Day by Day Post-Op Wisdom Tooth Removal Instructions

The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully. The information below follows the same instruction listed on the “Wisdom Teeth After Surgery” card provided to you before leaving our office.

General Tips for the First Week Following Your Surgery:

  • Relax for the first few days! Watch movies, drink milkshakes, and take pain medicine if needed. Give yourself a comfortable experience.
  • DO NOT use straws
  • DO NOT spit (even when cleaning your mouth)
  • DO NOT drink alcohol or smoke
  • DO NOT eat hard, crunchy, spicy or hot food.

DAY 1: Day of Wisdom Teeth Removal

  • After leaving our office get a smoothie to take with pain medication and antibiotics. Taking medicine on an empty stomach will most likely cause nausea and it is important to have the pain medicine working fully when the numbness wears off.
    • Take the gauze out of your mouth when eating or drinking (remember NO straws) and replace with new gauze directly after.
    • Continue with a liquid diet for today. (ice cream, cool soup broth, yogurt, milkshakes).
  • Keep the gauze in place and avoid talking and touching the area. Change gauze every 30 minutes. It is not unusual to replace the gauze several times over the next few hours following surgery. If bleeding doesn’t stop use a moist tea bag. The wound will continue to ooze for a few days.
  • A blood clot will form within the tooth socket which is good and helps prevent dry socket. DO NOT rinse, brush or touch areas with your finger or tongue.
  • To stay ahead of pain take 600 mg Ibuprofen every 6 hours (even if you don’t think you need it). If the pain has increased and your doctor has prescribed a narcotic, you may take it with Ibuprofen. DO NOT take narcotics with Tylenol as it is already contained within the narcotic.
  • Ice the area 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Place the ice pack back in the freezer when not in use.


Same as Day 1 except:

  • Transition to soft food (mashed potatoes, oatmeal, applesauce, soft pasta, fish, eggs). Make sure they are cooled down.
  • Start brushing teeth GENTLY and avoid the surgical site.

DAY 3-6

  • Continue soft food diet but progress to more substantial food as tolerated.
  • Swelling will be at its greatest on days 3 and 4.
  • Stop using the ice pack and start using warm compress for comfort and healing.
  • Stitches can start to dissolve as early as day 3.
  • On day 3 start rinsing out the extraction site(s). Use the syringe and the prescribed antibiotic mouthwash (Peridex) or warm saltwater. Continue to use the rinse for 7-10 days.

How to use the syringe:

  1. First make sure the plunger is pressed down to the bottom of the barrel. Then, place the tip in the liquid that you want to measure. Draw back on the plunger and the liquid will flow into the syringe.
  2. Stand in front of a mirror and gently pull back your cheek to see the surgery site. With the prescribed mouthwash or warm salt water in the syringe, place the tip near the surgery site (without touching it) and push the plunger slowly to release the liquid out to rinse.
  3. Avoid swishing the saltwater rinse in your mouth or spitting it out. Gently move your head to move the rinse around your mouth or use your tongue to help move the saline solution around.
  4. After rinsing, lean over the sink and open your mouth to let the rinse fall out. Don’t spit.
  5. This should be done after meals and at bedtime as long as debris accumulates in the area.

When to Call Winchester Oral Surgery?

  • Pain and swelling increase after day 4
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Bad taste or drainage in site
  • Fever or chills
  • Rash or adverse side effects from medications
  • Pain in the ear or sensitivity to air after day 3.

When you are experiencing any of these symptoms please do not hesitate to reach out to our office to speak with an assistant or doctor. If it is after hours (4:30pm M-F) call 540-536-8000 to have the oral surgeon on call paged. Whoever is on call will return your call.

Additional Wisdom Teeth Post-Op Instructions





Oral Hygiene



Nausea and Vomiting

Other Complications