Post Operative Instructions

PAIN CONTROL – If instructed and you are an adult, take over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen (same as Motrin or Advil), 2 or 3 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. For children, please refer to your pediatrician’s recommendations or ask Dr. Smullin. Try to take the first dose before the local anesthesia has worn off. You may also take OTC extra strength acetaminophen (Tylenol), as directed, for additional pain control. If you are given a prescription medication for pain, please take as directed.

BLEEDING AND PROTECTING THE BLOOD CLOT– Do not vigorously rinse, spit, smoke, or drink with a straw for at least 24 hours after your surgery. Mild persistent bleeding or oozing is normal during the first 24 hours. Bite down firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical sites for the first 30 minutes. After biting on this first gauze pack, try leaving the gauze out. If the bleeding persists, place one piece of gauze over the surgical site and bite to apply mild pressure for another 30 minutes. Try to avoid moving the gauze over this time period. Again, try to leave the gauze out after this period of time. The gauze may then be replaced and changed as necessary (typically every 30 minutes). If bleeding persists, you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in cold water, squeezed and wrapped in moist gauze) for 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.

SWELLING – Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. Swelling may be minimized by using cold packs, or a bag of frozen peas, applied to the cheek nearest to the surgical area outside of the mouth. This should be applied for 20-30 minutes, but up to one hour with breaks of equal length in between for the first two days or 48 hours after your surgery. Cold packs can also decrease pain.

NAUSEA—Nausea is possible after surgery especially if the surgery involved some level of anesthesia. It generally improves within 4-6 hours. Try sipping small amounts of clear liquids, ginger ale or a sports drink, to prevent dehydration. If nausea persists, please call the office for assistance.

ORAL HYGIENE – Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Avoid vigorous rinsing for the first 24 hours after surgery to allow the site to begin healing. Starting the day after your surgery, it is best to rinse 3-4 times a day, particularly after meals, with either warm salt water or mouth wash diluted with water. If you are provided a prescription mouthwash, please use as directed. Avoid brushing the surgical area for at least 1-2 weeks. Please brush and floss all other areas, even the day of surgery, simply avoiding the surgical site and avoiding heavy spitting after.

DIET – You may eat soft foods after your surgery, but avoid chewing anything at the surgical site. Soft foods include, pasta’s, soups, soft vegetables, mashed potatoes and fish etc. Avoid hard and sharp foods and most meats. As your surgical site feels better, you may advance your diet, but avoiding chewing on the surgical site for at least 1-2 weeks as directed.

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