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Postoperative Instructions – Baltimore, MD

Ensure a Smooth Recovery for Your Smile

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure you just completed. Please follow them to minimize postsurgical discomfort and to inform you of situations that may require special attention.


It is common for you to experience mild to moderate discomfort for at least the first week after your surgery. You will be provided with a medication regimen to manage the discomfort: please take medications as directed. It is recommended that you do not take pain medication on an empty stomach as it can cause nausea.


If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, please take it as directed until finished. If you develop any sensitivities, rash or hives stop taking them immediately and call the office. We can prescribe you a different antibiotic to take.

For example, antibiotics to be taken every 8 hours (3 times a day) can be taken at 6am, 2pm, 10pm.

For women taking birth control pills: be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness so additional precautions may be necessary.

Bleeding, swelling or bruising

Mild bleeding is normal after surgery. Do not rinse your mouth out as this will make the area bleed further. Elevate your head and apply an ice pack to the face (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 4- 6 hours after surgery, as needed). Cold compresses should only be used the day of surgery. This will help reduce bleeding and thus bruising and swelling. If excessive bleeding continues, please contact our office.

Do NOT pull back your lip or cheek to look at the surgical site. This movement of the lip pulls on the surgical area and can cause premature disruption of healing. This can adversely affect your surgical outcomes. For the same reasons please avoid exaggerated facial movements or puffing out your cheeks which can pull on the surgical site or exploring over the surgical site with your tongue or fingers.

Swelling is normal after surgery. Normal swelling will start the day of surgery and increase for about 3 days. This may take 1-2 weeks to subside. If new swelling starts after 3 days, please contact the office.


A soft diet is recommended for 1-2 weeks after surgery. Please avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where surgery was done. Avoid hot foods and liquids for the first day after surgery.

Ideal foods are those that are easily mashed with a fork. Suggested foods: eggs, pasta, steamed vegetables, beans, rice, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt, soup, oatmeal, fish, applesauce, smoothies eaten with a spoon (not a straw) etc.

Please avoid using a straw for 4-5 days after the surgery.


Do not smoke for 2 weeks after your surgery as this can slow healing and can compromise the results.

Avoid alcohol for the first 2 days after surgery and when taking prescription pain medications.

Brushing and Plaque Control

You are aware of the importance of good plaque control to the success of your surgery. However, do not brush the surgical site until instructed to do so; you may brush other areas of your mouth that were not included in the surgery.

If desired, you may lightly rinse your mouth after meals. This can be done with water or with warm salt water made by mixing 1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of warm water. You may also use an over-the-counter mouthwash, ideally one without alcohol.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns during regular dental office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at (410) 372-0202.