Top Oral Hygiene Practices to Follow After Surgery to Help You Heal Faster

Woman smiling with white teeth

Oral surgery represents one possible step towards a healthier mouth. But procedures like dental implants, root canals, or wisdom teeth extraction shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a serious surgery that carries specific precautions and care in order to heal quickly and correctly. In today’s blog from Northside Dental Clinic, offer some do’s and don’ts for oral hygiene to follow after oral surgery to help you recover faster. 

The Do’s 

Doing the right after-care regimen will help not only reduce pain and chance of infection, but speed up recovery time. These tips are easy to follow. However, if you have any concerns or symptoms, contact your dentist or physician immediately. 

Rest. Initially, rest is one of the most important things you can do. Rest and sleep help the body heal. Avoid strenuous activities and exercising as this increases heart rate and blood pumping through the body. Increased blood flow can actually make any incisions lose clotting and increase bleeding. 

Ice is best. Swelling is the body’s way of protecting itself from trauma. Ice is a natural way to reduce swelling. Swelling, especially in a small area like your mouth and jaw, can increase pain and make you feel worse. One of the best ways to reduce swelling is by applying ice packs over the affected area for short periods of time, several times a day. When the swelling goes down, so too will the pain and you will begin to feel better. 

Rinse. After 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth with warm water and salt four times a day, particularly after meals. This will promote healing and remove any food particles and blood to promote better oral hygiene.

East soft foods. The best foods to eat after having oral surgery are soft foods like yogurts, soups and smoothies that will help you feel full without damaging the incisions. Additionally, choose foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and E to promote faster healing. Think eggs, fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli. 

Brush lightly. If you can, buy a soft bristle brush prior to surgery and use this for a few days after the procedure. If you don’t have a soft bristle brush, brush as lightly as possible, particularly in the affected area. Complement this with rinsing in order to remove any particles the brush didn’t reach. 

Take the prescriptions. Antibiotics are extremely important to not only kill infections but prevent them as well. Take them as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon, and make sure you finish all doses. Pain medications should be taken only until the pain has receded and is manageable. 

The Don’ts

After oral surgery, you may feel better than you expected, and have the appetite to match. But by ignoring some simple oral hygiene guidelines, you could be increasing your chances of infection, pain and longer healing times. Here are some things we suggest avoiding for the first 48 hours after surgery.

Careful what you eat. While it may be tempting to grab a crunchy taco, it can actually do a great deal of damage to any incisions in your mouth. Hard or sharp foods can tear open sutures or reopen a wound, making it worse. Hard foods can also become lodged in the open wounds, increasing the risk of infections. Instead, opt for soft foods rich in healing nutrients.

Quit the gym (for a couple days). Limit some things. Anytime there is trauma to the mouth and cuts or incisions are made, the body’s natural defense is to begin building clots to stop the loss of blood. During exercise, our heart rate increases and pumps more blood through the body to deliver oxygen. If there is a cut or incision, blood will want to flow out. This can remove any clotting and increase bleeding and even pain. Take a couple of days to allow your mouth to heal. Even the smallest procedures can throw the body into havoc, resulting in fatigue. 

Avoid heat. Right after surgery, you may be tempted to grab a cup of hot coffee or tea. If you’re still numb from anesthesia, your mouth won’t be able to fully detect the heat, possibly causing burns to the mouth and exacerbating the situation. 

Oral Hygiene Tips From Northside Dental Clinic 

Following these simple tips can help you heal faster and flash that great smiles of yours! After any oral surgery, if you begin to have excessive bleeding, a drop in blood pressure, or other elevated symptoms, call your dentist. Contact Northside Dental Clinic online or call (417) 862-2468 for more information.