Wisdom Teeth Post Operative Instructions

Wisdom Teeth Recovery Instructions


Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the moistened gauze that has been placed over the surgical area.  Keep steady, firm pressure for 45 minutes.  Repeat as often as needed. Once bleeding has stopped, you may remove the gauze.  It is very important to maintain pressure immediately after the surgery to stop the bleeding!  Some bleeding is to be expected for the first 3-4 hours.  Some oozing until 24 hours post-surgery may occur. 



1 – 24 hours after surgery:  DO NOT RINSE or use mouthwash.  


Day 1 – 5:  Rinse with warm salt water or prescribed mouthwash– do not create suction, rather tip your head side to side and let saltwater dribble out (no spitting). For the saltwater mix, ½ teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of warm water every 4-8 hours is recommended.  (The use of over-the-counter mouthwashes is not encouraged.) 


Day 6 – 12:Use the prescribed mouth rinse (Chlorhexidine .12% rinse) with the irrigation syringe (provided in your post-op kit).  Fill the syringe with the Chlorhexidine and irrigate/flush lower sockets twice a day to clear out any food in the sockets.   


Day 13 and beyond:  Fill the syringe with saltwater and irrigate/flush lower sockets twice a day.  Continue to flush out until the sockets heal and food can no longer get trapped.  


It is very important that these instructions are followed very carefully, otherwise, a dental infection may develop.  A procedure for Incision and Drainage to treat the infection is necessary if foreign matter is caught in the socket.  A separate fee of $300+ could be charged.  



 Do not eat for 3-4 hours after surgery to establish a solid blood clot.  Do not drink hot tea or coffee until at least 3-4 hours after surgery.  Cold tea/coffee is okay.  Do not eat solid foods (ex: tough meats, burgers, chips, pizza, chewy food, hard food, etc.) for the first 2 weeks.  Adequate food and liquid intake following surgery and/or general extractions are most important.  If you find that eating your regular diet food is difficult, you may supplement your diet with liquids such as Carnation Instant Breakfast, Slim-Fast, etc.  If you are not able to chew solid foods for several days, weeks, or longer, maintain a balanced liquid diet; e.g. milk, malted milk, ice cream, soups, broths, fruit juices, custards, oatmeal, applesauce, mac ‘n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, etc.  


AVOID ALL excessive activity for 3-5 days.  Do not pick at the surgical areas.  DO NOT CONSUME LIQUIDS THROUGH A STRAW. DO NOT SPIT.  No alcoholic beverages or carbonated beverages and refrain from smoking until healing is well established. 



 Gently apply ice packs (frozen veggies also works) to the area for periods of 20 minutes on, 5 minutes off.  Continue to apply the ice for the first 24 hours.  A slight fever (101 or less) is a normal part of the healing process.  Swelling usually peaks on the day 3-4 after surgery. 



For generalized rash, itching, etc./ call your dentist immediately. If you develop difficulty in swallowing, trouble breathing, etc., contact your local hospital emergency room.