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Post Op Instructions

Proper care after surgery can reduce complications and speed healing. These suggestions should be followed as closely as possible.

  • Change gauze hourly for the first 4 hours until it is light pink in color. For the next 4 hour, keep biting firm pressure on the gauze sponge placed over the surgical site(s). Note: Some “oozing” of blood is normal during the first 78 hours. If this occurs, with clean hands, roll up a gauze pad (we will provide you with these) and place it over the site. Repeat for an hour the firm biting pressure until gauze is light pink in color. To stop bleeding quicker, place a dry tea bag over the extraction/surgical site instead of gauze.
  • *DO NOT RINSE, SPIT, USE A DRINKING STRAW, SMOKE, OR RUB YOUR TONGUE OVER THE AREA.  After the 24 hours period, rinse with warm salt water, (approximately ¼ teaspoon salt to 8oz warm water).  Beginning the second day, this should be done hourly, especially after meals.
  • Good Nutrition is essential for good healing. A liquid diet is recommended for the first few days following the procedure (milkshakes, yogurt, applesauce, soup, pudding, ice cream). You will be instructed when to resume chewing. You can begin this with soft foods like pastas and pancakes after one week.
  • If the Doctor feels that ice is necessary, it should be applied to the face for about 20 minutes, then off for 20 minutes for the first day following surgery. Thereafter, apply moist heat to the face.  If you are being treated for an infection, do not use ice at all. 
  • Take all medications as prescribed. If you were prescribed an antibiotic, it must be completed. Take your non-narcotic pain medication (usually Motrin or Tylenol) with food before the numbness wears off. A narcotic pain medication (Norco or Tylenol #3) is often prescribed to supplement the Motrin or Tylenol. Take one tablet if you still experience discomfort 30 minutes after you have taken the Motrin or Tylenol. For severe pain, take 2 tablets. If 30 minutes after taken the Motrin or Tylenol, you notice no discomfort, do not take the narcotic medication.
  • Do not drive, operate machinery or power tools, or drink alcohol for as long as you are taking narcotic medication.
  • If stitches were placed around the extraction site(s) be careful not to disturb them, they will dissolve or fall out within 1 weeks or sooner (*sleep elevated).


  • Any excessive activity, especially during the first week after an extraction.
  • Smoking or alcoholic beverages because they will cause severe pain.
  • Smoking should be completely avoided for 2 weeks.
  • Acidic beverages (orange juice, grapefruit juice) or carbonated beverages (soda).
  • Picking at the extraction site, because this disrupts the healing process.NOTE: Occasionally a tiny piece of bone may work itself free from an extraction site.  This is nature’s way of eliminating an area that does have an adequate blood supply to heal properly. This is routine and should not be cause for alarm.

To print download and print the instructions, click here

To print foods to eat after oral surgery, click here

If you have any questions, please contact us at the office.