After a tooth extraction, its important to follow proper post-operative care instructions to ensure
a smooth and speedy recovery. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
1. Bite on the Gauze: Keep the gauze pad placed by your dentist or oral surgeon firmly in place bybiting down gently. Maintain consistent pressure on the gauze for about 30-45 minutes to help control bleeding and allow a blood clot to form in the extraction site.
2. Minimize Physical Activity: Avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or intense exercise for atleast 24-48 hours after the extraction. Physical exertion can increase blood flow and disrupt theforming blood clot, leading to prolonged bleeding or complications.
3. Apply Ice Packs: To reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort, apply an ice pack or a cold compress to the outside of your cheek or jaw near the extraction site. Use it in 15-20 minuteintervals for the first 24 hours following the extraction.
4. Take Prescribed Medication: If your dentist or oral surgeon has prescribed pain medication,antibiotics, or any other medication, take them as directed. Follow the prescribed dosage andcomplete the full course of antibiotics, if prescribed, to prevent infection.
5. Maintain Oral Hygiene: Keep your mouth clean, but be gentle near the extraction site to avoiddisturbing the blood clot. Brush your teeth carefully, avoiding the extraction area, and rinse yourmouth gently with warm saltwater (1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water)multiple times a day, starting from the day after the extraction.
6. Avoid Spitting, Rinsing, or Using Straws: Refrain from spitting forcefully, rinsing your mouthvigorously, or using straws during the initial healing period, usually for the first 24 hours. Theseactions can dislodge the blood clot and delay the healing process.
7. Eat Soft Foods: Stick to a soft-food diet for the first 24-48 hours, gradually reintroducing solidfoods as tolerated. Choose easy-to-chew foods such as soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes,scrambled eggs, and smoothies. Avoid hot, spicy, crunchy, or sticky foods that may irritate theextraction site.
8. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol: Refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol during the healingprocess, as they can impair healing and increase the risk of complications.
9. Attend Follow-up Appointments: Make sure to attend any scheduled follow-up appointmentswith your dentist or oral surgeon. They will monitor your healing progress, remove any sutures ifnecessary, and address any concerns or complications.