1. If you have received any form of sedation, do not drive on the day of surgery.
2. Place the gauze in the area of the surgery (either under the tongue and bite or under the upper lip) and close the lips tightly to hold the gauze in the area to diminish any bleeding, if present. Change the pad every 10-15 minutes for the first 30 minutes. Do not chew the pad.
3. Some bleeding following surgery is normal. However, if excessive bleeding occurs, fold a piece of sterile gauze pad as tightly as possible, place this over the space where the surgery was performed, and bite hard for 20-30 minutes. Repeat, if necessary. If these measures are not helpful, call the dental office.
4. Eat and drink as normal. Try to avoid the surgical site when eating. Do not use a straw when drinking after lingual frenectomy. After a maxillary frenectomy, avoid biting into foods like a sandwich or an apple for few days. Avoid sticky, hard, spicy or acidic foods. Avoid extremely hot foods.
5. Avoid any strenuous physical activity for 2-3 days to prevent or minimize severe bleeding.
6. Do not rinse your mouth with anything for 24 hours, however, continue to brush your teeth carefully. After 24 hours, in addition to the routine tooth brushing, gently rinse your mouth with a lukewarm salt-water solution (made by dissolving ½ teaspoon of table salt in an 8 oz glass of warm water). Rinse three to four times a day for four to five days. Take care not to empty or strain your mouth with undue force.
7. Take all medications as prescribed by the dentist.
8. Some discomfort and discoloration may be expected following a frenectomy. Black and blue areas under the tongue are bruising and can be expected. One or two Tylenol or ibuprofen tablets every three to four hours will usually relieve the discomfort.
9. Some swelling may occur following a frenectomy. Apply ice to the outside of the upper lip if the surgery was a maxillary frenectomy or place ice chips under the tongue if the surgery was a lingual frenectomy. Apply ice for the first 24 hours and then discontinue using the ice. Leave the ice on the area for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes. This will help reduce discomfort, bleeding and swelling. Major swelling should be reported to the doctor at once.
10. Some tooth sensitivity may be experienced following frenectomy, especially to cold. Sensitivity usually decreases within few weeks after surgery and can be minimized by keeping the area as free of plaque as possible. If the sensitivity is extreme, contact the dentist for recommendations or medications to relieve the discomfort.
11. Sutures, if they were used, do not usually have to be removed. If sutures require removal, this will be done at the follow-up appointment.
12. Refrain from smoking following a frenectomy for a minimum of 1 week or more. Tobacco smoke is an irritant and will slow the process of healing.
13. Avoid alcohol (even beer and wine) until the follow up appointment.
14. Do not pull down the lip or cheek to look at the area and do not have someone else look at the area.