If you’ve just had a tooth extracted (removed), it’s important to take proper care of your mouth to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to remember what steps to take. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll outline the 10 essential rules for post-tooth extraction care and explain why each step is critical. By understanding the importance of each recommendation, you’ll find it easier to remember what you need to do for a successful recovery. So, let’s dive in!
First 24 hours after tooth removal:
The main aim for the first 24 hours is to stop the bleeding and help the clot to form. And for that, the following instructions are to be followed:
- Applying Pressure: Bite down gently for 30-45 min on the gauge that your dentist has applied on the extraction site. This will help the bleeding to stop. After that, remove the gauze.
Repeat it once if the bleeding doesn’t stop. Visit your dentist if the bleeding is still heavy after this stage.
- Cold application: The cold temperature causes the blood vessels to constrict, which means they become narrower, and reduce blood flow to the site. This constriction helps to keep the clot in place and prevent it from dislodging. Drinking cold water is a great way to promote clot stability and aid in the healing process.
- Don’t spit, smoke, or use a straw to drink something: All these activities create a negative pressure or suction inside the mouth, which may cause the clot to dislodge and start bleeding again. So, avoid all these activities for the first 3 days at least.
- Avoid strenuous exercise: This increases blood flow and raises blood pressure, which can increase the risk of bleeding from the extraction site. This results in a condition known as ‘Dry Socket’, which can be very painful and delay the healing process.
- Avoid hard food: Soft food doesn’t require much chewing, so they’re less likely to irritate the site or cause discomfort. Be sure to let your food cool to a safe temperature before eating to avoid any potential damage to the affected area, as discussed above. Also, chew from the opposite side.
- Take the medication as prescribed by your dentist.
After 24 hours:
After 24 hours, our main focus is to heal the site where the clot has formed. At this stage, we aim to increase blood flow to the area, allowing healing cells and nutrients to reach the site and accelerate the healing process.
1) Warm saline rinses: To be done thrice a day for the next 1 week. This is to be started AFTER 24 hours of getting the tooth removed. The warmth of the solution increases blood flow to the extraction site. The salt in the solution creates an environment where fluids and bacteria are drawn out of the tissues, which can help to prevent infection and reduce swelling.
This helps to keep the area clean and healthy. In addition, salt also has antibacterial properties that can help to kill bacteria and prevent harmful microorganisms from growing in the mouth.
To make the warm saline solution, heat up a glass of water until lukewarm and add ½ teaspoon of salt, stirring until the salt dissolves completely.
2) Rinse your mouth after every meal. This is to be done so that no food particle gets stuck in the extraction site.
3) Basic dental hygiene: Brush your teeth and floss. Yes, you are supposed to start brushing 24 hours after the extraction to keep your teeth healthy.
4) Do not use anything to poke the extraction site, as you may dislodge the clot again.
- Chances of swelling are high after 24 hours of your tooth removal. So, if you’ve got swelling on your face, take the ice and apply it gently on your face where the swelling is seen. This will help to reduce swelling and alleviate any discomfort.
- If you experience stiffness in the jaw muscles, applying warm moist heat to the affected area outside your face can help to relax the muscles and provide relief.
Following surgery, it is common to experience discomfort and pain in the affected area. Typically, this pain should subside after two days. So, keep taking the prescribed medication.
If you continue to experience pain beyond the two-day mark, it is recommended that you visit your dentist. They can apply soothing medication to alleviate your discomfort.
It is important to understand that the healing process after surgery takes time. On average, it takes about a week for the wound to fully close and up to three weeks for complete healing. While it may seem like a long time to wait, it will not cause you any significant pain or discomfort.
To ensure a successful and speedy recovery, it is crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions closely and be patient throughout the healing process.
Our team of experienced dentists and staff are here to help you with all of your dental needs, from routine check-ups to complex procedures.
Contact us today to book your appointment and take the first step towards a healthier smile.
Do you need a tooth extraction in Modesto? Call us now for an appointment at (209) 548-0100, or come by our clinic at Paragon Dental, 1108 Oakdale Road, Suite A, Modesto, California 95355, to get the dental care that you need.