How to Care for Someone After Their Oral Surgery

If a child or a loved one has just had an oral surgery, they may be looking to you for help with their recovery. Recovery not only takes time, but it also takes some work. It’s important to always follow post operative instructions provided by their dentist or surgeon. After the surgery, they could face risk of infection or trauma to the surgical area. Here are some general guidelines for leading someone to rapid recovering and optimum healing:

  • Help Reduce Pain. Depending on the extent of the surgery, it’s likely pain medication was given to the patient. Make sure the medication instructions are followed carefully. They also need to always take any prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection. When taking care of someone, you can help by setting alarms for reminders of times to take medications and making sure they have water. This will also help ensure they don’t sleep through one and accidentally skip a dose.

  • Advocate Rest & Milkshakes. A patient is going need at least 2 full days of rest. Physical activity is not recommended for 2-4 days, depending on the pain and severity of the surgery. Be sure they are comfortable and have plenty of books and movies so they aren’t tempted to push it. Besides milkshakes, it’s important a patient is also getting nutrients. Have other soft foods on hand such as rich broths and smoothies. It’s recommended that Vitamin C be taken leading up to the surgery and during recovery, so encouraging this will also be helpful.

  • (Oral) Hygiene is Still Important. The patient will want to ask their surgeon or dentist for instructions, but typically they’ll want to brush gently and avoid any spitting. They need to rinse with water and let the water just fall out of their mouth. As their caregiver, you might want to provide them water at all times and a “spit cup”.

  • No Smoking Allowed. Lastly, make sure your “patient” isn’t sneaking off for smoke breaks. Smoke can cause a painful dry socket and will delay healing. If a dry socket does occur, contact the dentist.

Taking care of someone can be a lot of work, but it’s likely a loved one will need you after a procedure. If any issues arise, contact the dentist or surgeon right away and be sure they are comfortable in the meantime.

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