Recovery From Orthodontic-Related Procedures

The recovery can vary depending on the type of procedure. Most can return to some normal activities within the first day or two after surgery. Discomfort from teeth extractions and canine exposure is relatively minor and well managed with simple pain medications. Corrective jaw surgery requires more recovery time (see section on jaw surgery).


The level and duration of pain generally depends on the complexity of the surgery, technique, and patient’s tolerance. Most complain very little of pain after extractions and other minor oral surgery procedure and don not require any pain medications. Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is certainly adequate for relief of most types of discomfort in children, and may be necessary for one to two days. Very rarely do they need a stronger medication such as Tylenol with codeine.


No swelling is expected with extractions, unless the tooth is unusually impacted or malpositioned. But there can be some swelling in the event of injuries, which resolves in seven to 10 days.


Upon arrival home, you may have some water, juices, soups, puree, shakes, puree, and very soft food. A soft diet is recommended up to three to five days. No hard, crispy, or very spicy foods should be eaten during this period. The general rule is: if they have to chew it, it’s probably too hard. After five to seven days, patients may gradually return to normal foods.


Get plenty of rest on day of procedure. Some may feel quite well even on the day of extraction and can resume gentle activities. If IV sedation was given, it’s best to rest on day of surgery and resume some activities on the following day. No sports for two to three days.