Do’s and Don’ts to Enhance Recovery After Oral Surgery

Recovery After Oral SurgeryWith great advances in dentistry, many oral surgery procedures, like dental implants and extractions tend to be fairly simple and painless. But after the surgery, the site of operation usually feels tender for a few days, which can be easily addressed with over-the-counter pain relief medications. However, avoid taking aspirin immediately after the surgery because it thins blood and can cause your mouth to bleed.
 

Here are some other steps to help boost your recovery after oral surgery.

 

Do’s


• Follow dentist/surgeon recommendations strictly – If you have been prescribed a specific painkiller or other medication to take after the procedure, take it at the recommended times and intervals. This is necessary to manage pain and prevent infections.
 
• Get enough rest – Rest promotes speedy recovery. It is recommended that you don’t do anything for the rest of the day after a procedure. Depending on the type of surgery, you can resume light tasks the following day.
 
• Swelling is normal after oral surgery. It can increase for 2 to 3 days, but then it starts going down. To reduce the swelling, avoid any movement for 8-12 hours after the surgery.
 
• To help lessen swelling, you can start applying cold packs or ice to the side of your face, over the surgery site, holding the pack for 15 minutes and removing it for another 15 minutes. You can do this as often as you like for the rest of the day after surgery. After that, it won’t be as effective.
 
• Some bleeding or oozing can be expected for the first 12 – 24 hours after surgery. You should bite on the sponge given to you after surgery for at least one hour. If you’re bleeding a lot, place clean, damp gauze over the bleeding area and press it firmly for 20 minutes so no blood escapes. Repeat if necessary.
 
• For the first 2 days after surgery, only consume liquids and soft foods. Things like yogurt, eggs, cheese, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, smooth soups, pudding, protein shakes, fried beans, and fruit smoothies are okay.
 
• Continue with soft foods that don’t require much chewing for the rest of the week – rice, macaroni, noodles, etc. and avoid hot, spicy, hard, crunchy, or acidic foods.
 

Don’ts


• Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for 24 hours after the procedure. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals. Brush your teeth carefully as instructed by your surgeon/dentist.
 
• Do not use straws for 48 hours
 
• Do not blow your nose. Wipe it instead, and sneeze with your mouth open for at least 48 hours
 
• Do not drink or smoke for 48 hours
 
If you notice anything unusual about your recovery, like excess swelling, pain, or bleeding, contact your dentist or surgeon immediately.

   

Toothbrush Tips to Increase Cleaning Effectiveness

toothbrush tipsPersonal dental care involves regular flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste. With flossing, you only need to use the strips once before discarding. Brushing diligently twice a day can also be hard on your toothbrush, though it can last you three to four months with good care.
 
The concept of brushing teeth has been around for thousands of years, long before the invention of the first toothbrush in 1938. Back then, people were using sticks, bones, and even hog bristles to keep their teeth clean and healthy, but now you have a range of toothbrushes to choose from.
 

Toothbrush Tips to Keep in Mind

1. Choose a toothbrush with the ADA seal.

Brushing is important because it removes remaining food particles and plaque, helps to remove unsightly stains and potentially harmful substances like sugar from soda or acid from citrus juice, and stimulates blood flow in the gums to reduce any inflammation and maintain their health.
 
Toothbrushes displaying the seal from the American Dental Association have soft bristles and sturdy handles that make them very effective at accomplishing these brushing goals. If you have to choose another brush, pick one with soft nylon bristles and rounded heads instead of one with medium or hard bristles. Rounded bristles are healthier compared to protruding bristles (designed to clean between teeth and around appliances).
 
2. Use proper brushing technique.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has established guidelines for proper brushing. To get the most from your toothbrush:
 

•Use a brush that comfortably fits in your palm, with a head that is small enough to maneuver to all teeth surfaces

•Brush with a light touch – using excessive force can damage your teeth and gums

•Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and gums – the ideal position to reach all areas

•Brush in a circular motion – as opposed to back-and-forth – to effectively move plaque away from the gums

•Brush for a minimum of two minutes – studies suggest that this is the minimum amount of time required for thorough cleaning

•Brush at least twice a day – one of those times should be just before going to bed

 
3. Toothbrush hygiene.

Know the right time to get a new toothbrush. You should replace your toothbrush head after every three months and after illness or dental treatment. This is because worn out bristles harbor bacteria, and can irritate gum tissue.
 
With regard to an electric versus a manual toothbrush, none is necessarily better than the other. It is matter of preference – electrics are fun for children, while manuals are cost effective.
 
Lastly, never share your toothbrush. Clean it well after use with warm water, and then store it in an upright position so it can dry in open air.