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Post-Operative Dental Care Tips

Post-operative care is crucial for recovery with all types of surgery. When it comes to dental procedures, post-operative dental care should be your number one concern. Knowing how to take care of yourself following a dental surgery is not only important for a speedy recovery, but it also makes sure that you recover completely without developing an infection or any other post-op complication.

As long as you feel okay, it is easy to believe that you are recovering just fine. Beware, it’s a trap! Even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort after going through a surgical, dental procedure; you are still at risk of developing an infection. This is not the time to throw caution to the wind. Also, it is important to realize that dental care after an operation may not be as easy as you may have imagined. In fact, it is a rather tricky business as it requires you to monitor your diet and alter your eating habits. Therefore, it is important to learn all about post-operative dental care along with following the doctor’s instructions on how to properly take care after a dental procedure.

Whether you are getting dental implants or have an appointment for a wisdom teeth removal procedure, certain post-operative dental care tips come quite handy following your procedure. Scroll down to read all about it!

Dealing with Swelling

It is normal to experience swelling after dental surgery. Depending on the type of procedure, swelling can last for anywhere between a few hours to up to a few days. The best way to deal with post-op swelling is to use an ice pack on the face. Also, when you lie down to sleep or rest, try to keep your head elevated with pillows. This can help bring the swelling down. Keep in mind that swelling usually subsides after the first 24-48 hours following the surgery; however, it may be visible for up to 10 days. If you think you are experiencing excessive swelling or your swelling does not reduce for around 10 days, it is advisable to contact your doctor immediately.

Avoid Vigorous Rinsing

As soon as a tooth is extracted, a blood clot starts to form over the affected area. Keep in mind that this clot is extremely important as it is the only thing keeping your gums from bleeding out. However, vigorous rinsing or even spitting can dislodge the clot, leading you to losing a lot of blood. For this reason, it is recommended that you avoid vigorous rinsing for at least up to 48 hours following the procedure.

Use Warm Water and Saline Solution

For a quick and healthy recovery without having to face any complications, it is important to keep your mouth free of food and eliminate bacteria. In order to do so, after a day or two of having a dental procedure done, it is generally advisable to use warm water and salt to rinse your mouth. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and use it rinse your mouth, gently swirling the saline solution over the affected areas. This will help eliminate harmful bacteria and keep your mouth clean. For best results, rinse with this solution at least 4 times every day until the affected areas are completely healed.

Steer Clear of Mouthwash

No matter how tempted you may be to use mouth wash after a dental procedure, make sure you steer clear of it. Sure, mouthwash is antiseptic and works great for eliminating bacteria, but that does not make it safe to use after a surgical, dental procedure. Using mouthwash right after a dental operation can create problems in your recovery. Most dentists suggest that it is ideal to avoid using mouthwash for at least 48 hours following a dental procedure.

Brushing and Flossing

Just like rinsing, brushing and flossing can also dislodge the blood clot that keeps your gums from bleeding after a dental procedure. Therefore, when it’s time to brush your teeth, you need to be extra careful. Depending on the kind of surgery, your doctor will give you a set of instructions regarding brushing your teeth. Make sure you follow them to the dot. Also, brush as gently as possible and stop immediately if you experience any form of pain. As for flossing, it is generally okay to floss if you can open your mouth wide enough. However, it is important to understand that until the affected area has healed, it is a no-go zone. So, make sure you don’t floss near the affected areas.

Mind Your Diet

Your doctor will give you a detailed overview of the kinds of foods that you can have and the ones that you need to avoid following the dental procedure. In fact, minding your diet is an important part of dental care after an operation. Generally, patients are advised to avoid eating hard foods for at least up to 48 hours after a minor procedure.  However, based on the procedure you receive, this time period may extend to a few days. Therefore, prior to your dental operation, make sure your kitchen is well stocked with healthy soft, foods that you can consume during the recovery period. Here’s a list of recommended foods that you can enjoy after a dental recovery.

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Ice cream
  • Soups and broths
  • Mashed banana
  • Jello
  • Custard
  • Yogurt


Remember, recovery depends on how well you manage to take care after a dental procedure. So, make sure that you follow these helpful tips for a speedy recovery. Also, don’t forget to take a lot of rest and stay hydrated after receiving a dental procedure.

Get well soon!


Dr Hassan El Awour


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