If you are having oral surgery, it’s important to know what to expect after your procedure. Whether you’re getting one or more teeth pulled, a gum procedure done, or some other dental surgery performed, you need to take action to help increase your chances of having a swift recovery. Here are seven tips to help you make your recovery after oral surgery much easier.
1. Plan on Resting
Some patients view oral surgery as a minor procedure that doesn’t need to be taken very seriously. Oral surgery, no matter how minor, is still a surgical procedure that needs to be properly prepared for. One way you can help ease any discomfort and give yourself a better chance of having no complications is to plan for rest after your procedure. Depending on your surgery, plan on at least taking the rest of the day off and doing very little around the house.
2. Keep the Surgical Site Clean
Next, make sure you follow your provider’s directions for keeping the surgical site clean after the procedure. That may mean you need to rinse with a special liquid or pack your mouth with gauze every so often. In some instances, you shouldn’t spit or use a straw immediately after your surgery. It’s also important to monitor the surgical site and watch for any changes in appearance that hint at infection.
3. Adjust Your Diet
Oral surgeons, such as Dr. George Hatzigiannis, also recommend that patients adjust their diet after their surgery. Follow the directions from your provider right after your procedure, which may mean you’ll need to avoid all foods and drinks. After you’re ready, stick with soft foods, such as pudding, mashed potatoes, gelatin, and soup. Eventually, once you feel comfortable, you can go back to your regular diet.
4. Brush Your Teeth
Some patients think that their regular oral hygiene routine should be thrown out the window after oral surgery. While it may be true that you can’t do the exact same routine after a procedure, you still need to maintain your habits. Your dentist may advise you to use a softer toothbrush or a different type of oral rinse as your recover. Be careful that you don’t irritate the surgical site or avoid cleaning your teeth completely during your recovery.
5. Administer Pain Relief
Another tip to help you feel more comfortable after oral surgery is to take your pain medication consistently. Some dentists will prescribe a pain medication to you to ease your discomfort. Make sure you keep up with your pain medicine schedule instead of skipping doses during those first few days after your surgery. Skipping your medicine may put you in unnecessary pain.
6. Don’t Drink Alcohol or Smoke
One of the worst things patients can do to derail their recovery is to smoke right after surgery. Cigarette smoking can lead to more complications during the recovery process and slow down your healing. Additionally, choosing to indulge in some alcoholic beverages after a dental procedure is not the best decision. Alcohol can also impede your recovery or cause complications with a reaction to your pain medication.
7. Follow Up With Your Dental Provider
The last tip to help you make a speedy and full recovery after oral surgery is to follow up with your provider. Get your provider’s emergency phone number and other contact information before you leave the office. If you have any problems or questions, make sure you use that number to get answers and help you with any uncertainty.
Oral surgery can be daunting, but if you follow these recovery tips, you’ll be back to your normal routine and self in no time. Focus on giving yourself the best chance to feel comfortable and healthy during your recovery time.