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When there’s too much damage for a tooth to be repaired, the tooth may need to be extracted — or removed — from its socket in the bone. So, now it is done– you’ve just had a tooth extracted. What now? Below you will learn more about tooth extraction aftercare and what you need to do and NOT do from the Forest & Ray expert dentists right here in London.

After tooth extraction do and do not do

The DOs and DON’Ts of Aftercare

  • DO take it easy for the rest of the day. Take as little exercise as you can, and rest as much as you can. Keep your head up to avoid any bleeding.
  • DON’T be tempted to rinse the area for the first 24 hours.
  • DO avoid hot food or drinks until the anaesthetic wears off. This is important as you cannot feel pain properly and may burn or scald your mouth. Also, be careful not to chew your cheek. This is quite a common problem, which can happen when there is no feeling.
  • DON’T drink alcohol for at least 24 hours, as this can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Eat and drink lukewarm food as normal but avoid chewing on that area of your mouth.
  • DO keep your head up to avoid any bleeding.
  • DON’T be tempted to rinse the area for the first 24 hours.
  • DO eat soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, applesauce, and soup, soup, soup!
  • DON’T smoke!
  • DO take over-the-counter pain relievers (e.g. for headache) if you experience pain. BUT…
  • DON’T take aspirin as it might encourage bleeding.

What else can I do to help the process along?

Different people heal at different speeds after an extraction. It is important to keep your mouth and the extraction site as clean as possible, making sure that the socket is kept clear of all food and debris. Don’t rinse for the first 24 hours, and this will help your mouth to start healing.

After this time use a salt-water mouthwash, which helps to heal the socket. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water gently rinsed around the socket twice a day can help to clean and heal the area. Keep this up for at least a week or for as long as your dentist tells you.

It is important to keep to a healthy diet; and take a Vitamin C supplement, which will help your mouth to heal.

Keep your mouth and the extraction site clean
Keep your mouth and the extraction site clean

What do I do if it bleeds?

The first thing to remember is that there may be some slight bleeding for the first day or so. Many people are concerned about the amount of bleeding. This is because a small amount of blood is mixed with a larger amount of saliva, which looks more dramatic than it is.

If you do notice bleeding, do not rinse out, but apply pressure to the socket. Bite firmly on a folded piece of clean cotton material such as a handkerchief for at least 15 minutes. Make sure this is placed directly over the extraction site and that the pad is replaced if necessary.

If the bleeding has not stopped after an hour or two, contact us immediately; we are always available.

After aftercare: What now?

After a healing period of one to two weeks, you’ll most likely be able to go back to a regular diet. New bone and gum tissue will grow over the extraction site as well. However, having a missing tooth can cause teeth to shift, affecting your bite. You may want to ask your Forest & Ray dentist about replacing the extracted tooth to prevent this from happening. We can do it expertly with an implant, fixed bridge, or denture.

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