Depending on the site of your procedure, a frenectomy can prevent separation between your upper front teeth or improve a speech impediment. To get the full benefits of your surgery, it’s important that you recover fully and properly.
The recommendations for recovery that Union Oral Surgery offers below apply to both a lingual frenectomy (under your tongue) and a maxillary frenectomy (under your upper lip). However, these guidelines are not exhaustive. If you have any questions or concerns with frenectomy aftercare, we encourage you to contact our offices.
Schedule for Recovery
Typically, it takes 3-5 days to heal from a frenectomy. During the first two days, plan only light activity. Even if you feel up to exercising or exerting yourself, this can increase blood flow and slow down your healing process. Most patients need the opportunity to rest after a surgical procedure of any kind.
If you have had a lingual frenectomy, you should try to start using your tongue again as soon as possible without harming the surgical site. Your doctor can show you some exercises or give you some examples, but even activities as simple as sticking out your tongue or licking an ice cream cone can help.
By the third day, expect to return to your normal schedule, assuming that it isn’t physically rigorous. We typically don’t require follow-up appointments for patients as part of frenectomy aftercare, but we are happy to schedule these visits if you have a concern that we can’t address by telephone.
One of the most common questions patients ask our doctors about any procedure is, “Will it hurt?” At Union Oral Surgery, we take steps to reduce anxiety and pain as much as possible, from providing advanced technologies and personal, supportive care in treatment to prescribing the right medications following procedures.
For frenectomy aftercare:
- You will receive pain medication that can limit the discomfort you might experience.
- Your doctor will provide an antibiotic mouth rinse and instructions for its use. This can help prevent infection.
- Most patients are given an oral antibiotic as an added precaution.
A contributing factor to discomfort after surgery is swelling; the more you can keep it down, the better your experience will be as you heal. That’s why we provide patients with an ice pack after their procedure. We recommend using it for at least two hours on the first day following surgery. Apply the pack for 20 minutes, take a 20-minute break, and then repeat.
Stitches and Bandages
Your doctor will use stitches as part of your frenectomy. These will be absorbable and go away on their own within 3-5 days. If you typically wear orthodontic retainers, please do not use them the first night after the procedure so that they don’t disturb the surgical site.
Gauze sponges help reduce bleeding as part of frenectomy aftercare. We recommend that patients change the gauze every 15 minutes for about 2 hours or until the bleeding has stopped. It is normal for the frenectomy site to have some residual bleeding for 24 hours after surgery.
Diet and Oral Hygiene After a Frenectomy
Plan to eat a soft diet for five days following your surgery. A soft diet includes items like spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and other foods that you can chew easily. Avoid biting into foods like sandwiches or apples for several days, particularly if you have had a maxillary frenectomy.
The night of the surgery, please use only water when brushing your teeth, and take extra care to avoid brushing against the surgical site. You may go back to brushing your teeth with toothpaste the next morning.
Taking these precautions and giving yourself the time to heal will help you have a more comfortable experience and successful outcome. If there is anything else you’d like to know about your frenectomy procedure or aftercare, please get in touch with our offices.
Contact Union Oral Surgery by phone or email. Our doctors and staff are available to address any questions or concerns you may have. Call (704) 291-7333