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How to Clean Your Mouth after Oral Surgery

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I Just Had Oral Surgery: Do I Need to Wait to Clean My Mouth?

Yes. You should not do any cleaning of your mouth—including rinsing—for at least 24 hours after your surgery. Right after surgery, your mouth is in a delicate condition. You may have had stitches put in and any agitation around the operating area could undo your dentist’s good work and potentially expose your mouth to infection, so wait at least one day before attempting any sort of cleaning.

What Can I Use to Clean My Mouth?

After 24 hours have passed, you can use lukewarm salt water to rinse out your mouth. Depending on what sort of surgery you’ve had performed, you may also be able to start using a soft bristle toothbrush, being careful at all times not to get too close to the area your dentist operated on.

Stuff You Should Avoid Doing after Surgery

There are a few things you should steer clear of just after having oral surgery to ensure your mouth has the best chance of making a full recovery. To reduce risk of infection—or of your needing extra medical attention, stay away from the following for at least 24 hours:

  • Sipping from straws
  • Smoking (72 hours is optimal)
  • Spitting
  • Physical activity (48 hours is optimal)
  • Certain foods (up to a week)

Bleeding after Oral Surgery

If your mouth continues to bleed beyond the first couple of days after your surgery, place a piece of gauze on the affected area and bite down tightly for 30 minutes. This should stop the bleeding. A little bit of bleeding after surgery is normal, however, if you notice you’re still bleeding after applying gauze, or you continue to bleed after two days have passed, contact your surgeon’s office.

Other Post-surgery Tips

The primary thing you’ll want to do after getting oral surgery is to get lots of rest. Surgery puts a great deal of stress on your body, and the best thing you can do to ensure a swift recovery is to carve out plenty of time to ice the affected area and sleep. 

Remember too that if your dentist puts you on strong pain medication, you should avoid operating a vehicle until you’re no longer in pain and no longer on medication. The best thing you can do after surgery is nothing at all!

Speak to a Dentist

If you’ve recently had oral surgery and are experiencing unusual pain or bleeding, phone your dentist right away. If, on the other hand, you’re considering oral surgery in the Mississauga, Burlington, Milton, or Oakville areas, look for one of our CVOS Oral Surgery locations and book a consultation today. CVOS Oral Surgery improves people’s quality of life through the successful treatment of conditions involving the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.

Written by CVOS

Credit Valley Oral Surgery’s first location opened its doors in Mississauga in 1979. Quickly, CVOS Oral Surgery grew a reputation for itself as the place to go for quality oral and maxillofacial surgeries. In 1981, only 2 short years later, CVOS Oral Surgery opened its second clinic in Milton.

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Our Locations

Burlington North

CVOS Oral Surgery is located on the corner of Walkers Line and Dundas Street East in North Burlington at the Headon Forest Shopping Centre.

  • #200-3600 Dundas Street East
  • Burlington, ON

Burlington South

CVOS is located just off Hwy 403 (Queen Elizabeth Parkway), on Harvester Road with ample parking available.

  • #403-3155 Harvester Road
  • Burlington, ON


Our office is location on Commercial Street, right across from Brian Best Park, with ample parking available.

  • #203-311 Commercial Street
  • Milton, ON


Conveniently located near Highway 403 off of the Erin Mills Parkway, our office is in the same complex as the Credit Valley Hospital.

  • #302-2300 Eglinton Ave. West
  • Mississauga, ON


Conveniently located off Highway 403 (Queen Elizabeth Way) and Trafalgar Road, our building has plenty of convenient parking for you.

  • #311-1235 Trafalgar Road
  • Oakville, ON
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