After Exposure of a Tooth


Your surgeon uses a local anaesthetic which means you may be numb for up to 4-6 hours. Do not wait for the freezing to leave before you start drinking liquids.


Most of your bleeding will have subsided by the time you leave our office. Continued oozing for 24 hours after surgery is quite normal. Once home, if still bleeding, change the gauze pack for a fresh one, relax, elevate your head and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Typically 1-2 changes are all that is required. Do not use gauze packs if bleeding is only minimal/slight.


Beginning tomorrow, rinse your mouth every 4-6 hours with warm, slightly salty water (1/2 teaspoon salt in a tall glass of water) for the following week. Begin brushing your teeth the day after surgery, avoiding any areas with stitches. If prescribed by your surgeon, continue rinsing with Oro-X, twice a day until the bottle is empty.


Swelling and bruising often occur after surgery and are completely normal. Swelling typically increases for the first 3-4 days, and then gradually subsides over the following 3-7 days. Applying cold/ice packs the entire day of your surgery is very helpful to minimize the amount of swelling you will experience. Popsicles or frozen fruit bars are a good idea today.


Following oral surgery you can expect some degree of discomfort. This typically lasts 2-6 days and varies in degree, depending upon the difficulty or extent of surgery. Generally, the younger the patient, the less discomfort and the shorter the healing period will be.


Nausea may occur after an anesthetic or from some medications. If this happens, Gravol may be purchased without a prescription. Slow sips of ginger ale, 7up or apple juice often help.


Take the medications as directed on the bottle. The medication prescribed should keep you relatively comfortable and is best taken with fluid or food in your stomach. For mild discomfort Tylenol or Advil (ibuprofen) may be used. If antibiotics are prescribed they should be taken until the full prescription is used. Women need to be aware that certain antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptive medications.


Your sutures are the “dissolving” type and will fall out in 3-10 days on their own.


A chain or button is often glued to your exposed tooth to allow your orthodontist to gently pull the tooth into the desired position. The chain may be either tied with a silk suture to your braces or left just poking through the gum. It is important to leave the chain attached until you see your orthodontist for a follow up appointment. Please avoid sticky foods, candy and chewing gum that may become stuck in your chain or button.


Most people can begin drinking fluids once home. Do not wait for the freezing to be gone. Start with clear fluids initially and progress to soup (such as chicken or beef broth), fruit or vegetable juice. The evening of surgery is fine to start milk products such as milkshakes, yogurt and pudding. Drink as much as you are able. Small amounts should be taken frequently.

Advance your diet over the next few days to include softer items such as pasta, scrambled eggs, well cooked vegetables, fish, etc. Avoid straws for the first few days as the suction can cause bleeding.


Your recovery will be followed up by either a phone call from one of our nurses or you will be scheduled an appointment to come back to see your surgeon. Your nurse will inform you before you leave the office. You will need to follow up with your orthodontist as directed.