Postoperative Laser Treatment Instructions
After Laser Treatment
- Take any prescribed medication according to directions. Dental laser procedures result in little or no discomfort following surgery. Take prescribed pain medications according to instructions, if needed.
- Swelling may occur. Ice pack, as needed, for the first 24 hours, at 10-15 minute intervals.
- Rinse as directed with Peridex, both morning and night. In between, rinse gently every 3 hours with warm salt water ( teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 oz. of warm water). Do not brush or floss your teeth in the treated area until instructed to do so. Brush, floss and follow other homecare measures in the areas of your mouth that were not treated by the surgery.
- During the first day, drink liquids only. A liquid dietary supplement (e.g. Boost, Ensure, etc.) may be recommended. Do not drink through a straw. During the first week, try to eat soft, but nutritious foods. Do not chew where the surgery was performed. For the first month following treatment, you should continue to make soft food choices.
- Carefully avoid chewing food in the areas of the mouth where the laser has been used. One of the most important results of laser surgery is the healing that occurs following the initial procedure. It is extremely important not to dislodge the tiny clots that form in the gums.
- No strenuous physical activity or exercise for 2-3 days following surgery.
- Avoid smoking for 3 days following the surgery.
- Do not be alarmed if one of the following occurs:
o Light bleeding.
o Slight swelling.
o Some soreness.
o Tenderness or tooth sensitivity.
o Color changes or appearance of tissues (e.g. gray, yellow, red, blue, purple or stringy) – all denote a normal response to laser treatments.
The length of time it takes for the gums to heal depends upon the severity of the disease. Most healing in the surface areas takes 2-4 weeks. Deeper pocket areas may take several months to completely heal.
Do not be alarmed if within two weeks after therapy and extending for one year or more, the teeth become sore, tender, or sensitive as the bone and ligaments around the teeth regenerate and become more firm. This is a sign of healing, but could also indicate the presence of bite imbalance that may need to be adjusted. Minor occlusal adjustments are an ongoing part of your care and maintenance.
- No brushing, flossing, or chewing in treated sites for 10 days.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- When instructed, brush the teeth by placing the bristles of the brush on the gums below the tooth and carefully rolling the bristles toward the tooth surface. Do not stick the bristles into the gums.
- When flossing is permitted, carefully place the floss between the teeth and avoid pushing the floss under the gums until instructed to do so.
- Do not use battery-assisted toothbrushes or water irrigators for 3 months.
Liquids: Boost, Ensure, blended fruit drinks (no fruit containing seeds). Almost anything put through a food blender.
Soft Foods: Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, Applesauce, mashed or baked potatoes (butter and sour cream are okay), mashed or blended fruits (no berry fruits with seeds), broth or creamed soups, pureed steamed vegetables, yams or butternut squash, cottage cheese, cream cheese, creamy peanut butter, eggs (any style with and without cheese), yogurt, puddings, Jell-O, ice cream, milk shakes, and smoothies. Pasta, fish, well-cooked chicken or steamed vegetables can be introduced as healing progresses.
Chew gum, candy, cookies, chips, nuts, anything hard or crunchy, anything with seeds or hard pieces, raw vegetables, salad, and meat that shreds and can lodge under the gum and between teeth.