We are always here to help! Should you have any questions or problems, please call the office or contact numbers provided on your post op instruction sheet.
Carefully follow all guidelines provided by the doctor and their staff after individual procedures. Below are some general guidelines for your reference:
- Activity: Relax for the remainder of the day. Avoid strenuous activity for seven to ten days.
- Diet: Soft diet, chew in the non-surgical area. Wait until numbness subsides. Avoid hot liquids the first day. Avoid spicy foods.
- Swelling: Apply ice packs to the face, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, all day, until bedtime, to minimize swelling. Ice is beneficial for 24 hours if swelling occurs. Some swelling may be present the day after surgery and may peak at 48-72 hours after surgery. Bruising is also possible.
- Bleeding: Slight bleeding or blood-tinged saliva may be expected as a result of the surgery and should not be cause for alarm. NO RINSING, SWISHING, SPITTING, or drinking through a straw.
- Medication: Take prescribed medication as directed on bottle. Take antibiotics to completion. Mild pain can be controlled by taking a non-aspirin pain reliever.
- Oral Hygiene: Maintain gentle oral hygiene in non-operated areas (avoid rinsing). Use only a tiny amount of toothpaste. To rinse, use a small amount of water from a cup, and tilt your head from side to side. Do not brush or floss in surgical site.
- Suture/Dressing: Sutures (stitches) may have been used and may come out during the next week. Loose ends may become annoying. You may snip loose ends. Do not pull on the sutures. If periodontal packing has been placed, it’s done its job after the first day. Do not be concerned if it falls out after this time.
- Smoking: Please DO NOT smoke during the post-surgical period, as wound healing will be impaired.
- Questions/Problems: Should a question or problem arise after office hours, or for a true emergency, Dr. Hartnett can be reached via the instructions on our office message.
Care of the Mouth
Brushing and Flossing: Begin brushing and flossing in the areas not operated on the day following surgery. AVOID THE SURGICAL SITES until given specific brushing instructions at your postoperative visit. You may notice a white film over the surgical sites. This is completely normal.
Gel: Use the prescribed gel twice daily beginning the morning after surgery until instructed to discontinue.
Electric toothbrushes: DO NOT use an electric toothbrush such as Sonicare or Oral-B Braun for six weeks following surgery.
Water Pik: DO NOT use a Water Pik for at least eight weeks following surgery.
First 24 Hours: Adequate nutrition is essential for normal healing. Following surgery, your diet should be restricted to cool soft food, yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes. Dietary supplements such as Instant Breakfast and Ensure are good choices. AVOID PEROXIDE, ALCOHOL, CARBONATED BEVERAGES, AND DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW.
After 24 Hours: Gradually progress to soft foods such as cooked vegetables, baked fish, tuna, pasta and meatloaf, which are easily chewed and swallowed. DO NOT SKIP MEALS. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster.
Rest: Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day of surgery and following day. You may read, watch TV or work at your desk at home. When sleeping, elevate your head to decrease swelling.
After 24 Hours: You may return to normal daily routine, but avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or exercise programs which elevate your heart rate for one week following surgery.
Ice Packs: Some swelling occurs after periodontal surgery. To minimize this, use ice packs. Place the ice pack on the outside of your face, over the treated area, for 15 minutes and then take it off for 15 minutes. Continue to apply ice packs as much as possible the first 24 hours after surgery.
Slight bleeding or blood-tinged saliva is normal during the first one or two days following surgery. DO NOT rinse or swish as this promotes bleeding. If excessive bleeding occurs, please call our office.
DO NOT SMOKE for three weeks after surgery. Smoking is detrimental to healing tissues and will affect the results of surgery. If you can stop smoking for three weeks postoperatively, you may as well quit altogether.
Resorbable: The resorbable sutures used usually will be resorbed by the time you return for your post-operative visit.
Non-Resorbable: If non-resorbable sutures were placed, they will be removed when healing is complete.
It is our sincere desire that you are as comfortable as possible following surgery. If you should have any questions or problems, please call our office anytime. In the event of an emergency or problem after office hours, you can reach Dr. Hartnett’s cell via the instructions on our office message.
- NO BRUSHING OVER SURGICAL SITE(S) (Do not use cotton swabs, cloth or any soft or hard object to clean area).
- NO FLOSSING (Water Pik ONLY from tongue-side on low setting).
- NO TOUCHING with finger or any other device or object. DO NOT LICK SURGICAL AREA.
- Do not sleep with hands under the cheek where surgery was done.
- No facial massages for 3 weeks and do not massage that area of the face for any reason.
- NO LOOKING: Do not obsess over or question doctor about appearance of gums for 6 weeks. You cannot look without pulling cheek.
- RINSE ONLY WITH LIPS APART: SLOSHING ONLY (No chipmunk cheeks when you rinse).
- Do not play wind instruments for 3 weeks.
- No sucking on foods/objects or spitting.
- Do not blow balloons.
- No mints over surgical area.
- No smoking, chewing tobacco, cigar, pipe, or recreational marijuana. Please consult doctor if you use marijuana for medical purposes.
- Wear 24-hour appliance or night guard as prescribed (if recommended by the doctor). Failure to wear appliance may cause relapse. Check with your doctor is you wear other appliances (e.g., retainers, Invisalign, Perio-Protect, etc.)
- No clenching or grinding of the teeth (no heavy lifting/weightlifting that require clenching of the teeth).
- No heavy aerobics, vigorous exercising/dancing or physical activity for 3 weeks (walking or non-strenuous activities are okay).
- No snorkeling for 6 months.
- ICE OVER AREA at 10-minute intervals for the first 48 hours to minimize swelling.
- DO NOT BE ALARMED ABOUT SOFT SWELLING OR BRUISING FOR THE FIRST WEEK.
- DO NOT EAT crunchy or sticky food (like bread) that can get stuck on or in between your teeth.
- No scalding hot drinks (tea, coffee, water or hot soups).
- No triclosan, hydrogen peroxide, bleach or any non-FDA approved concoctions [coconut oil (oil pulling), holistic mouth rinses, or homeopathic remedies).
- EXPECT cold sensitivity for 6 weeks or longer. DO REPORT sensitivity during check-up appointments.
- PAIN CONTROL – take one each of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAID (Motrin or Advil) at the same time, subject to other instructions by your dentist.
- CALL DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE UNEXPECTED PAIN, CONTINUOUS BLEEDING, OR HEAT FROM SURGICAL SITE.
- Patient MUST return to our office 24 hours after surgery, 1 week after surgery, 3 weeks after surgery, and 6 weeks after surgery.
- After the 6th week, you may brush surgical area with special extra, extra soft brush dispensed or ordered by this office for 6 MONTHS.