How To Care For Your Teeth After Extraction

A tooth extraction might be performed by your dentist for any number of reasons. Perhaps it’s been severely damaged, it’s gotten badly infected, or you are experiencing severe overcrowding of the teeth and the only way to relieve the problem is through removing one or more them.

Whatever the reason may be, the same post-operative recommendations and restrictions will likely be the same. Once you’ve had an extraction, there are some specific do’s and dont’s that you must abide so as to reduce any pain or discomfort, keep infection at bay, and shorten your recovery time. All while ensuring that your other teeth remain clean and healthy in the meantime.

A tooth extraction can make it challenging to adequately care for your teeth for a period of time after the operation and you will need to be extremely cautious when you brush and floss the teeth around the extraction site. So if you are about to go into your dentist’s office to have a tooth removed, here are some oral health tips you should know for the next time you get an extraction, courtesy of Russo Dentistry near Cary,  NC.

Managing Pain

After the procedure is complete, your dentist will prescribe you some pain medication. Be sure to take them as prescribed and don’t deviate from his or her orders. You may wish to apply an ice pack over the area where the extraction took place as you may be prone to some amount of swelling in your cheek.

Place it there for about 10 minutes, lift it off for 5, and then do it again until the swelling goes down and you don’t feel the same level of pain as you did before.

No Activity

The extraction site is sensitive and can be easily affected or damaged under certain circumstances. So be careful to avoid any major activity with your mouth for no less than 24 hours, more if you find that you feel particularly sensitive after the extraction. Two days is typically the length of time you need to be out of the danger zone for disturbing the clot.

This activity includes refraining from rigorous rinsing or spitting as this could dislodge the clot that will form in the socket of the extraction area. The clot is important to keep in place and maintain as losing it or knocking out of place could expose you to dry socket.

Salt Water Rinse

After the initial 24 hour period, you’ll want to gently slosh some salt water in your mouth. The best solution is a mix of about a ½ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water. Sloshing this around will help to clean the area where you had your tooth removed.

What Not to Do

Don’t drink from a straw in the first few days after an extraction, this could damage the clot and cause your extraction area to bleed.

Don’t smoke as this could hinder your extraction from healing quickly.

Don’t eat any hard foods, opting instead for only soft foods or liquids. Things like soup, yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes. These will help to protect the extraction area.

Normal Brushing and Flossing

You can do both and should. Don’t refrain from brushing or flossing just be sure to avoid doing either on or near the extraction area. Take great care in when you are near it and be very gentle. You should also brush your tongue as well. Any bacteria that gets in your mouth can cause an infection in the extraction site so be diligent and careful, but always brush and floss.


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