As with any surgical procedure, aftercare is crucial to promote healing and prevent complications following oral surgery. Whether you’ve had a tooth extraction or you’re getting a bone graft to prepare for dental implants, it’s essential to take proper measures to ensure a successful recovery. Below are a few tips to help you experience a comfortable recovery after oral surgery.
1. Get Plenty of Rest
One of the most critical actions to take after oral surgery is resting. Take time off from your daily routine and avoid strenuous activities for at least two days. During this time, ensure you get plenty of sleep.
Resting after oral surgery gives your body time to repair itself. Also, by avoiding strenuous activities, you avoid disrupting the surgical site. When sleeping, keep your head elevated at an angle to lessen pressure on the surgical areas. Doing so reduces pain and minimizes swelling.
2. Take Your Medications
After your surgery, your dentist may prescribe medications to support your recovery, such as pain relievers and antibiotics. Take your medications according to your dentist’s instructions to ensure you recover comfortably and avoid complications. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, it is important to finish your prescribed dose even if you feel better after a few days.
Additionally, watch out for adverse side effects, such as swelling around the surgical area. Always inform your doctor about any unpleasant reactions to medications, and always consult with them about potential interactions if you plan to take over-the-counter medications.
3. Limit Your Diet
It is crucial to plan and monitor your diet after oral surgery. You need nutritious food to build up your immunity and quicken your recovery. However, eating the wrong foods can aggravate your surgical site and prolong your recovery. After oral surgery, avoid hot foods and drinks and opt for colder foods that are soothing to sore tissue. Most importantly, stick to soft food and liquids that do not require chewing.
Be sure to avoid using straws when drinking beverages after oral surgery. The suction can exert pressure on the surgical site and dislodge blood clots necessary for healing. Some foods to include in your post-surgery diet include yogurt, oatmeal, applesauce, smoothies, and broth.
4. Maintain Your Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing your teeth may be uncomfortable right after oral surgery, and you should avoid doing so during the first 24 hours following your procedure. However, oral hygiene is necessary to prevent infections and safeguard your oral health. If you cannot brush your teeth, you can rinse your mouth with salty water at least four times a day to keep your mouth clean.
As you continue to heal, you can brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush while avoiding the surgical site. Your dentist will give you detailed instructions on maintaining oral hygiene after surgery with minimal discomfort.