saltwater rinse | Dental aftercare tips | aftercare following a dental procedure

The thought of undergoing a dental procedure can be nerve-wracking. But, the process can actually be very easy, no matter if you are having a root canal done, starting the process for dental implants, or another type of oral surgery. 

While it’s important to take the necessary steps beforehand to ensure that your dental procedure is successful, it’s equally as important to practice proper aftercare. Having a procedure done can sometimes be uncomfortable and even slightly painful, but taking the right steps of aftercare can make the recovery process smoother and easier and significantly reduce any discomfort. 

Here, we provide our top tips for aftercare following a dental procedure to ensure you have a healthy and successful recovery.


Take Medication as Prescribed

Your dentist may provide you with a prescription for pain medication and/or antibiotics to take after your procedure. If you need to take medication, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions exactly. Be sure to take the medication as directed, and don’t take more than the recommended dose. If you have any questions about the medication or you’re unsure on how to take it, make sure to ask the dentist or pharmacist.


Take Time to Rest and Relax

After a dental procedure, it’s important to rest and relax to allow your body to heal. Taking time to take care of yourself is essential for a speedy recovery. This is especially true during the first 24 hours after your procedure. It is best to avoid strenuous activity for a few days, as this can aggravate your mouth and make it more difficult to heal.


Apply an Ice Pack on Your Face Occasionally 

Applying an ice pack to your face near the area where the dental procedure was performed can help to reduce swelling and discomfort. Make sure to only ice it for 15 minutes at a time and then wait at least 15 minutes before icing it again.


Use a Warm Saltwater Rinse

To help reduce swelling and discomfort, rinsing your mouth with a solution of warm water and salt can be very helpful. This is as long as your dentist has not instructed you to not rinse your mouth. Sometimes, more often in cases of oral surgery, the dentist may tell you not to rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours.


Keep Your Mouth Clean (Carefully and as Instructed Though!)


brushing teeth after dental procedure | Dental aftercare tips

A proper dental hygiene routine is important in normal situations, but after a dental procedure it is even more important to keep your mouth clean. Brushing your teeth twice daily and daily flossing are essential for preventing infection and promoting healing. But, there are some stipulations to be aware of here.

In some cases of oral surgery, the dentist may tell you to wait to brush or floss the surgical area. So just make sure to not do these things until you are cleared to do so. And when you are brushing and flossing, make sure to do so with extra gentle care.

Your dentist may also recommend that you use a special type of toothbrush, toothpaste, or mouthwash/rinse for a few days after your procedure. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.


Get Plenty of Vitamins

Loading up on vitamins A and C after a dental procedure can be incredibly beneficial. Vitamin A helps promote tissue repair, while vitamin C helps with wound healing and strengthens the immune system, both of which are important to speedy recovery after a dental procedure. Getting these vitamins either through healthy foods or supplements can be a great way to get your body back on the mend.


Avoid Crunchy or Hard Foods

Eating hard and crunchy foods, such as chips and nuts, can cause discomfort and can damage or irritate the area where the dental procedure was performed. Therefore, it is best to avoid these foods for the first few days after the procedure.

Specifically after oral surgery, after the area has stopped any bleeding, it is important to stick to soft foods for a couple days to protect the surgical area and allow it to heal properly. Some good options of soft foods include mashed potatoes, soup, applesauce, and yogurt.


Avoid Hot and Very Cold Liquids

Hot and cold beverages can cause discomfort and can slow the healing process, so it is best to avoid them and stick to lukewarm and room temperature beverages until the area has healed and/or you are not feeling any more soreness.

You should also avoid spicy or hot foods, as these can irritate your mouth as well.


Do Not Drink Alcohol for a Little While

Contrary to what some people assume, alcohol will not help to clean your mouth after a dental procedure. Drinking alcohol can actually slow the healing process and can lead to infection, so it is best to avoid alcoholic beverages for the first few days after the procedure. At a minimum, do not drink for 24 hours. 


avoiding alcohol after dental procedure | Dental aftercare tips | aftercare following a dental procedure

No Smoking for 24 Hours

Smoking can impede the healing process and increase the likelihood of infection, so it is important to avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after a dental procedure. Also, keep in mind that smoking can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications that have been prescribed to help with pain and inflammation following a dental procedure.


Follow Instructions Carefully

Your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to care for your mouth after your specific dental procedure. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully and exactly. This is critical for proper healing and to ensure any treatments are successful. Adhering to these instructions can help prevent infection, avoid complications, ensure your mouth is free of harmful bacteria, and may even reduce the amount of pain or discomfort experienced.


Don’t Skip Follow-Up Appointments

It’s important to schedule and go to any follow-up appointments with your dentist after a dental procedure. Your dentist will be able to check your mouth and ensure that your treatment was successful. It’s important to keep these appointments, as this will help you avoid any potential complications and ensure that your mouth is healing properly.


Proper Aftercare Will Help Ensure Success of Your Dental Procedure (and Help Make the Process Even Easier)!

By following these tips for aftercare following a dental procedure, you can ensure that your mouth is healing properly. Remember to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully and to schedule follow-up appointments as recommended. With proper care and attention, you can ensure that your dental procedure is a success and avoid any undue discomfort.

At Radomile Family Dental Care, you can not only trust our compassionate dental experts for all of your dental procedure needs but also the care to help make any recovery after the fact as easy as possible. We strive to provide the highest quality dental treatment and excellent care to all of our Drexel Hill area patients. 

Our goal is to help keep your teeth and gums healthy and beautiful. Our dentists are dedicated to offering you the best in preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to ensure you have the bright, healthy smile you’ve always wanted. 

Trust Radomile Family Dental Care for all of your dental procedure needs and walk away with a healthy, glowing smile you can be proud to show off. Schedule your appointment today!