Your Go-To Extraction Aftercare Timeline

Tooth extractions are a fairly common solution for treating issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, or overcrowding in the mouth. Knowing how to take care of your mouth after an extraction is crucial to ensure proper healing. 

Below is a guide on what to do during your 7-10 day recovery process. 

Throughout the healing process:

Take pain relievers: The first thing you can do to ensure comfort throughout the healing process is taking pain relievers as prescribed. This will take the edge off of the pain and make for a more comfortable recovery.

Use an icepack: If you wrap an icepack and apply it to the outside of your mouth near the extraction site, it can help reduce inflammation. Make sure to only use icepacks for 10-15 minutes at a time, as overexposure to the cold can lead to tissue damage. 

Elevate your head while sleeping: Sleeping is one of the best times for your body to heal. To assist in this, elevate your head at a 46 degree when sleeping for the first 3-4 nights after the procedure. In addition, it can also help reduce swelling. Just be sure to remove any gauze before you go to bed. 

Rest often: It may seem like common sense, but be sure to relax and take it easy after an extraction just as you would with any other surgery. It can be a good idea to take a few days off of work or avoid strenuous tasks if possible. 

Eat soft foods: Until your mouth is fully healed, switch to eating softer foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, pasta, or eggs. Hard foods such as popcorn, nuts, and chips can affect your mouth and complicate the natural healing process after your extraction. 
Days 1 – 2:

Change your gauze as needed: After your procedure, you will need to keep gauze in your mouth to clean the surgical site. Be sure to take it out and replace it with fresh gauze if you need to eat or drink and do not go to sleep with gauze. Bleeding should stop within 3-4 hours, after which it can be removed.

Avoid rinsing or drinking with straws: Rinsing your mouth vigorously and drinking with straws should be avoided while healing. This is because they can create suction in the mouth which can loosen the clot and slow down your healing process. 

Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing: If your surgeon removed a tooth from the upper half of your mouth, blowing your nose or sneezing should be avoided if possible as it may cause problems with your sinuses. Similarly to when rinsing and using straws, these activities create pressure that can potentially dislodge clots.
Days 3 – 10:

Rinse with warm saltwater: Starting on day 3, you can gently rinse the affected area with a warm saltwater solution. To do this, simply mix ½ a teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water and apply it to the extraction site to clean it. 

Brush and floss (avoid the extraction site): By this time, you can begin brushing and flossing as normal, taking care to avoid the area around your extraction. It is important to maintain good oral health after your surgery to reduce the risk of infection and keep your mouth clean.  
Be sure to brush and floss normally to keep your mouth clean as you heal.

We hope this guide was helpful and wish you a quick and comfortable recovery.

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Germain Jean-Charles

Germain Jean-Charles

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