Post-Operative Instructions

To minimize post-operative discomfort and help insure rapid healing, please read and follow these instructions:

ICE BAG:  Keep your head slightly elevated and place an ice bag on the outside of your face, on 15 minutes, then off 15 minutes, alternating on and off for the first day.

DIET INSTRUCTIONS:  You need to eat cool soft food the first 24 hours such as milkshake, Ensure, applesauce, Jell-o, pudding, popsicles, yogurt, etc.  The second day you will switch to warm soft foods such as soup, scrambled eggs, pasta, mashed potatoes, soft cooked vegetables, etc.  There after, maintain a healthy normal diet with moderate temperatures, and moderate spices, avoiding acidic foods for the first week.  THIS IS NO TIME FOR DIETING!  Eat 4-6 mini-meals throughout the first few days whether you are hungry or not. Add a good multivitamin enhanced with vitamin C for faster healing.
Some of the post-op symptoms and discomfort are the result of drastic diet changes similar to those experienced during the first days of a weight-reduction diet.

NO SMOKING.

DO NOT SQUEEZE, CLENCH, OR GRIND YOUR TEETH:  Inflammation and fluid collection normally occur around surgically treated teeth, which can cause the teeth to temporarily shift changing the bite relationship. This increases the tendency to squeeze or grind the teeth, which creates muscle pain, headaches, and can retard the healing process.

PAIN MEDICATIONS:  Take pain medications as prescribed for the first 24 hours following surgery.  After 24 hours, you may alter the dosage or interval as desired for your personal comfort. Adding aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil will often provide additional relief. Do not take medications more often than every three hours unless directed by your doctor to do so.

CLEANING, BRUSHING AND FLOSSING:

  1. Brush and floss untreated teeth normally.
  2. Avoid brushing and flossing the surgically treated areas.  Use diluted (1/2 Listerine & ½ water) Listerine mouthwash to rinse with for the first 3 days, then on the 4th day, switch to the Chlorhexidine rinse full strength 2 times a day; once after breakfast, when you have brushed and flossed your other teeth and once at bedtime, when you have brushed and flossed your other teeth.
  3. If a prescription mouthwash has been recommended, please use as directed starting 4 days after surgery.
  4. Use of a commercial mouthwash is acceptable, if desired or, mix equal parts of mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide.

 
DRESSING MATERIAL:  Often a pink dressing material is applied to the surgical site to protect it for the first 48 hours following surgery. If it comes off after the first 48 hours and you are comfortable, it is okay, just avoid disturbing the surgical site.


THE FOLLOWING IS NORMAL AND CAN BE EXPECTED IN THE HEALING PROCESS:

BLEEDING:  Light bleeding or spotting is customary during the first 48 hours following surgery.  If excessive bleeding occurs, FIRST remove all traces of blood clots in the area, THEN, apply firm pressure with a moist gauze pad or a moistened tea bag for a FULL 30 MINUTES.  Repeat as necessary.  You may want to cover your pillowcase with a towel and keep your head slightly elevated.

SWELLING:  Swelling normally begins during the second or third day and continues to the fifth day. During the FIRST 24 HOURS, excessive swelling can be minimized by the application of an ice pack held in place in 15-minute increments over the surgical site.

AFTER THE INITIAL 24-HOUR period following surgery, moist heat will aid in reducing swelling.