After getting your tooth extracted, you have to let it heal properly and quickly. Most dental surgeons will give you some after-care instructions. To reduce the risk of infection and dry socket, make sure to follow all the post-operative instructions from your dentist. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts after a tooth extraction.
Get some rest
Rest is needed after a tooth extraction. Don’t do too much activities within the next 24 hours. When you’re resting, keep your head elevated using a pillow.
Let it clot
Clot should be formed on the extracted site to cover it. The clot allows faster healing. Your dentist will give you a piece of gauze that you need to bite. Bite it near the extraction site and keep it in place for at least an hour. This puts pressure over your wound and helps stop the bleeding.
Reduce swelling with ice packs
Put an ice pack on the side of the extracted tooth. Do this to reduce the swelling. Although swelling after an extraction doesn’t occur immediately, ice pack is much more effective within 24 hours. Ice pack application after 24 hours will have no significant effect. Apply the ice packs for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off on a 2-hour period.
Do not smoke for at least 48 hours after your tooth extraction. Chemicals in the cigarette smoke can affect the clot. This will increase the chance of developing dry socket.
Don’t eat solid foods
Don’t eat solid foods while you still have numbness. Take solid foods when you start to feel your jaws. Take soft foods such as mashed potatoes, soups, yogurts, milkshakes, smoothies, etc. Also, avoid spicy foods, hot drinks, sodas, etc.
Don’t skip the medicines
If your dentist has prescribed you with antibiotics, you should take them as instructed. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs should also be taken after your extraction. They will help reduce the swelling and pain.
If aftercare instructions are not followed, this will lead to delayed healing and might even cause complications.