After Oral Surgery: 10 Dos and Don'ts for an Optimal Recovery

Oral surgery is common, whether you need your wisdom teeth removed or scheduled for more extensive procedures, like dental implants or jaw realignment. While surgery is sometimes necessary to improve your oral health, your aftercare is just as essential. 

At SPA Dental Group, located in New York City and Washington, DC, we always discuss what you should and shouldn’t do during your post-operative care to ensure you experience optimal recovery.

What you should do


1. Follow our aftercare instructions

Always carefully follow our instructions. We provide specific post-surgical care instructions, including when and what to eat, how much activity you should be doing, and how to handle oral care and hygiene.

2. Ice the surgery site

Applying ice to the surgical site reduces swelling and pain. Use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, applied for several minutes in 20-minute intervals.

3. Take prescribed medications

We may prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable and antibiotics to prevent infection. Take them as prescribed.

4. Stick to soft and nutritious foods and drinks

You have to be careful about the food you eat after oral surgery. Only ingest liquid and soft foods for the first few days, including pureed soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and shakes.

5. Remain hydrated

Keeping hydrated is essential after oral surgery because it expedites the healing process. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

If you have questions about our recommendations or the instructions, call our office for more information. 

Now, let’s transition to the “what you shouldn’t do” list.

What you shouldn’t do


6. Don’t use a straw or smoke

After surgery, don’t rinse, spit, or suck liquid through a straw, or smoke for the first few days because it can dislodge blood clots and lead to healing setbacks.

7. Don’t drink alcohol

Drinking alcohol can have harmful side effects after a surgical procedure, including increased swelling and risk of infection. Wait until after you’ve healed before consuming any alcohol.

8. Avoid spicy and acidic food

Spicy and acid-laden drinks, like citrus and soda, can irritate your gums and delay your recovery.

9. Don't brush your teeth aggressively

After oral surgery, aggressive brushing, flossing, or mouthwash use may be too much for the mouth to handle. Also, for the first 24 hours after your procedure, avoid brushing the surgical area.

10. Don’t engage in vigorous activities

For the first few days after the surgery, take it easy and avoid being too active physically. Walking is okay, but anything too intense can delay the healing process.

Following these tips after oral surgery can ensure a comfortable and quick recovery. However, always remember that each person's healing process differs. 

If you experience any unusual signs and symptoms after surgery, reach out to our team immediately.

To learn more about how to take care of your oral health after surgery, call us or book an appointment online.

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