14 Mar The 4 Ways to Care for Your Mouth Post-Surgery
Anytime you have surgery, it’s important to look after yourself post-surgery. The same applies to oral surgery. Caring for your mouth is vital to proper healing.
Being careful over the 48-72 hour post surgical period is crucial, as it allows the area that has been treated to start clotting. Generally, your mouth will heal completely by the third or fourth week after surgery, and you can continue life as normal. But until then, here are 4 ways we recommend caring for your mouth post-surgery.
1. Follow the Surgeon’s Instructions
You might not feel immediate pain after surgery, but you should still take your prescribed medication as instructed. This will prevent the pain from becoming too severe, and ensure you don’t have other complications.
It’s also recommended that you don’t miss any of your medication, including waking up at night to take your next dose. Depending on the surgery, your surgeon might ask you not to follow a normal oral hygiene routine, like teeth brushing, or using mouthwash. It’s important to follow their guidelines for the best recovery results.
2. Keep your mouth clean.
Keeping your mouth clean is an obvious way to look after your mouth post-surgery, but not in the way you usually would. In most cases, you will be instructed not to rinse out your mouth until 24 hours have passed.
After this period, you can start rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater 4-6 times a day, especially after mealtimes. This will help prevent any food from becoming trapped.
However, don’t brush or floss the area of your mouth that has had surgery until your surgeon tells you to resume your normal routine. Even then you should take extra care to help the healing process.
3. Ice packs are your friend.
Swelling is a normal reaction following any surgery. Surgeons will recommend applying ice to your face for 15 minutes, then removing for 15 minutes, and continuing with that cycle for the next couple of days.
If you’ve had surgery on both sides of your mouth, you can just alternate between the application of ice.
4. Only eat soft foods.
After surgery, you will need to be careful with what you eat, especially as your mouth will likely be sore and tender.
For the first couple of days, you must only drink liquids and eat soft foods, like soup or mashed potatoes. Avoid consuming hot food and drinks, because your mouth might still be numb and you could burn yourself. That would only add to your post-surgery pain.
Resting, keeping your mouth clean, and watching what you eat will help speed up the recovery process post-surgery. Also, you should make sure to attend your dental appointments following the surgery to ensure your mouth is healing properly.
If you’d like to find out more about mouth surgery, speak to COOMSA today.