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Post Operative Instructions

  • NO Smoking (for 2 days)
  • NO Drinking through a straw (for 2 days)
  • NO Excessive spitting
  • NO Vigorous rinsing….for at least 24-48 hours after your surgery
  • Don’t over exert yourself, light activity only for 48 hours after your surgery
  • Be careful not to bite your lip, cheek or tongue while numb

The day after your surgery, begin very gentle warm salt water rinses (1tsp. salt for every 8oz. of water four times daily after the first 24 hours). DO NOT use any type of mouthwash for rinsing for a week. While mouthwash may seem like it would be of help, it actually can cause delays in healing and increased risk of infection.

If you are watching salt intake in your diet, you may substitute the salt water rinse with a peroxide and warm water rinse. Use a 50/50 peroxide and water solution.

You can brush your teeth the day of surgery. Avoid the area of surgery. Be careful when rinsing and spitting.

(Pictured above is an illustration of the blood clot that forms in the socket where the extracted tooth used to be. Also pictured is the gauze that is being used to help stop the bleeding at the extraction site.)

(Pictured above is an illustration of the blood clot that forms in the socket where the extracted tooth used to be. Also pictured is the gauze that is being used to help stop the bleeding at the extraction site.)


  • Gently bite on gauze after your extraction(s) to help stop bleeding. Active bleeding should be nearly stopped after 1-2 hours. Some oozing should be expected for several hours. Oozing is another name for a clear or slightly bloody drainage from the socket site. The drainage is part of the healing process.
  • If oozing continues, bite on gauze for an additional 30 minutes. If bleeding is persistent, an effective old home remedy is to bite on a moistened tea (black tea) bag.


  • Keep ice on your face over the surgery area(s) as much as possible for the first 24-48 hours.
  • After 48 hours, if swelling persists, use a warm compress as needed to reduce any additional swelling.
  • If Dr. Pitts has prescribed a medication for swelling, the entire dose for the first day of the regimen should be taken the day of surgery. Dr. Pitts recommends that the patient take three pills as soon as possible after the surgery with a small snack, the remaining three pills are to be taken in the evening or at bedtime with a snack. Follow the instructions on the package for the remainder of the regimen.


  • Take your antibiotics as prescribed. It is very important to finish your antibiotic. Should you have any complication with your antibiotic, let Dr. Pitts know immediately. If you develop a fever or chills, please call Dr. Pitts. (Please note that there may be a slight elevation of temperature for the first 24-48 hours and this is normal.)


  • The area of surgery will be numb for several hours after the surgery.
  • Take any pain medicine given to you only as prescribed. It is recommended that the first dose of pain medicine is taken before the numbness wears off at the surgery site. Advil (Ibuprofen) or Aleve (Naproxyn Sodium) can be taken along with your prescribed medication if needed for additional pain relief.
  • It is not recommended to take additional Tylenol along with the prescribed pain medication.
  • Please note that you should not take the pain medicine on an empty stomach. It is best to begin with clear liquids (i.e. 7up, Ginger Ale, clear broth, apple juice). Also keep in mind that your pain pill can be cut in half if it is too strong, or if it causes other side effects such as nausea.
  • DO NOT drive, operate power tools or machinery, or walk on stairs unassisted if you are taking narcotic pain medication.
  • Call Dr. Pitts if you develop nausea, vomiting, or other problems.


  • Be sure to see Dr. Pitts as scheduled for your post operative visit. A post operative appointment is usually scheduled approximately 7-10 days after the surgery. This will allow Dr. Pitts to check the surgery site for proper healing and enable him to detect any possible complications.
  • The stitches that are used for most procedures will dissolve on their own. If any stitch remains at the time of the post-op appointment, you may request for it to be removed by Dr. Pitts.
  • If you cannot make your appointment, please call to reschedule as soon as possible.


  • It is very important to eat soft foods (about the consistency of cooked pasta). No chips, pretzels, peanuts, etc… Stay away from crunchy, chewy, or small hard foods even when it is not uncomfortable to eat them. Food particles can become lodged in the socket and keep it from healing. This would cause additional pain, swelling, and infection that can result in delayed healing time. For examples of recommended postoperative foods, please refer to the list below.
  • Keep your head elevated (sit in a reclined position or use a few extra pillows when sleeping). This will help minimize swelling and bleeding.
  • If you have had anesthesia, it is a good idea to not take all of your medications at once for the first day. Spreading out your medications will be easier on your system.
  • STAY HYDRATED! Drink plenty of fluids.
Extraction Extraction 2

(The above illustration shows the healing process of the socket. It is important to remember that the area of the extraction will take some time to fill in completely. Good oral hygiene in this area is very important in order to prevent food and other debris from becoming trapped in the socket while healing.)

Dr. Pitts can be reached at our main office number 301-698-5208 anytime. An answering service can put you in touch with Dr. Pitts if you have a question or concern after our regular office hours.

Post Surgical Meal Suggestions


Buttermilk Pancakes
French Toast
Cream of Wheat Cereal
Egg & Cheese Burrito
Scrambled Eggs
Cheese Omelets
Biscuits & Grav

Please avoid    

Crunchy Cereals
Grapefruit Juice



 Potato Soup
Vegetable Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cheese Tortellini Soup

  Soft Sandwiches

Tuna Salad Sandwich
Egg Salad Sandwich
Thinly Sliced Deli Meat & Cheese
Creamy Peanut Butter & Jelly

Pizza (small
bites/thin, soft crust)
Hummus on Soft Pita Bread
Beans & Franks
French Fries

Please avoid       

Crusty Bread
Crunchy Crackers
Spicy Sauces or Condiments


Banana with Peanut Butter
Fruit Smoothie
Milk Shakes
Soft Fruit

Please avoid  

  Drinking with a straw (First 48 hours)
Milk products immediately after surgery


Macaroni and Cheese
Bean & Cheese Burrito
Pasta with Garlic and Butter
“Thanksgiving Dinner”
(Turkey w/ Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing etc.)
Pot Roast & Vegetables
Chicken & Dumplings
Baked Potato / Baked Sweet Potato

Please avoid 

 Spicy, Acidic
Chewy Meats

More information about the importance of post operative nutrition

AAOMS link