Do’s & Don’t s After a Tooth Extraction
To properly care for your mouth after having teeth extracted, you should follow post-operative instructions from your dentist. Once you finish with surgery, you will be given some gauze to bite down on. This is an important first step to help with stopping the bleeding.
- Keep the gauze pad in place over the hole for a few hours post-surgery. When you put pressure on it, this allows a blood clot to form where the tooth was.
- Plan to rest. While it’s safe to get back to your regular activities the day after surgery, try to avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for the next week.
- Apply an ice pack to your face around the extraction site to help reduce swelling.
- After 24 hours have passed, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
- Take medications prescribed by your dentist as directed.
- Drink water after surgery.
- Keep your head elevated while sleeping to heal properly and quickly.
- Eat soft or liquid food for at least the first 24 hours, if not longer.
- Clean your teeth as normal, but brush gently around where the gum is still healing and avoid the extraction site.
𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙙𝙤 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙩𝙝 𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣?
There are plenty of steps you can take post tooth extraction to help ensure you don’t wind up back in the dentist’s chair too soon. Many of these are common sense, but some may not be so obvious.
- surgical extractions post-op Don’t smoke after extraction
- Don’t spit or rinse for 24 hours following the tooth extraction so that you don’t dislodge the blood clot from the socket.
- Don’t use a straw for a week post-surgery to prevent the blood clot from being dislodged from the socket. Read more about straws after extraction.
- Wait at least 72 hours after the extraction to smoke.
- Don’t drink alcoholic, caffeinated, or carbonated beverages for 24 hours.
- Avoid very hot or cold liquid (like coffee) for a few days.
- If you need to eat while your mouth is still numb, bite gently to avoid hurting your tongue or lips.
- Don’t eat things that can get lodged in the hole. This includes food like fruit seeds or nuts.
- Try not to poke at the site of the extracted tooth with your tongue, as this may keep the socket exposed.
How soon can i eat after tooth extraction?
After tooth extraction, you will want to stick to soft food for at least a day or two. Basically, you want to avoid food that requires you to chew because chewing can cause pain. Also, you want to avoid hard foods because they could become lodged in the hole at the extraction site.
Some easy food you can eat during the first day or two include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
A lot of people like to eat smoothies too, but just make sure you use a spoon instead of a straw.
As you continue to heal from the procedure, you can begin to add more foods back into your diets such as scrambled eggs or avocados. After about a week, you will be able to get back into the normal swing of things, engage in physical activities, and resume your regular diet, including solid foods.
Experiencing post-tooth extraction issues?
If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2–3 days, or a reaction to the medication after tooth extraction surgery, please contact our clinic immediately. You can reach Smile Dental and Implant Centre