All surgical procedures come with the risk of infection. Dental procedures are no different. Having a dental surgery makes it easier for you to get an infection in the mouth. After having the procedure, it is very important to take care of your mouth to avoid infection. Here are a few ways you can avoid infection after having a dental procedure done.
1) Keep Mouth Clean
Depending on the type of procedure, this step may vary. Morganstreetdentalcentre will give you instructions on proper care before you leave the office. Make sure to follow these steps accordingly. Once the time has passed and you can follow normal brushing, make sure to brush frequently. Brush gently around the area where the procedure was done. Do not brush with enough force to cause any irritation to the procedure area. Pushing too hard, or using hard bristles, can cause irritation to the area. If you irritate the procedure spot too much, you can cause an infection to happen. If you feel any pain while brushing, back off some and brush more gently.
2) Take Medication as Prescribed
If antibiotics were prescribed, make sure to take them. Follow the instructions on when to take them and what dosage you should be taking. Just like any other medication, antibiotics should be taken with care. They are given as a preventative way to avoid infection. Failure to use them accordingly, could cause infection to occur. Avoid unnecessary infection by taking them as prescribed by the dentist.
3) Avoid Hard Food
After having a dental procedure the area will be sore. Depending on what procedure was done has a lot to do with what you can eat. If you had a tooth extracted, it is best to eat foods such as soup, jello, apple sauce, yogurt, etc. Having a semi-soft diet will give the mouth more time to heal. After you have had time to heal, you will want to still avoid hard, crunchy foods for some time. Avoid chips, toast, fried foods and other hard foods. These can get into the affected area and cause an infection. They could also cause for the stitches to come out. Once you are off the soft food diet, work your way up to harder foods. Do not jump right into crunchy foods. Introduce food slowly and if you feel pain, do not continue to push it. There is plenty of time after you are completely healed to eat the food that you enjoy. Right now is the time to make sure you heal without the complication of an infection.
4) Manage Gauze
Depending on the type of procedure, you may have some bleeding. The gauze will help to catch any blood that may be coming from the procedure area. Use the gauze to set on top of the area and bite down softly. This will put pressure, and should help the bleeding stop. If the bleeding has not stopped after about an hour, give your dentist a call. Keep the gauze clean as well. If you notice the piece in your mouth is too full, take it out and put in some clean gauze. You do not want the old blood sitting there for too long. Plus, you probably do not want to taste it either.
5) Avoid Tobacco
If you are a tobacco user, you will want to avoid for a while. Depending on what procedure you have, will determine how long. As a general rule, avoid tobacco for at least 24 hours after. Smoking can lead to dry sockets in extracted areas. A dry socket is incredibly uncomfortable. It occurs when the area becomes dry and the blood clot that should be there, is replaced by a dry spot. Instead of the blood clot, there will be a white looking bone visible. If a dry socket occurs the pain can go all the way to the ears. Not only can tobacco cause a dry socket, but it can actually slow down the healing process all together. Tobacco interferes with the body’s natural healing process. Smoking raises the chances of taking longer to heal.
Getting rest after the procedure is important. When our body is asleep it can help heal more quickly. The brain triggers a release of hormones, that then trigger tissue growth, all while we are asleep. This growth can help the area to heal much faster. Try to rest up to 48 hours after. If you feel you need to rest longer, take the time to do so. Swelling is normal and you can help this swelling by applying ice. If the swelling continues for days after the procedure, take more time to rest and heal your body.
7) Care for Stitches
You should be given instruction on how to care for your stitches. Some will dissolve in the mouth, so you do not have to make another trip back to the dentist. If you do have to go back to the dentist, be sure not to prolong that appointment. You do not want to have the stitches in your mouth longer than needed. Keeping them in longer than necessary can make them more comfortable to take out.If the dentist has given you care instructions for the stitches while you are home, make sure to follow their instruction. Food that gets stuck in the stitches could easily cause an infection. Often times you will be given a syringe to flush out the stitched area with water. This allows for any food or particles that are stuck to break loose and come out.
Proper care after leaving the dentist is important. Having an infection could mean another trip to the office. Not only is this inconvenient, but infection is painful as well. Give yourself plenty of time to rest and follow the orders given. You will thank yourself later by avoiding infection.