Instructions for Post-Op Care

Home Care: Post-Operative

The following has been prepared for you to help answer the many questions which we know you may have regarding the operation which has just been performed. Please read the instructions carefully. Our experience has shown them to be very helpful.

1. Diet

Try not to chew in the area where surgery took place. Do not drink any hot liquids for the first 24 hours after surgery. Avoid hard foods, highly seasoned foods and condiments. A soft diet is recommended. The use of an instant breakfast is advised if you encounter difficulty in chewing.

2. Bleeding

There may be occasional blood stains in the saliva for the first 24 hours after the operation. This is not unusual and will correct itself. If there is considerable bleeding beyond this, take a piece of sterile gauze or a caffeinated tea bag dampened in cold water, form in the shape of a “U”; hold it in the thumb and index finger, apply it to both sides of the dressing, and hold it under gentle pressure for twenty minutes. Repeat if necessary. Do not remove it during this period to examine. UNDER NO CONDITION SHOULD RINSING BE USED TO TRY TO STOP THE BLEEDING.

3. Rinsing

You may not rinse the day of surgery. After 24 hours, you should begin rinsing your mouth with a solution of one-half teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.

4. Swelling

Post-operative swelling can be controlled by ice packs. They should be used the day of the procedure to keep any swelling to a minimum. Place the ice packs on the face for 15 minutes out of every hour for approximately three to five hours. It is common for swelling to be more pronounced after 24 hours. Some discoloration may also occur. This is common and can be controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen or Aspirin.

5. Discomfort

You can expect some discomfort when the anesthesia wears off. Take 2 Advil (or whatever preparation you take for minor pain) every 4 hours. If a more potent pain reliever is necessary, you will be given a prescription.

6. Brushing

Do not use dental floss or your toothbrush in the area where surgery was performed for 24 hours. Normal flossing and brushing may be resumed in any area not covered by the dressing. Do not neglect other areas of your mouth.