You have taken a big step toward bettering your oral health. Whether you have had a dental implant, a wisdom tooth extraction, bone graft, or any other surgical procedure, it is important to take special care during the first three days to ease pain and avoid any infection. To this effect, we put together for you the most important post-operative instructions so you can enjoy a smooth recovery.
Softly bite on the cotton gauze for twenty minutes. This will help stop the bleeding after your surgery. If you notice that after this time you continue to bleed, bite on a fresh gauze for twenty minutes more.
Eat soft and cold things. Take advantage of the occasion to eat sweet treats like ice cream, yogurt, milkshakes, and smoothies. You can start taking lukewarm foods until the second day, and you can go back to your normal diet on the fourth day.
Brush your teeth or gums during your recovery. Be very gentle on the sensitive areas and do not brush directly over your wound as you may inadvertently remove the clot that has formed and protects it from any bacteria. Your surgeon may have prescribed a medication to help also sterilize the wound. Be sure to use it many times a day.
Put on ice. Ice inside your mouth and outside your cheeks will help with inflammation. If you have bruising, a normal reaction after surgeries, it will also help. Get a bag of ice and put it over the area for fifteen minutes. Please do not chew on it.
Rinse with saltwater. Mix half a teaspoon of table salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. This greatly helps reduce the swelling. Repeat as many times a day as needed.
Do not overexert yourself. Exercise will accelerate your pulse, and this will most likely start a bleeding episode. The same can be said of overexposing to heat or the sun. Avoid exertion for a week after surgery.
Do not drink alcohol while on antibiotic treatment. Alcohol will make your body to eliminate the antibiotic dosages within your system more quickly. This will cause a higher risk of infection.
Do not smoke for at least two weeks after surgery. Smoking decreases blood flow and this, in turn, causes slower healing. This increases your chances of getting an infection.
Do not drink hot, hard, or crunchy foods during the first three days. Doing so can cause injuries or you can get food trapped in the area of surgery. This can be both very painful as well as dangerous.
Do not swish and spit or drink with a straw. Doing so causes suction, which may result in the accidental removal of the clot. As said before, this clot is important because it stops the bleeding of the wound.
Do not hold back when you sneeze. This applies more when you have had any surgery near or at your sinuses. When you hold back a sneeze, you cause undue pressure on your sinus cavity that can cause the perforation of the thin sinus membrane. This will lead to chronic sinusitis and probably another surgical intervention.
Do not touch your wound. Fingering or poking with your tongue can cause bleeding and infection.
It is normal to experience discomfort after surgery. Any stiffness, pain, heat, or bruising should subside after four days. Remember everyone heals differently, so despite our indications have patience with yourself. If there is heat, pus, or prolonged pain do not hesitate to contact the office. There is a team of caring professionals who will guide you into what you need to do. You can trust the Costa Rica Dental Team for the best attention and equipment for dental extractions, grafts, and dental implants. Contact us now for more information.