Dental surgery can feel intimidating, but our team is here to help you every step of the way. Whether you need your wisdom teeth or another tooth removed, you’re replacing missing teeth with dental implants, or an infected tooth requires root canal therapy, proper aftercare is important for a smooth recovery. Here are some things to remember so you can successfully heal and get back to your regular routine as quickly as possible:
Follow Our Directions
At your appointment, we’ll give you detailed instructions on caring for your oral health. Depending on your surgery and specific needs, the best care routine might vary slightly. Always prioritize what we tell you over a random website or anecdotal experience of a friend’s. Take any medication only as directed, and never share your prescription or use another person’s prescription.
Take It Easy
Rest is essential after dental surgery. Your body needs time and energy to heal, so take it easy once you’re home. Make a nest in your bed or on the couch, keep your head elevated, and catch up on some TV shows or reading. Depending on the surgery, you should be able to return to your normal routine in several days. But it’s best to avoid strenuous physical activity, heavy lifting, and bending over for at least the first 48-72 hours. To reduce any swelling, apply an ice pack to your cheek for 15-20 minutes at a time, with at least a 20 minute break after each session.
Eat Soft Foods
For several days, you should only eat soft foods like yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, mashed banana, macaroni and cheese, and mashed sweet potatoes. Avoid carbonated beverages, crunchy foods like pretzels and popcorn, and hot liquids, so if you’re eating soup, let it cool first. Additionally, don’t use a straw for beverages.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Maintain your daily brushing and flossing, though you should avoid the surgical area for about a week. The rest of your mouth, however, can be cleaned as normal. About 24-48 hours after your surgery, start gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water several times a day, particularly after meals.
Don’t Drink Alcohol or Use Tobacco Products
Drinking alcohol, smoking, and using other tobacco products disrupts the healing process. The longer you can wait, the better.
Watch Out for Red Flags
If healing doesn’t go as planned, contact us at Hillstream Dental for special care. Symptoms to watch for include: worsening pain that isn’t eased by medication; swelling that increases after 72 hours; bleeding that won’t stop; pus; a fever; and trouble breathing or swallowing.
Questions About Your Dental Surgery?
We strive to make your dental surgery experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Whether you think you need dental surgery, your dental surgery is scheduled, or you are already in the recovery phase, reach out to our team with any questions or concerns!