- After an extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the extraction. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. After a blood clot forms, you should place ice chips in your mouth, not necessarily on the wound site, for the next three to four hours. The ice chips will help bring down the temperature in you mouth and thereby help reduce the swelling. Avoid spitting and it is recommended that you swallow instead.
- After the blood clot forms, it is important to protect it, especially for the next 24 hours. Do not: smoke, suck through a straw, rinse your mouth vigorously, or clean the teeth next to the extraction site. These activities will dislodge the clot and slow down healing. Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours: this keeps your blood pressure lower, reduces bleeding and helps the healing process.
- After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and have some swelling. You can use an ice bag to keep this to a minimum. The swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
- Use pain medication only as directed and call the office if it does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
- Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods. You can begin eating normally the next day or as soon as it is comfortable.
- Gently rinse your mouth with a salt water solution three times a day beginning the day after the extraction (a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water). Also, rinse gently after meals since it helps keep food out of the extraction site.
- It is very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This speeds healing and helps keep your breath and mouth fresh.
- Call our office right away at (212) 514-5514 if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication.