People often think that once tooth extraction is completed, they don’t need to pay attention to the part where the tooth was extracted. Once you leave the dental clinic after a tooth extraction procedure, it’s important that you practice proper dental hygiene and take precautions. Otherwise, the nerve will get exposed to air (dry-socket problem), and you might experience immense pain.
To help you ensure that you recover from tooth extraction sooner, here is what you need to do and what you need to avoid after tooth extraction.
What to Do
- Take Painkiller as Prescribed by Your Dentist
Most people who undergo tooth extraction procedures often need OTC painkillers. Keep a water bottle with you and take a dose immediately after the procedure. You shouldn’t wait for the pain to set in. Ask your dentist to know which painkiller would be best for you.
- Be Careful While Dealing with Side-effects
Some people experience severe swelling after tooth extraction, especially after wisdom tooth extraction or when all their wisdom teeth are removed during one surgery (when you need multiple wisdom teeth to be extracted, it’s better to wait for a couple of months between each tooth extraction). Place an ice pack on your face in the area where surgery was performed as it will help reduce swelling and pain. Heat is not recommended until the inflamed area has calmed down. Though heat might help jaw muscles relax more, it won’t help in reducing the inflammation.
- Know When to See Your Dentist Again
People who undergo tooth extraction experience an increase in pain for two days, the plateau at day three, and thereafter, the pain starts decreasing. So, if you are experiencing an increase in pain even after day three, you must see your dentist again as you might have a complication such as dry socket. Before taking any medication, it is better to consult your dentist. In case your dentist has prescribed you antibiotics, complete the entire course as prescribed and don’t stop right away when you begin to feel better.
What to Avoid
- 1. Avoid Strenuous Activities for a Few Days
You should wait at least 12 hours before doing cardio exercises. Avoid lifting weight for three days. After extraction, use a pillow to elevate your head while sleeping. If you force your blood to be pumped harder, it might lead to bleeding in your tooth socket. So, consider it a doctor-approved excuse to go easy on strenuous activities for a few days.
- Avoid Rinsing for a Couple of Days
It is better to not rinse wash your mouth for 48 hours after the tooth extraction procedure. You may rinse the following day gently with lukewarm salt water. Be careful while rinsing so that you don’t disturb the clot formation in the surgery site.
- Avoid Brushing on the Surgery Site
Using a brush on the surgery site can cause injury. So, don’t actually brush over the extracted tooth site. For the first week, let the site heal on its own. After that, you can wipe it with a damp cloth or piece of gauze. In general, a rinse is more than enough to keep the area clean. During the period when brushing is not suitable for you, you can use a Peridex rinse for a few days to keep your mouth clean.
Getting your tooth pulled is certainly not fun like a smile makeover, but sometimes, tooth extraction is the only solution to protect yourself from further dental issues. So, when you undergo this procedure, it is better that you take care of yourself until the surgery site is properly healed.