Going to the dentist’s office isn’t always a pleasant experience, for children and adults alike, but the many people out there who will never have to face any other oral care outside of cleanings and braces should count their blessings. In the cases of difficult wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants, gum treatments, and painful jaw conditions, it goes beyond the call of a dentist and a specially trained oral surgeon will be brought in to take care of your needs. When you have a situation that requires the work of an oral surgeon, and subsequent oral surgery, it’s important to know ahead of time what you should expect and how best to ensure a full recovery.
Preventing Pain, Excess Swelling and Bleeding
It is not uncommon to have some swelling following oral surgery. To reduce the swelling, it’s a good idea to keep your head propped up on pillows and have an ice pack nearby that you can apply in 15-minute increments to the site of the surgery. Resting is significant to any healing process, and you should restrain yourself from strenuous activities for at least two days after surgery. If your oral surgeon prescribes pain medication or antibiotics be sure to start taking it immediately and avoid anything with aspirin, which is known to thin the blood and may cause bleeding. Smoking after oral surgery increases the chance of infection and may also stimulate bleeding. If bleeding does occur, place gauze over the wound and apply pressure by biting down firmly.
Foods to Eat
Liquids and soft foods should comprise your diet for a while after oral surgery, but maintaining a balanced diet is also important. Foods rich in vitamins A and C are essential for quicker recovery time and promote healing in damaged tissue. Suggested diets include soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and pureed fruits. Refrain yourself from eating hard or crunchy foods for a few weeks, don’t drink from a straw, and skip out on very hot or cold substances while still under the effects of anesthesia. Prepare for your at-home care ahead of time and make sure your home is fully stocked with the foods you’ll need after surgery.
Keeping Your Mouth Clean
This may be the hardest part of the healing process as you don’t want to do anything that will harm the surgery site, but keeping your mouth in a clean condition is necessary. Oral surgeons will want you to rinse after every meal with lukewarm saltwater to prevent any food from getting into the wound, but it’s also critical that you make sure not to spit. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations on brushing and flossing and take care not to make any vigorous motions.
Following these simple instructions will make your healing process a much less painful experience and help to prevent the possibility of having to go back to your oral surgeon for further procedures.