Recovering from surgery is never fun. But recovering from oral surgery can be a nightmare; especially if you do not know how to take care of issues like diet, medication, and post-surgical care.
Typically, your oral surgeon will ask that you go on a soft food diet for up to two weeks after surgery. One of the main reasons for this is that pieces of food may become stuck or lodged in the empty spaces where your teeth once were.
It is also important that you do not drink through a straw, and that you refrain from eating food that is too hot. This is because the heat may increase swelling and/or bleeding.
You will also, likely, be given pain killers; often Percocet or Vicodin. It is very important that you take these pain relievers on the schedule you are given, and also make sure that you take the dosage that you are instructed to.
Pain can be anywhere from mild to severe. The last thing you want is to get dry socket, so it is important that you follow the directions given to you by your oral surgeon.
So, how are you going to make it through this frustrating, painful, and unpleasant ordeal? Here are some tips that will help:
Food: Smoothies are great. You can make your own, or go get one from a smoothie shop (such as Jamba Juice). Milkshakes and iced coffee are some other popular choices. However, if you DO have a smoothie, milkshake or iced coffee, it is very important that you do not drink it through a straw. Instead, use a spoon.
After the first day or two, you may begin to crave more “regular” food. Warm (not hot) soups can be great. Again, you can make your own, or buy some from a local grocery store.
Other food options are: oatmeal, scrambled eggs, pudding, ice cream, and well-cooked pasta. Refrain from eating: popcorn, corn on the cob, nuts, or any other sharp foods.
Medication: You’re oral surgeon will almost certainly prescribe some sort of pain killer for you. It is, again, very important that you take this medication as directed. However, after 5-7 days, you may want to gradually switch to over-the-counter pain killers. Ibuprofen is a great option for post-surgical pain killers. Other options are: Tylenol, Advil, or Excedrin.
Rinses/post-surgical care: Your surgeon will likely ask you to do salt water rinses or some other form of cleaning/cleansing rinse. It is important that you do these rinses as directed in order to keep your removal site clean and free of bacteria. It is also important that you do not touch the surgery site with your hands, toothbrush, or anything else in the early stages of recovery (first few days). You do not want to get an infection or dry socket.
Overall, the experience will be unpleasant but likely worth it. Good luck and don’t forget to follow doctor’s orders!