Wisdom Teeth Post-Op Instructions

After your wisdom teeth have been extracted, our dentist will provide you with post-op instructions to help you heal and recover. Please follow these instructions closely to achieve the best possible results from your procedure. If you have any questions about your post-op instructions or to schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Nathan Oster, contact our office at 831-476-3200.

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

We recommend that you:

  • Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Do not touch the surgical site with your fingers or tongue.
  • Use ice packs at 20-minute intervals to relieve swelling and manage discomfort.
  • Use mild pain relievers, such as TYLENOL® or ibuprofen, as needed.
  • Use any prescribed medications as directed.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Do not use a straw to drink.
  • 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.
  • If the muscles of your jaw become stiff, apply warm, moist heat to that area of your face.
  • After the first day, use a warm saltwater rinse after eating to flush out food debris (we recommend ½ tsp. in an 8 oz. glass of water).
  • 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.).

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 24 hours. After the first 24 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 dentist 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 dentist 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 dentist, please contact our office today.