What To Do After A Tooth Extraction
Aftercare for extractions will vary for each patient, the type of extraction, location of your tooth, and other variables. However, you can usually expect to heal in about 7 to 10 days. It’s important to do what you can to keep the blood clot in place in the tooth socket, and not disturb it. Dislodging it can cause what’s called dry socket, which can be extremely painful.
Homecare Instructions After A Tooth Extraction
- Follow any directions given to you by your dentist
- Take painkillers and any other medications as prescribed
- Leave the initial gauze pad in place until about three to four hours after the procedure.
- Apply ice to the affected area immediately following the procedure, but only for 10 minutes at a time. Leaving ice packs on for too long can result in tissue damage.
- Don’t overdo it. Make sure to rest for 24 hours following the operation and limit any strenuous activity for the next couple of days.
- For the first 24 hours, avoid rinsing your mouth, and do not brush or floss next to the extraction.
- Avoid dislodging the blood clot: Don’t rinse, spit, or use a straw for 24 hours after the procedure.
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a salt solution, made with half a teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces warm water.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products for at least 72 hours
- Avoid spitting, sucking on candy, or sucking through a straw.
- Continue brushing and flossing your teeth to prevent infection, but be careful to avoid the extraction site.
What If I’m Bleeding?
It’s common for there to be some slight bleeding for the first day or so. Many people are concerned about the amount of bleeding. This is due to the fact that a small amount of blood is mixed with a larger amount of saliva, which looks more dramatic than it is.
If you do notice bleeding, do not rinse, but apply gentle/firm pressure to the socket. Bite firmly on a clean piece of cotton material such as a handkerchief for at least 15 minutes. Make sure this is placed directly over the extraction site and that the pad is replaced if necessary.
Contact our office if you experience heavy bleeding, pain, or swelling for more than two days, a bad taste in your mouth, or if you have a reaction to the medication.
What Foods Should You Eat After Your Tooth Extraction
While your surgery site heals, you’ll want to eat soft foods to avoid any disruption to the blood clot. These foods can include:
- soups (try to avoid hot soups for the first few days)
In addition, you can add smoothies to your diet, but you must eat them with a spoon. As your extraction site heals, you’ll be able to incorporate more solid foods into your diet. We recommend a soft foods diet for a week after your extraction.
Contact Our Office
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns after your tooth extraction.