The DOs and DON’Ts After Tooth Extractions
Tooth extraction is the uprooting of a tooth from the socket in the bone. There are various reasons why someone may need a tooth extraction. A tooth extraction occurs when there is:
- Damaged Teeth
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal Disease
- Crowded Teeth
You should follow the dentist’s aftercare instructions when you have a tooth extraction and not disturb the extraction site. The clot needs to remain stable to facilitate the healing process.
It would be best to refrain from brushing or flossing for 24 hours after the procedure. Contact your dentist if you experience pain, gum swelling, or bleeding that does not improve. Read the article below to find out the do’s and don’ts after tooth extractions.
What Should You Do After a Tooth Removal?
When you have your tooth extracted, you need to adhere to your dentist’s directions regarding what you need to do. You do not want any unnecessary problems to occur. The following are all the things you should do after tooth extraction.
Apply Pressure on the Gauze
After tooth removal, your dentist will place a piece of gauze over the extraction site. Once you leave the dentist’s office, you should continue to apply pressure to the gauze for about 30 minutes. This pressure should curtail any bleeding from the area and allow a clot to form.
If bleeding occurs after 30 minutes, put a clean piece of gauze over the area and apply pressure for anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. If bleeding persists, you need to call the dentist.
Take Medication for Pain
You want to follow the dentists’ directions for pain medication. Ibuprofen or Alleve™ is the best for dental pain because there is inflammation. Take the amount your dentist suggests to help alleviate your discomfort.
Get Plenty of Rest
Tooth extractions are painful, and you will be numb for a while after the procedure. Take the time to lay down and rest. Keep your head supported in a more upright position with a pillow.
Do not even think about going to the gym or going back to work. Any stress can lead to bleeding or pain in the extraction area.
Use an ice pack on your cheek close to the extraction area. You can make up an ice pack by placing ice in a bag and covering it with a paper towel. Apply the ice pack for 10 or 15 minutes, then remove it. Repeat the process as needed.
Keep the Site Clean
Proper cleaning will help to prevent an infection. After 24 hours, it is safe to brush your teeth and rinse with warm water. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush; however, avoid touching the extraction site and not allow the brush to hit the extraction site.
Gently rinse your mouth with warm water with salt. This rinsing will prevent bacteria from growing and keep an infection from developing. Rinse four times daily with one teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. Contact your dentist if pain or bleeding persists.
What Should You NOT Do After a Tooth Extraction?
Try to avoid certain things to facilitate proper healing of the extraction site. You should talk to your dentist if you have any questions. The following is what not to do after tooth extraction:
Do Not Smoke
Be responsible for taking care of the extraction area while still healing. This care means that smoking is not a good idea. Cigarette smoke can increase the pain in the extraction area. It slows down the healing process, making you more prone to infection.
Sucking on the cigarette can also dislocate your blood clot. It is like sucking on a straw after tooth extraction, which you should also not be doing. Smoking is a dangerous thing to do after the procedure, as the chemicals in tobacco can even cause gum disease.
Do Not Take Aspirin
Aspirin is a blood thinner, which helps prevent clot formation. Taking aspirin is not ideal after tooth extraction because it impedes healing. If you take aspirin for a therapeutic reason, contact your doctor for advisement.
Do Not Poke into the Gap Where the Tooth Was
You may be overly conscious of the gap. However, you should not poke into it with a toothpick. You should not even push into it with your tongue.
You may inhibit the healing process or instigate bleeding if you do this. It may also result in a dry socket when the blood clot at the site does not develop or extricates before fully healing.
Do Not Eat Solid Food
Tooth extractions, such as having your wisdom teeth removed, leave your jawbone vulnerable and endangered. The blood clot that forms over this tissue can be easily harmed if you eat solid foods that involve too much chewing.
It would be the best course if you restricted yourself to liquids only. This list includes foods such as:
- Fruit Smoothies
It would be best to take even more overall care of your gums after tooth extraction. Stick to foods like these, and you should be okay.
Do Not Brush or Floss Surgical Site
If you brush the extraction site too soon, you could dislodge the blood clot. When brushing the rest of your teeth, be careful not to disturb the extraction area. Try to keep the brush on the teeth and not brush the gum tissue. If there is any pain, swelling, or bleeding, call your dentist right away.
Be Mindful After Your Tooth Extraction
When you have a tooth extracted, you need to be careful that you do not do anything to disturb the extraction site. Do not smoke after the procedure. The chemicals in tobacco can cause serious problems. Make an ice pack and park yourself on the couch because you need rest.
Do not try to do anything strenuous or physical activity, as stress can affect the extraction site. After tooth extraction, the most important thing you can do is follow your dentist’s instructions, as you will heal better and faster under their advisement.
If you have questions or concerns, call our St. John office at (219) 322-9920
or our Valpo office at (219) 462-1970.
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.