The mouth heals surprisingly well. Most patients are therefore surprised how quickly they bounce back after dental surgery, such as a dental implant surgery or impacted tooth removal. However, it's still important to take good care of yourself and your mouth as you heal from surgery. Here are some key dos and don'ts to make sure you adhere to during your recovery.
Do: Keep the surgical site clean.
Regardless of what type of dental surgery you had, your dentist will generally advise you to clean and flush the area regularly during recovery. You'll either be given a special, antimicrobial rinse to use for this purpose, or you will be told to use saltwater. The rinsing can be a little uncomfortable and painful, but you need to do it anyway; it will prevent the surgical site from becoming infected.
Don't: Eat solid foods before your dentist gives you the go-ahead.
After dental surgery, you will usually be given a timeline for returning to a normal diet. You may be told, for instance, to stick to soft foods for a certain number of days, and then slowly introduce foods that need more chewing after that. The timeline will vary based on the procedure and how quickly your dentist expects you to heal. Make sure you adhere to the timeline, even if you feel like you can eat solid foods sooner. Eating chewy foods before you're ready can damage the surgical site and slow down your healing process.
Do: Take pain meds as recommended.
Your dentist will likely send you home with pain medications to keep you comfortable post-surgery. Read the instructions, and follow them. Don't wait until you're in dire pain to take the meds. They are generally more effective if you take them in a preventative way, on schedule, before the pain becomes too serious.
Don't: Smoke or drink alcohol.
Alcohol and tobacco products can slow down the body's healing process, especially when it comes to dental procedures. Sucking on a cigarette may also dislodge blood clots, leading to a painful condition called dry socket. Stay away from these substances post-surgery. If you are struggling with nicotine withdrawal, try using nicotine patches.
Most people heal from dental surgery quite well. If you follow the tips above, you should, too! Talk to your dentist if you have any questions about other things you should and should not do during your recovery period.
To learn more information about dental surgery, reach out to professionals near you.Share