How To Keep Your Mouth Clean After Oral Surgery
Perhaps one of the most common questions we are asked at Geisler OMS is:
“How do I take care care of my mouth after oral surgery?”
No one wants an infection or dry socket!
Here are a few tips from Dr. Geisler that should make your recovery smoother and less painful:
1. Make sure and bite on moistened gauze after surgery for at least 45 minutes at a time. If you use dry gauze, you may pull out your blood clot when you change the gauze pad. Don’t change the gauze too frequently during the first twenty-four hours. Changing the gauze too frequently can pull out a blood clot from the extraction socket. You want to have a stable blood clot in the extraction site which will help prevent a dry socket from forming.
2. Don’t perform oral hygiene for the first twenty-four hours. I know that this sounds gross but there is a reason! You want a stable blood clot to form in the socket and if you are using a syringe to irrigate (we will get to that later) or spitting, you may dislodge your blood clot. This can cause a dry socket.
3. At our practice, we give patients a syringe and medicated rinse to use for the first week after surgery. We want you to start using this the day after surgery to help keep the area clean and also to disinfect your surgical wounds. Salt water rinses are also helpful with wound healing and can be used three to four times a day to aid in healing. You can swish and spit with salt water.
4. It is good to brush your teeth following surgery. The fuzzy stuff that forms on your teeth are actually colonies of bacteria (gross!), so you want to remove them. Just don’t brush the surgical sites for the first week. You will use your syringe instead to irrigate the surgical sites to keep that area of the mouth clean.
5. Flossing is great! Keep doing this after surgery but you might want to avoid the back molars for a few days following surgery.
6. We give our patients a special healing gel that really helps speed up healing. Use this as we instruct and you will find that your sockets heal quickly.
7. Finally, and most importantly, let us know if you are having a hard time with your oral hygiene. We have lots of tips on how to best take care of yourself and we like coaching our patients so that they receive the best outcomes!
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