Tooth extractions are fairly common, but it’s important to get your teeth extracted the right way and follow certain dos and don’ts after the extraction. The after-care process is very important if you want to prevent infection and bone loss. Below are the top do’s and dont’s from Dr. Chaben who is an experienced Livonia dentist from Platinum Dental Care that you should consider following after tooth extraction.
Things to Do After Tooth Extraction
- Immediately after you return home, apply an ice pack to your jaw on the extraction side to reduce swelling.
- Change the gauze the dentist has packed into your extraction site at least every half hour to prevent infection.
- Bite down on the gauze for as long as you can, to help the wound clot and start healing.
- If you continue bleeding for a few hours after the extraction, then place a wet tea bag on the extraction site. Tea contains tannic acid which helps aid the clotting process.
- If your dentist has prescribed antibiotics, do take them on time until the course is completed in order to prevent infection.
- Avoid lying flat as this increases blood flow from the tooth extraction site. Keep your head elevated to prevent this.
- If possible, avoid all foods that require chewing as this puts strain on the area that’s still raw and bleeding.
- Drink plenty of fluids such as juices and milkshakes; your body can use the energy to heal.
- Keep a small ice cube in your mouth or eat ice cream as this can stop the bleeding and help heal the site more quickly.
- After your tooth extraction, get some rest. Avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salty water to maintain hygiene in your mouth, but only start this 12 hours after the extraction.
- Aspirin in a blood thinner and can increase blood flow if you take it after the extraction. So if you’re taking aspirin as part of a different prescription, let your dentist know. Take something like ibuprofen for the pain.
Things That You Shouldn’t Do After Tooth Extraction
- Avoid smoking, chewing tobacco or consuming alcohol. All three things will cause damage to your teeth and gums. Plus, they can cause problems in your recovery from tooth extraction.
- When you drink water or other liquids, don’t use a straw. This is because when you suck on the straw, the newly-formed blood clot loosens and blood flow begins again at the tooth extraction site. The site could become inflamed and even infected.
- For the same reason, avoid sucking on anything such as toffees, lollipops and candy.
- Avoid eating hard foods that require hard biting, as this can damage the sore and raw extraction site and slow down your recovery.
- Either drink beverages cold or lukewarm – avoid drinking beverages hot, as this can start your extraction site bleeding again, and keep the wound raw longer.
- Don’t touch the tooth extraction site with your fingers, as you might contaminate the site with bacteria. Also don’t touch it with a brush, toothpick or tongue cleaner, as this can lead to a dry socket.