Postoperative Instructions: Impacted Canine Extraction

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Postoperative Instructions: Impacted Canine Surgery

Immediate Postoperative Care

  1. Rest: Take it easy for the first 24-48 hours. Avoid strenuous activities to prevent bleeding and swelling.
  2. Head Elevation: Keep your head elevated with pillows when lying down to reduce swelling.
  3. Ice Packs: Apply ice packs to the outside of your face over the surgical area for 15-20 minutes at a time, with 20-minute breaks in between, for the first 24 hours to help minimize swelling and discomfort.

Pain Management

  1. Medications: Take any prescribed pain medications as directed. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also be used, following your surgeon's recommendations.
  2. Avoid NSAIDs: Follow your surgeon's advice regarding the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as they can increase the risk of bleeding.

Bleeding and Swelling

  1. Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal. Bite gently on gauze pads placed over the surgical area, changing them as needed. If bleeding persists or is heavy, contact your dentist or surgeon.
  2. Swelling: Swelling is common and may peak 2-3 days after surgery. Continue to use ice packs and keep your head elevated to manage swelling.

Diet and Hydration

  1. Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, but avoid using straws as the sucking action can disrupt healing.
  2. Soft Diet: Stick to a soft diet for the first few days. Good choices include yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and soups. Gradually return to your normal diet as you feel comfortable.
  3. Avoid Hot and Spicy Foods: These can irritate the surgical site and delay healing.

Oral Hygiene

  1. Gentle Rinsing: Starting 24 hours after surgery, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day, especially after meals.
  2. Brushing: Continue to brush your teeth, but be gentle around the surgical site to avoid disturbing the healing tissue.
  3. Avoid Mouthwash: Do not use mouthwash containing alcohol for the first week, as it can irritate the surgical area.


  1. Limit Physical Activity: Avoid vigorous physical activity for at least a week to reduce the risk of bleeding and swelling.
  2. Return to Normal Activities: Gradually resume normal activities as you feel comfortable, following your surgeon's advice.

Follow-Up Care

  1. Scheduled Visits: Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist or oral surgeon to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns.
  2. Orthodontic Adjustments: If you have braces or other orthodontic appliances, follow your orthodontist’s instructions for any necessary adjustments.

Signs to Watch For

  1. Infection: Look for signs of infection such as increased swelling, redness, warmth, or discharge from the surgical site, and fever.
  2. Persistent Pain: Severe or persistent pain not relieved by prescribed medications.
  3. Excessive Bleeding: Heavy bleeding that doesn’t stop with gentle pressure.
  4. Numbness or Tingling: Any unusual sensations like persistent numbness or tingling around the mouth.

Contact Information

Keep the contact information for your dental or surgical office handy in case you have any questions or concerns after surgery. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you experience any unusual symptoms or if you’re unsure about your recovery.