Tooth Extraction Do’s and Don’ts

Nobody likes to go through a dental extraction, but when that tooth must go… it has to.

The following are a few of the good practices and forbidden practices after tooth extraction:

What you can do after tooth extraction:

1. Ask the dentist to prescribe some painkillers, which you can take after the effect of the anesthetic is over. Ketoprofen or Ibuprophen are two of the most popular pain relievers usually taken after tooth extraction

2. Make sure to rest after the extraction. Physical exercise is forbidden within the first 24 hours.

3. Control possible bleeding by using the gauze pads offered by your dentist. Make sure to bite down on the clean gauze for about 30 min-1 hour if there is bleeding. In case the bleeding doesn’t stop with the gauze, you should bite down on a tea bag containing black tea. The black tea contains an important ingredient called tannic acid which helps greatly in stopping the bleeding.

4. Eat as many liquid and soft foods as possible, in the following 3 to 4 days after the extraction. You are not allowed to dislodge the clot, because then a condition known as dry socket might set in.

5. Take your antibiotics

6. If swelling occurs, you can apply ice packs for periods of 10 minutes

7. In case the dentist extracted a wisdom tooth, you should make sure to try and “exercise” your jaw by opening and closing your mouth. If you don’t open wide your mouth at all for a long period out of fear of the pain, trismus might set in (permanent limitated opening).

What you can’t do after tooth extraction:

1. You should never take Aspirin after tooth extraction. Aspirin is known as a natural blood thinner, and you actually want to help the blood clot as fast as possible at the site of the extraction

2. Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours after the extraction.

3. You should do everything possible to avoid the clot from dislodging. This means that you will not blow your nose only if necessary, don’t use straws for drinking, and do not spit.

4. Smoking right after the extraction should also be avoided.

5. Never drink too hot foods while you are still numb. You might easily burn your tongue, cheeks or roof of the mouth.

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