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What Do I Need for Postoperative Oral Care? Recovering from Oral Surgery

If you’ve recently gone through oral surgery, such as wisdom tooth extraction, you may be wondering what you need to recover in order to ensure your comfort and speedy recovery. In this article, we’ll go over a few things you’ll typically need to minimize your discomfort and ensure your mouth heals properly.

A Cup for Warm Water (No Straws!)

Staying hydrated is critical for your recovery. We recommend warm water, as it soothes your mouth. Hot and cold beverages may cause sensitivity. Do NOT use a straw. Using straws could damage the blood clot in your mouth, causing dry socket, when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed, and other serious complications.

Oral Health Syringes

Oral syringes can be used with warm water to gently irrigate and clean the site of your extracted tooth. Follow all of your dentist’s instructions for proper use.

Sterile Gauze

Bleeding should stop within a few days of your procedure. Until then, sterile gauze is the best way to absorb blood. Make sure you keep the areas packed per your dentist’s instructions to encourage clotting and stop bleeding.

Ice Packs and Bandages

Applying an ice pack to the outside of your mouth can help with discomfort and swelling. You can also get a bandage or wrap to secure it to your head, so you don’t have to hold it on with your hands.

Your Favorite Soft Foods and Liquids

You should choose foods and liquids that are soft and easy to digest. Avoid spicy and heavily-seasoned foods. Things like applesauce, Gatorade, popsicles, and soup are great options, and may even be soothing. Do not eat crunchy or hard foods, which could hurt your mouth or rupture your sutures.

Your Medication

Your dentist may give you a prescription painkiller to take for a few days after your operation. Take this as prescribed. After your prescription has run out, you can take over-the-counter medicine like aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for your discomfort.

Children’s Spoon and Toothbrush

Often, you may not be able to open your mouth very widely due to soreness after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery. Small spoons can make it easier to eat, in this case. Similarly, a children’s toothbrush usually has a smaller, soft tip, and a large handle, which makes it easier to brush with precision. Don’t neglect brushing, even after an extraction! Proper oral hygiene is incredibly important during the healing process.

Get Everything You Need Before Your Surgery!

If you have not yet had your oral surgery, try to gather everything you need before your appointment so that you can recover quickly. And, above all else, make sure that you follow your dentist’s recovery instructions after your appointment, to ensure a rapid, trouble-free recovery.