General Pre-Op & Post-Op Instructions

Prescriptions & Medication:

Please have all prescriptions filled prior to your surgery date

Begin taking prescriptions as directed on the outside of the bottles.

VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE eat a good meal before you come. (unless otherwise directed.) You may no feel much like eating after surgery and it is also helpful when taking your medications. Most medications come with recommendations to take with food.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A SEDATIVE, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO ARRANGE FOR SOMEONE TO DRIVE YOU TO AND FROM YOUR APPOINTMENT! Your driver or caretaker must also plan on spending the day with you for supervision. The sedative drugs may cause slight temporary amnesia, so it is important not to be left alone.

After your surgery, we recommend that you begin taking the discomfort medication before your numbness wears off. It is very important to always take your pain medication with food in your stomach. (Milkshakes, slimfast protein drinks, or starch based foods are excellent for this.) Your medication may be taken on your way home (as soon as you get your milkshake) if you have a driver.

Another important reminder Please, do not use a straw after surgery. Using a straw can disturb the blood clots that need to form in order to heal properly and avoid bleeding. As an alternative, you may use a spoon, or drink directly from your cup.

Avoid alcohol 1-2 days prior to your surgery, as it is a blood thinner and may cause bleeding and bruising. This may delay healing.

Please remember, that antibiotics can render any form of birth control less effective (oral, patch, shot etc). It is important to use alternative methods of birth control from the time you start your antibiotics until your next menstrual cycle begins.

Have an Ice Pack at Home:

The use of ice will help reduce swelling and pain after surgery.

You can use a zip-lock bag with crushed ice, store bought ice packs, or a bag of frozen vegetables. Wrap in a thin towel (like a paper towel) instead of a thicker wash cloth or hand towel.

Ice is useful for the first 2 to 3 days after surgery. Apply the ice in intervals: 10 minutes on followed by 10 minutes off.

Moist heat may be applied 3 to 4 days following surgery to help with swelling, and for additional comfort.

Diet Suggestions:

First 24 hours: Anything that you eat or drink should be room temperature or cooler. Hot foods or liquids can dilate blood vessels which can cause excess swelling and bleeding in the first 24 hours.

Ice cream, milkshakes, frozen yogurt, protein drinks, fruit smoothies, yogurt, puddings, tapioca, etc. Soft sandwiches can be eaten after your anesthetic wears off, you do not want to chew while you are still numb, as you can bite your lips, tongue, and cheeks without feeling it.

Please avoid any spice, really sweet or really hot foods, as well as anything with seeds, nuts, or husks that can get into the wound site, including popcorn. Also avoid citrus or acidic foods.

Avoid rinsing, spitting, swishing, sucking, or brushing your teeth. These actions may dislodge the small blood clots and cause bleeding to increase. It is normal to have slight oozing/seepage 24 to 48 hours after surgery. If this is bothersome, you can drool gently into a napkin or the sink. Otherwise it is best to leave it alone. Gauze will be sent home in case of actual bleeding.

After 24 hours: Anything that you eat or drink can now be warm.

Have soft foods available for the first few days: any kind of noodles or pasta, eggs, tofu, baked or mashed potatoes, stuffing, meatloaf, soft fish, and of course soup. If you would like to eat vegetables, cook them until they are soft.

Do not chew on the surgical side (if possible). Chew on the opposite side, taking smaller bites. If your surgery was done in the front of your mouth, do not bite into anything. Cut of tear your bites up small and chew in the back.

After a couple of days you are welcome to eat anything that is comfortable on the opposite side: burgers, steak, chicken, etc. Once again, keep your bites smaller. It is still recommended that you avoid very hard food such as, chips, apples and raw carrots.

Keep your fluids up the first week after surgery: water, fruit juice, Gatorade, etc.

Brushing after surgery will vary from procedure to procedure. We will let you know at the time of surgery your specific brushing instructions. You will also have a prescription mouthwash to start using after your procedure to help keep things clean while you have limited brushing. You will use this mouthwash 2 times a day 30 minutes after you have brushed the rest of your teeth. We will ask that you don’t use any other over-the-counter mouthwash at the same time.

Overall, let your comfort be your guide.


Allow 24 to 48 hours of rest after your surgery. After 72 hours, you may resume your regular activities based on your own comfort level.

Sleep with your head elevated for 3-4 days after surgery. (Two pillows up). It is helpful to keep your head above your heart. Place an old towel on your pillow case just in case you have some seepage/slight bleeding. You may sleep on your side or our back.

Minimize your activity during this time. Avoid activities that will elevate your heart rate and blood pressure. If you workout, you may do it the morning before you come in for surgery. Please don’t exercise for 2-4 days after surgery. (Some procedures may require more limitation. We will let you know.)
Healing will occur much faster by resting!!

Any other post-operative instructions, specific to your procedure, will be given to you at the time of surgery.