Instructions Following Wisdom Teeth (3rd Molars) Removal
After the surgical removal of teeth, a certain amount of swelling, discomfort and inability to open the mouth widely can be expected. Follow these instructions to minimize problems and hasten healing:
NO RINSING, SPITTING UNTIL THE MORNING FOLLOWING SURGERY.
DO NOT BRUSH YOUR TEETH UNTIL THE MORNING FOLLOWING SURGERY.
DO NOT SMOKE THE FIRST 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY OR LONGER IF POSSIBLE.
DO NOT USE A STRAW THE FIRST 3 - 5 DAYS AFTER SURGERY.
AVOID FOODS with PITS OR SEEDS for 3 weeks or until incisions close fully.
AVOID FOOD that is hard or crunchy for 3 weeks or until incisions close fully.
- Prescriptions – take all medications as directed at the correct time interval and in the proper amount to be fully effective. WOMEN: Antibiotics can interfere with the efficacy of birth control. Please use alternate methods of contraception while taking antibiotics.
- Diet – resume your normal diet as soon as it is comfortable for you to chew. Clear drinks and broth with soft bread/noodles are suggested at first. Your healing ability is dependent upon a high protein, nutritious diet. Feelings of nausea are prevented by a proper diet including carbohydrate, protein and plenty of hydration. AVOID foods with pits, seeds and those that are hard and crunchy for approx 3 weeks.
- Hygiene – your mouth may be quite sore at this time but oral hygiene is necessary to assist healing. The morning after surgery, salt water rinses (1 teaspoon per 8 ounces) after every meal along
with gentle tooth brushing is highly recommended. Care must be taken not to disturb the surgical site, but careful tooth brushing will help keep the mouth free of excess bacteria and food debris that can delay healing or cause infection. Use plain water if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
- Swelling – is normal following surgery, including the surgical removal of teeth. This surgery often requires an incision of the gum tissue and removal of bone. Swelling is the normal response of the body to injury and need not cause alarm. Ice initially will minimize some swelling. However after the second day, it is of doubtful value. The swelling will generally subside after the first 4 or 5 days following surgery.
- Bruising – sometimes after the surgical removal of teeth, bruised/“black and blue” areas are noted about the face, neck and around the eyes. Do not be alarmed. Although unsightly, these areas will resolve on their own. Apply sunblock to bruised areas before going outdoors.
- Bleeding – Upon arriving home after surgery, remove gauze from your mouth. Do not replace. Expect the surgical sites to ooze slightly with normal movement of the jaws. This is not unusual. It should subside within a day. If bleeding appears prominent, make a gauze pack as shown in our office and put firm finger pressure on the gauze placed over the surgical site that is bleeding for 15 minutes. If not controlled by this method, use a wet tea bag wrapped in one piece of open gauze and hold pressure over the bleeding area continuously for 15 minutes, allowing the teabag string to hang from a corner of your mouth. If the bleeding persists, contact our office for further assistance.
- Numbness of lips or tongue – as explained to you prior to surgery, this problem is rarely encountered. If your lips or tongue are numb or have a strange sensation, this will usually resolve on its own over a variable period of time. Sometimes, although rarely, it can be permanent. Be patient and report your symptoms to our treatment coordinator for further assistance. Usually the outcome is full restoration of feeling to the affected areas.
- Postoperative appointment – if needed, should be made for 5 - 7 days after surgery.
POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS WHEN YOU ARRIVE HOME:
- REMOVE & DO NOT REPLACE GAUZE PACKS UNLESS ACTIVE BLEEDING RESUMES.
- TAKE YOUR PAIN MEDICATION WITH FOOD*.
- REPLACE ICE PACK(s) ON FACE FOR 15 MINUTES ON, THEN 15 MINUTES OFF FOR THE FIRST 24 HRS.
- SLEEP WITH YOUR HEAD ELEVATED (SEMI-UPRIGHT).
- EXPECT PINK OR RED- STREAKED SALIVA. Blood-spotted gauze is normal following surgery.
- AVOID RINSING AND BRUSHING UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING.
- CALL IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
IV SEDATION PATIENTS ONLY:
FOODS TO AVOID for first 12 hours after surgery:
DAIRY PRODUCTS INCLUDING EGGS & MILKSHAKES, UNDILUTED GATORADE, JELLO, HIGH- FAT CONTENT FOODS AND THOSE THAT CONTAIN BUTTER AND CREAM.
SUGGESTED FOODS FOR FIRST 24 HOURS:
WARM (NOT HOT!!!) BROTH WITH SOFT NOODLES / SOAKED BREAD WITHOUT CRUST, BAKED POTATO WITHOUT BUTTER, HUMMUS, AVOCADO, COOKED BEANS, Milk-substitute BASED PROTEIN SHAKES. IF AVOIDING PHYTO-ESTROGENS AND NOT ALLERGIC TO NUTS, ADDITIONAL CHOICES INCLUDE CASHEW/ALMOND MILK, CREAMED NUT BUTTERS (NOT CHUNKY).
FOODS TO AVOID FOR THE FIRST 2 -3 WEEKS:
SMALL, PARTICULATE FOOD LIKE RICE, ORZO, SEEDS, PITTED FRUITS, HARD-CRUSTED BREAD, GRANOLA & FOODS OF SIMILAR CONSISTENCY.
IF YOU HAVE THICK, HEAVY BLEEDING (LIKE KETCHUP):
PLACE A BULKY GAUZE PACK AS INSTRUCTED BY THE SURGICAL ASSISTANT, OVER THE SITE(S) THAT IS/ARE BLEEDING. BITE FIRMLY FOR 20 MINUTES THEN REMOVE. FINGER PRESSURE HELD OVER THE GAUZE PACK MAY BE MORE HELPFUL. REPEAT ABOVE WITH A WET TEA BAG WRAPPED IN GAUZE IF BLOOD IS STILL FLOWING HEAVILY.