Tips for a Smooth Recovery After a Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions are very common, and there are a number of reasons for performing the procedure. They include removing impacted wisdom teeth and taking out teeth that have severe damage and decay.

If you need to have a tooth removed ― regardless of the reason ― you can expect compassionate and expert care from David Epstein, DDS, and Nikita Vakil, DMD, at The Woodlands Dental Group in The Woodlands, Texas. If you’re scheduled for an upcoming extraction, this guide can help you prepare for your recovery.

6 tips to make your recovery as smooth as possible

Even though tooth extractions are quick, you can expect to spend a few days resting and healing. You can promote healing by keeping these tips in mind:

1. Follow all post-extraction instructions

The most important thing you can do after a tooth extraction is follow all of your post-extraction instructions. Depending on your unique situation, you may have stitches, so you’ll need to be careful around the extraction site. You also may need to take medication, such as antibiotics. The more you follow the guidelines you’re given, the quicker your recovery will be.

2. Watch your menu 

After a tooth extraction, eat soft foods for a few days. Try:

Foods that are hot can cause discomfort, so avoid anything that’s too hot.

3. Ice it 

It’s common to experience swelling and tenderness after an extraction. You can find relief by icing your jaw. You can even find ice packs that are designed to help with recovering from oral surgery, as these kinds of ice packs won’t slide off your face.

During the first 24 hours after your procedure, you can apply an ice pack for 30 minutes at a time with 15 minutes between sessions. 

4. Be careful around the extraction site

Until your extraction site heals, be very careful with how you treat the area. If you’re not careful, you may dislodge the clot that covers the site. If the clot gets dislodged, you may expose the nerves and underlying bone. The condition, called dry socket, can cause a lot of pain.

So be sure not to brush the extraction site right away. Furthermore, avoid using straws, avoid eating anything pointy, and avoid spitting and rinsing until you’re told it’s OK.

5. Continue your oral hygiene routine

To prevent infections, it’s essential to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. However, as mentioned earlier, don’t brush the extraction site right away. 

You may be told to not swish for the first 24 hours. However, when you’re given the green light to swish, a saltwater mixture may help keep your mouth clean. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Gently swish, spit, and repeat as needed.

6. Get rest

After your extraction, don’t rush back to your busy schedule. Take a few days to rest and heal. This is even more important if you’ve had more than one tooth removed at a time. You’ll be back on your feet in no time, but until then, enjoy the rest.Here at The Woodlands Dental Group, we know there are many reasons you may need to have a tooth (or teeth) removed. No matter the reason, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone today.

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