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Post-Operative Instructions: Wisdom Teeth Removal



  • Take ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if you are able to. Start with 600mg of ibuprofen before taking 500mg of acetaminophen three hours later. Alternate between the two every three hours so each medication is taken on its own six-hour schedule.
  • If prescribed a stronger pain medication, take as directed in addition to acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Write down the medication taken, time, and dose to keep track of how much medication you have taken and when.
  • Take the first dose of ibuprofen as soon as possible following your procedure.


  • Do not use straws, spit, or swish in the 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Bite down firmly on the gauze placed over the surgical area. Change as needed, every 45 minutes. Remove gauze as it turns pink. If the bleeding does not stop or fills your mouth quickly after several gauze changes, call our office.
  • Remove gauze to eat and drink. Replace as needed if bleeding continues to occur.
  • Do not sleep with gauze in your mouth.

Swelling and Bruising

  • You may notice increased swelling in the first 48 hours following your procedure. This swelling typically peaks at day three before gradually reducing.
  • If needed, you may apply ice to the surgery site during the first 48 hours after surgery—20 minutes off and 20 minutes on. To avoid burning your skin, place a towel or other barrier between the ice pack and the skin.
  • Elevate your head when sleeping for the first 2-3 days after surgery.


  • Start drinking liquids after the procedure. Cold, cool liquids are best and avoid anything hot. A soft, non-chew diet can be advanced to a regular diet as tolerated.
  • Stay away from hard, crunchy, spicy, and sharp foods for two weeks.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages for one week following the procedure.


  • Unless otherwise stated, stitches will dissolve on their own, typically within a week.

Oral Hygiene

  • Do not smoke.
  • Continue maintaining your oral health through brushing and flossing after your procedure. Gently brush and keep the toothbrush bristles on your teeth, avoiding the gums.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water beginning 24 hours after your procedure. Continue for seven days.
  • If you received a medicated mouthwash, use twice daily (morning and evening) for a week, beginning 24 hours after your procedure or as directed.


  • Take any prescribed antibiotics until completed.


  • Take it easy and limit strenuous activity after your procedure. Gradually increase as you begin to feel more comfortable.