Care Instruction After Tooth Extraction
After you have a tooth extracted, healing begins when a blood clot forms and the bleeding stops. You have an important role to play in the process, and here are some important post-operative care instructions to carefully follow:
- You need to bite down on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, repeat this step for another 30 minutes. You many need to do this several times.
- For the first 72 hours after your tooth extraction, do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site. By doing these activities you run the risk of dislodging or dissolving the clot and slowing the healing process.
- Limit vigorous activities (which will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site) for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
- To reduce swelling after the procedure, apply an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or frozen corn to the area. Swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
- For pain, take medications as directed and call the office if they don’t seem to be working.
- If you’ve received a prescription for antibiotics, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if the signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
- Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. Then eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
- After 24 hours, resume your normal dental hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day.
- After a few days, you will feel fine and can resume normal activities. But if you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain or continued swelling after two to three days, call our office immediately.