Post-Operative Instructions


  • Apply ice packs to the affected area(s) (20 minutes on/20 minutes off)
  • Cold/cool drinks and soft foods are best today to reduce swelling.  You may eat once you’re home. (Suggestions: ice cream/milkshakes, Jell-O, pudding, cottage cheese, yogurt, applesauce, canned fruit, Ensure, avocado, banana, cut up popsicles and protein shakes)
  • Eat before taking your pain medication.
  • Change your gauze when eating or drinking and replace the gauze after you are finished.
  • Take 400mg of Ibuprofen every 4 hours along with the prescription pain medication, unless your doctor has directed you otherwise. (Adjust the dosage for children under 12 years old.)

If you had general anesthesia/IV sedation, remember:

*Do not operate/drive any vehicle or machinery for 24 hours following surgery.

*Do not make any major or personal decisions or enter into any legal agreements for at least 24 hours following surgery.


  • Begin eating warm, soft foods.  Keep your diet soft for about 1 week.  (Suggestions:  scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta/ravioli, soups, cooked vegetables, oatmeal, pancakes, meatloaf, quiche, macaroni and cheese and spaghetti)
  • Avoid hard foods that can get stuck in extractions sites (nuts, chips, popcorn) for 2 weeks.
  • Apply moist heat to the outside of your face for the next 2 days.  (Hot washcloth, heating pad, etc.) 20 minutes on/20 minutes off.
  • Rinse with warm salt water 4 times per day (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of water).
  • Resume brushing your teeth, being careful to avoid surgical sites for 3-4 days.


If you had a lower tooth removed, you will need to rinse the extraction site 2-3 times per day with the curved tipped syringe provided.

Please follow the instructions included with the syringe.


  • No straws or carbonated beverages for at least 3-4 days
  • No smoking/tobacco products for at least 1 week
  • No spitting, swishing, or rinsing for the first 24 hours
  • Sleep/rest with your head elevated to decrease swelling
  • Move slowly to avoid fainting and/or dizziness
  • Avoid strenuous or physical activity for at least 24 hours


If bleeding persists or is excessive (a fully saturated gauze 6 hours post op), you can place a regular black tea bag in warm water and apply to the site.  Place firm pressure on the area (bite down on tea bag) for 30 minutes.  Call the office for continued bleeding.


Nausea is usually due to movement and/or the narcotic pain medicine.  Sips of ginger ale or 7-Up and lying still should help this subside.  Make sure to eat before taking the pain medication.  Call our office if you continue to have problems with nausea or vomiting.


Your pain should decrease each day.  A pain medicine has been prescribed to help with your discomfort.  If your pain begins to increase after 3-4 days, or the pain medicine upsets your stomach, please call our office.


Swelling should peak 3 full days after surgery and then decrease thereafter.  Call the office if the swelling increases after 4 days, or you notice a discharge, foul taste, or foul smell from your surgical site.


Numbness can occur after a lower tooth is removed.  This is usually temporary and the use of Ibuprofen, moist heat, and gentle massage can help alleviate the numbness.  Call our office if you have any concerns.


An elevated temperature 24-48 hours after surgery is normal.  If temperature is greater than 101 F, please call.


During times that the office is closed, you may call (509)468-1535 to reach the answering service, who will contact the doctor on call.  If you are experiencing concerning symptoms, please do not hesitate to call our office for instructions.