First Day – Things NOT to do
- Do NOT spit (swallow your saliva).
- Do NOT rinse or gargle.
- Do NOT smoke or drink through a straw.
- Do NOT drink carbonated or alcoholic beverages.
- Do NOT drink very hot beverages (warm is OK).
- Do NOT engage in strenuous activities.
First Day – Things to DO
- DO bite on the gauze pack firmly for 30-45 minutes.
- DO use ice packs for the first 6-8 hours after surgery to minimize swelling.
- DO take your first pain pill after removal of gauze sponge. It is best taken with a malt or after a meal.
- DO eat soft foods.
- DO maintain a high fluid intake. Drink juices, milk, water, iced tea, instant breakfast, soup, etc.
- You may begin rinsing every 2-4 hours. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8oz glass of warm water and rinse gently.
- A nutritionally balanced diet is very important for proper healing. Don't skip meals.
PAIN – the discomfort on the first day is often great. The medication is meant to make it tolerable. The discomfort should gradually decrease over the next 4-5 days.
BLEEDING – some oozing is normal. The blood mixes with the saliva and appears more severe than it is. Do not spit, but bite firmly on a gauze pack for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
SWELLING – this is a natural reaction of the body to the surgery. It should be most pronounced after 36 hours. Ice packs for the first 6-8 hours after surgery help to minimize it. After 24 hours, moist heat is recommended to decrease swelling. Use 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
STIFFNESS – move your jaw through the full range of motion. Jaw muscles must be exercised. Gum chewing is very good for this.
NAUSEA – take 1oz of a carbonated drink every hour for 5-6 hours. Then drink mild tea, clear broth, and soft foods before resuming your regular diet. Pain pills taken on an empty stomach may cause nausea. If nausea persists, discontinue taking pain pills and call the office.
ORAL HYGIENE – continue to brush and floss the remaining teeth to reduce the possibility of infection.
SUTURES – if stitches were placed, they should dissolve within one week.
ANTIBIOTICS – if prescribed, they should be taken until all are gone, unless you develop some allergic reaction such as itching or a rash. If so, discontinue and call the office.
BONY EDGES – small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots; if annoying, schedule an appointment for their simple removal.
ECCHYMOSIS – black and blue discoloration may occur on the outside of the face. This usually resolves within several days.
- First of all, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn the numb area.
- It is normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after your appointment.
Please Note: Deeper Cavities will be more sensitive, and if pain persists, a root a canal may be needed.
- Temporary Crowns: After your first crown appointment you will receive a temporary crown. Avoid sticky and hard foods and pull the floss down through the contact, not up. If it comes off, place a dab of Vaseline in the temporary crown and put it back on the tooth. Then call us and schedule a time to put the temporary back on. Please understand, if you keep it off for too long, your permanent crown may not fit.
- Your numbness may persist after your injection for several hours. Stiffness and some bruising may occur. Simply apply ice to ease the discomfort.
Please follow these home care instructions carefully and call our office if you have any questions or concerns.