Can I brush my teeth?

November 1, 2019

It is important that you keep your mouth as clean as possible for the first few weeks after surgery to prevent infection. It will be sore and you may find it difficult to clean your teeth around the stitches. Try using a soft small headed toothbrush, such as a child’s toothbrush.

Starting the day after your surgery, gently rinse your mouth out with a mouthwash of warm salty water (dissolve a flat teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day for 5-7 days to keep it free from any food remains.

We will give you a mouthwash to start using in hospital and to take home with you. Please note that mouth washing does not replace brushing your teeth.

You will also be given a short course of oral antibiotics to be taken following the surgery and the course should be completed.

It is important that you do not smoke as this will make it more likely that you develop an infection. If you would like advice on how to stop smoking, please speak to a nurse or your GP. If you require more information about stopping smoking, please ask a member of staff before your procedure. To help with giving up smoking, call the NHS Stop Smoking Helpline on 0800 0224332 or go to

Could you be covered?

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Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK