We try not to place any gauze where the exposure of the tooth took place. Usually a bracket has been bonded to the tooth as well. If gauze or a tea bag is placed, for excessive bleeding, be very careful not to get it tangled on the bracket and braces. This may pull the bracket off of the tooth. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a tea bag placed directly on the bleeding wound for 45 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To help minimize swelling, an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes placed on the cheek in the area of surgery may be used. Apply the ice 20 to 30 minutes on then 20 minutes off as much as possible for the first 24 hours. If swelling is still present after the first day, you will then apply warm, moist heat to the same area, 3 times during the day for 30 minutes each. You will only use the ice for the first 24 hours, then the heat for the next few days if needed.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft cold food and cold liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as you are comfortable unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication before you begin to feel discomfort. Take your medication, as directed during post op instructions or before the local anesthesia starts to wear off. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Tylenol may be taken instead of the prescribed pain medicine if the pain isn’t severe enough. The prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Note that while Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken along with most of the prescribed pain medications. Tylenol should not be taken with the prescription as most prescription pain medications already include Tylenol.
Mouth cleanliness is essential to healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.