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Post-Surgical Information

Discomfort – After any surgical procedure a certain amount of discomfort is expected. Taking the prescribed medications as directed should reduce your discomfort.

Bleeding – A small amount of oozing is normal on the first day following surgery. To minimize post-operative bleeding, avoid excessive rinsing, eating hard or sharp foods that may further traumatize the wound, and exercise for 24 hours. If bleeding does occur, apply pressure to the area for twenty minutes with a piece of damp gauze or a tea bag.  If bleeding is severe and does not stop, please contact Dr. Bender.

Diet – Although your mouth may be sore, it is very important to consume fluids the day of surgery. For the first 24 hours after surgery we recommend the following:

  • Milkshakes

  • Ensure

  • Milk

  • Juice

  • Broth

For two or three days after surgery we recommend soft foods such as:

  • Eggs

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Yogourt

  • Jello

  • Ice cream

Avoid the following:

  • Foods with small particles that can get trapped under the flap, such as nuts, fruits with seeds, and chips.

  • Alcohol, as it can interact with the medications you are taking.

  • Hot and spicy foods.

It is important to eat a complete but modified diet as your body needs protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories to heal and fight infection. 500 mg of Vitamin C per day may help healing.

Swelling – To minimize swelling, apply ice for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours after surgery. Sleep with an extra pillow beneath your head the first night and take the recommended anti-inflammatory medications. Expect swelling to reach a maximum two to three days after surgery. Some bruising may occur and should not alarm you. You may also experience stiffness of the jaw, which can be relieved with gentle stretching on the second or third post-operative day.

Oral Hygiene – It is very important to keep your mouth as clean as possible to reduce the chance of infection. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, every day, following surgery. Do not brush or floss the area of surgery as you will traumatize the site. At your follow-up visit, Dr. Bender will advise you as to when you can start brushing the surgical area. Use Peridex mouth rinse twice a day starting the same day of surgery. To reduce staining, make sure to brush before using the rinse, and rinse for one full minute.  Remember not to eat or drink for 30 minutes following rinsing.

Rest – After surgery you should try to rest as much as possible for one to two days to allow your body to heal. Avoid exercise as it will increase your heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to increased swelling and bleeding.

Smoking and alcohol – Do not smoke for at least 72 hours to reduce post-operative pain and chance of infection. Healing is significantly compromised in smokers. Do not drink alcohol as it may interact with the medications you have been prescribed.  

Sedation – If you received any form of sedation at your appointment, do not drive your car or participate in any activities that will require you to be alert and of sound mind for 24 hours. Go directly home after you fill your prescriptions and rest.

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