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Post-Operative Instructions: Tooth Extractions & Wisdom Teeth Removal


Pain Management

  • If possible, take ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) alternately. Begin with 600mg of ibuprofen, followed by 500mg of acetaminophen three hours later. Alternate between the two every three hours to maintain a six-hour schedule for each medication.
  • If a stronger pain medication is prescribed, follow the instructions provided, supplementing with acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Keep a record of the medications taken, their dosages, and the time you take each one to monitor your intake.


  • Refrain from using straws, spitting, or swishing for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Bite down firmly on the provided gauze over the surgical area, changing it every 45 minutes or as needed. Remove gauze once it starts turning pink. If bleeding persists despite changing gauze, contact our office immediately.
  • Remove gauze during meals and drinks, replacing it if bleeding continues. Avoid sleeping with gauze in your mouth.

Swelling and Bruising

  • Expect increased swelling within the first 48 hours, peaking around day three before gradually diminishing.
  • Apply ice to the surgical site for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the initial 48 hours. Protect your skin by placing a cloth barrier between the ice pack and your skin.
  • Elevate your head while sleeping for two or three days post-surgery.


  • Begin drinking cold or cool liquids after the procedure, avoiding hot beverages.
  • Transition from a soft, non-chew diet to a regular diet as tolerated.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, spicy, and sharp foods for two weeks.
  • Refrain from carbonated beverages for one week after the procedure.


  • Unless specified otherwise, stitches will naturally dissolve, usually within a week.

Oral Hygiene

  • Refrain from smoking.
  • Maintain oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing.
  • Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water 24 hours after the procedure for seven days.
  • If provided with medicated mouthwash, use it as directed, typically twice daily for a week starting 24 hours after the procedure.


  • Complete the course of any prescribed antibiotics as directed.


  • Rest and avoid strenuous activities immediately after the procedure.
  • Gradually increase activity levels as comfort improves.
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