How to Care for Your Teeth After Dental Surgery

View looking up into 3 dentists in turquoise scrubs holding tools performing dental surgery

If you’ve just had oral surgery, you may be wondering how you should recover after the procedure. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to care for your teeth after dental surgery.

  1. Take It Easy
  2. One of the most important things to do for your teeth and your body is to take it easy so yourself time to heal. Particularly in the 24-48 hours after surgery, don’t perform any strenuous physical activity, drive a car, or operate machinery. Instead, stay home and rest in bed or on the couch with your head propped up by pillows. This will reduce any bleeding or swelling.

  3. Ice Your Mouth
  4. After dental surgery your face may swell or bruise. While this is completely normal, you can apply ice to your face and jaw to help the swelling go down. For the first 24 hours after the surgery, place ice packs against your face for 15 minutes and then remove for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process as needed.

  5. Be Careful of What You Eat
  6. While you may be ready to chow down on a hamburger after surgery, your mouth and teeth won’t. For the next few days after the surgery, choose soft foods and liquids such as pureed soup, yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, cream of wheat, and oatmeal. Just make sure nothing is too hot or too cold. If possible, opt for foods that are high in vitamins A and C–which will aid the healing process–such as mashed sweet potatoes and stewed carrots. Additionally, avoid alcohol and anything spicy, don’t drink from any straws, and stay away from any and all tobacco products.

    Aerial view of a bowl of soft white yogurt sprinkled with uncooked oats and sliced strawberries

  7. Brush Carefully
  8. After surgery, you’ll need to continue to brush your teeth, but be sure to be very gentle around the affected area. You don’t want to cause any further irritation.

  9. Keep Your Mouth Clean
  10. Avoid rinsing for 24 hours after the procedure. But then, to help keep the surgical site clean, gently rinse with warm salt water a few times a day. This rinse gently removes any bits of food stuck around the affected area that could lead to tooth decay or infection.

  11. Follow Your Dentist’s Orders
  12. It is vital that you follow the instructions of your dental surgeon. Follow all their post-operative care instructions and only take any prescriptions in the correct doses. By following their recommendations, you can avoid infection and promote a smooth recovery.

More Questions? Ask Us!

If you have any other questions about caring for your teeth after dental surgery, contact us today.


Your Smile!

8544 US Highway 42, Suite 500, Florence, KY 41042
(859) 371-4000

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM
4122 Shelbyville Rd Suite 103,
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 890-7760

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM