Creating A More Beautiful Smile

The Do's And Dont's Following Oral Surgery

An oral surgeon can fix a wide array of problems, but if you are unaware of how to properly care for your new mouth you may end up in a worse situation than before. It is imperative that you know how to safely promote the healing process so that you can minimize pain, swelling, and further damage. Here are a few things that you should and shouldn't do following your oral surgery.


  • Use ice packs periodically - 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off
    • Ice packs can have multiple positive effects on healing, including reducing swelling and helping blood clots form
    • Place an ice pack or ice packs on all the affected areas and elevate your head on a pillow or other object
  • Take pain killers
    • Do not wait until the pain sets in to take medication, especially if it is prescribed
      • For moderate pain - Motrin 400 mg every 4-6 hours or Naproxen Sodium 450 mg every 8-12 hours
      • For severe pain, the oral surgeon may prescribe a narcotic. Do not drive or work machinery and avoid alcohol while on a prescribed narcotic
    • Make sure you finish the course of medicine if it is prescribed so that you can have the most comfortable healing process possible
  • Keep your mouth clean
    • Refrain from spitting or rinsing until at least one day after surgery
    • After the initial 24 hour period, gently rinse 4-6 times a day using a cup of warm water mixed with about a teaspoon of salt
    • Do not eat foods that will become lodged in empty sockets or are hard to chew, and rinse after every meal.


  • Avoid drinking or eating foods that are very hot until the numbing wears off
    • When you are numb, you can't feel pain and may burn your mouth
    • Also take care when you chew, as you will not feel if you bite your tongue, cheek, or lips
  • It is important that you do not smoke for as long as possible following surgery, especially for the remainder of the day
    • Smoking causes your blood vessels to shrink and delivers less oxygen to the wounded area, which will in turn slow the healing process
    • The sucking motion of smoking can also dislodge blood clots and cause an infection called Dry Socket
    • Sucking through straws, spitting, and blowing your nose can also dislodge blood clots
  • Do not overexert yourself, especially in the days immediately following surgery
    • When standing up, sit up for a minute and then stand if you must
    • Don't exercise for at least 12-24 hours following the procedure

Though it may seem tedious, following these steps will help you recover as quickly and as comfortably is possible. The last thing you want is to have to go back into surgery to fix something you didn't care for correctly. Follow these steps and you can ensure a long lasting smile following your surgery. Contact a professional like Russel Bleiler DDS for more information.