as meat, chicken, salmon, and tuna can boost healing as well. Incorporate some soft veggies as well. Just be sure to avoid very hard or crunchy foods in the first few weeks after your surgery until the area has healed.
- Prevent Infection and Discomfort: After your surgery, you will need to take your prescribed antibiotics to keep infection away and help you heal faster. For the initial 48 hours after surgery, you can take pain management medication or an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or NSAIDs.
- Monitor the Surgical Site for Infection: Signs to look for include fever, swelling that doesn’t go away after two days, or having problems with your breathing and swallowing.
- Post-Surgery Follow-up: Don’t skip your after-surgery checkups! They are important to ensure everything is healing and you are on track to full recovery.
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If you follow our post-surgery instructions, you will be shortening your recovery period and avoiding preventable problems. Your oral surgery can proceed smoothly with minimal hassle and discomfort (thanks to modern technology and equipment). If you take the time to follow your post-surgery instructions, you will likely be able to return to your regular routine within a week. If you have any questions about oral surgery, give our experienced team a call today!