Good oral hygiene after oral surgery and proper wound care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications. Dr. Maranon may give specific recommendations to some patients about brushing and rinsing. This is very important for patients that have had gingival (gum) or bone grafting. Unless advised differently by Dr. Maranon, patients must not rinse their mouth out until the day after surgery. The day after surgery, patients should start to brush their teeth the way they normally do being careful around the surgical sites.
A small amount of bleeding can occur when patients first start to brush. This is normal and the bleed should stop. Occasionally, patients are prescribed an anti-bacterial mouth rinse. This rinse is used twice a day after brushing the teeth. The day after surgery, patients can also begin to rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoonful salt a 6 oz. glass of warm water) every 3-4 hours, and after they eat, for one week. “Bad” breath can occur after surgery and is usually a sign the oral hygiene needs to be improved. Patients may also use dilute (one part mouthwash in 3 parts of water) non-alcoholic non-prescription mouth wash. This may improve breath and make patient’s mouth feel fresher and cleaner. Regular tap water can also be used to rinse if warm salt water or mouthwash is not available. After the first 48 hours, patient should start to rinse more vigorously after every time they eat. Patients should especially rinse vigorously if they have pain after meals. Food particles left in the surgical sites can cause pain, slow wound healing and invite infection.
An antibacterial mouthwash may be prescribed. This mouthwash should be used twice a day after brushing their teeth after break and before bedtime.
Hygiene after Gingival or Bone Grafting
There are some circumstances where Dr. Maranon does not want the teeth associated with the surgical site brushed or flossed. Patients that have undergone gingival or bone grafting may be asked not to disturb the surgical site for up to six weeks. Brushing or flossing these sites can lead to a compromised cosmetic result. In these situations, patient will be instructed to use the antibacterial mouthwash on a Q-tip gently around the gums at the surgical site.