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Tooth extraction(s) and/or additional oral surgery procedures were completed today. Following these post­operative instructions will help reduce complications and encourage healthy post-operative healing.

1.   Some bleeding is normal. If there is profuse bright red bleeding:

  • Place moistened, folded gauze over the extraction site and have your child bite firmly for 30 minutes.
  • If this fails, have your child bite on a moistened black tea bag for 30 minutes. There are tannins in tea that help control post-operative bleeding.

2. Your child should avoid rinsing, spitting and the use of straws for 24 hours. These activities can dislodge the blood clot that is forming in the extraction site.

3.   Smoking should be avoided for at least 2 days, as smoking can increase the risk of delayed healing and the development of a dry socket.

4. Pain management: Ibuprofen ______ mg every ___ hours, Acetaminophen ____ mg every ____ hours. Ideally, the patient will take both at the same time with food. If a different pain medication was prescribed, it should be taken as directed.

5. Ice compresses can also be helpful. Apply ice to the area 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, as needed for pain and/or swelling. Tomorrow, switch to warm compresses.

6. Warm saltwater rinses are recommended 3-5 times per day until initial healing occurs.

7.   A soft diet is recommended for the first 24 hours. Encourage plenty of fluid intake, but avoid very hot or very cold fluids. Normal diet can be resumed as tolerated.

8. Your child should avoid excessive activity until healing is well established.

9. Oral hygiene is very important during the post-operative healing process. Resume normal oral care routine, with direct assistance, the same day. A soft toothbrush is recommended for brushing.

10. If placed, sutures will dissolve or fall out in 3 - 7 days. However, it is not unusual for sutures to remain intact for up to 14 days.

11. If a local anesthetic was used, please have your child exercise caution while eating until the anesthetic wears off.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.