As our oral surgeons will tell you, your aftercare is extremely important when it comes to the success of your treatments at Grand Traverse Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Centers. If you are seeing our doctors to have your wisdom teeth removed, our team will want to schedule you for a visit to discuss your wisdom teeth postoperative care in Traverse City, Michigan, or in Alpena, Cadillac and Gaylord. Call our office today for more information.

Post-op care is crucial to healing and recovering after your wisdom teeth removal procedure. Please follow all instructions provided by our oral surgeons to help avoid complications in your recovery.

We recommend that you:

  • Do not touch the surgical site with your fingers and avoid manipulating the extraction site with your tongue for six hours after surgery.
  • Do not use a straw to drink for the first 48 hours after your surgery.
  • Avoid vigorous sucking, spitting, and foods containing hard particles.
  • Maintain a soft diet, and do not eat anything that could get stuck in your teeth (such as nuts, seeds, rice, popcorn, sticky candy, etc.).
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after your surgery. Gentle oral rinsing can be done the day after surgery to cleanse the mouth.
  • After the first three days following your surgery, use a warm salt water rinse after eating to flush out food debris (we recommend ½ tsp. in an 8 oz. glass of water).
  • Careful brushing of the adjacent teeth is strongly advised to remove plaque and associated bacteria.
  • With the removal of lower teeth or impactions, there is a tendency for food to collect in the sockets. A plastic syringe may be provided which can be inserted ¼ inch into the socket for irrigation with warm tap water.  However, do not irrigate until three days after surgery, otherwise the blood clot may be disrupted.
  • Use ice packs at 20-minute intervals to relieve swelling and manage discomfort during the first 48 hours after your surgery.
  • Use mild pain relievers, such as TYLENOL® or ibuprofen, alternating as needed to manage pain.
  • If the muscles of your jaw become stiff, apply warm, moist heat to that area of your face.
  • Use any prescribed medications as directed.
  • Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products for at least five days after surgery.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, and do not exercise for three to four days after surgery.
  • Red Cross Toothache Drops (oil of cloves) or Anbesol drops are topical anesthetics and can provide some relief of pain. Drip 1-2 drops into the socket after irrigating with water up to 4 times daily. If throbbing or aching pain develops 2 or 3 days after extractions that does not respond to pain medications, please contact the office as a “dry-socket” (disintegration of the blood clot) may be present. Medicated dressings may be placed to control the pain.  There is no additional charge for dry-socket treatments.

Please be aware:

  • Some bleeding is expected after your procedure and is normal. You may have minimal bleeding or redness in your saliva for 24 to 48 hours. Gauze is provided to help control the bleeding, but if it does not stop or becomes heavy, please contact our office.
  • Swelling is also normal after a procedure, and you may notice the swelling increase for two to three days before slowly diminishing. To help minimize pain and swelling, you may apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours. After the first 48 hours, you can switch to warm, moist heat.
  • Begin taking pain medication within two to three hours after your surgery. Mild pain relievers should be enough to help you manage discomfort, but our oral surgeons may prescribe medication to manage more severe pain.
  • If you have received sedation during your procedure, you must not drive for 24 hours.
  • You cannot drive if you have been prescribed pain medication.
  • If an antibiotic was prescribed, please take it as directed.
  • Your diet is limited by your discomfort. Stick to cold and soft foods and liquids while you are numb and during the initial stages of recovery, but return to a normal diet as soon as possible.

Please do not accept advice from friends. If you are experiencing discomfort or pain or have any questions, please speak with our oral surgeons or a member of our team. We will be able to provide you with more accurate information and more effective solutions to meet your needs.

If you have any questions about your post-op instructions or if you want to schedule a follow-up appointment with our oral surgeons, please contact our office today.