Today we’re talking about tooth extraction. What are five things to do after your extraction to get out of pain fast and help your gums heal?
1. Change your gauze
Right after your extraction, your dentist gave you some gauze to bite down on. Make sure you change that gauze once it becomes soaked and make sure that you wash your hands before you do this. Because we do not know where your hands have been and you definitely do not want to get any foreign bacteria into an open wound. This allows the clot to form in the socket.
2. Ice the area
20 minutes on and 20 minutes off helps tremendously with healing because it helps to avoid or at least minimize swelling. You need to start doing this right away when you get home for at least the first day and if you notice that there is some swelling, continue doing it into the next day.
3. Take pain medications as prescribed
Your dentist will let you know what you need and how much to take. Depending on how difficult your extraction was, you may only need to alternate between Advil and Tylenol every few hours for the first day and then as needed. Your dentist might also prescribe you stronger pain medication if needed. But you’d better avoid taking anything like that unless the Advil and Tylenol are not doing the trick and getting you out of pain.
4. Don’t spit, rinse, chew tobacco or smoke
Don’t even think about drinking through a straw for the first 24 hours after your extraction. Because remember that clot we just talked about, we do not want that to dislodge. If that does happen, you probably have yourself a dry socket and have to call your dentist because those will cause pain. Avoid smoking for the first week after your extraction because smoking slows down healing and maybe quit together.
In my opinion, one of the most important things you can do is relax. Avoid too much physical activity for the first day or two after your extraction. This way you’re giving your body a chance to heal and recover faster. You want that blood clot to stay in the socket so that your extraction site can heal.
Now that we’ve covered the basics what happens after the first day or two? You’ll want to eat a soft diet for the first few days and up to a week
after your extraction. Try to avoid foods that might get caught in the socket like grains of rice or small seeds. Make sure that you brush and floss all other areas of your mouth that are away from the extraction site. Keeping the rest of your mouth clean will help your gums heal from the extraction as well. It can take a few weeks for the hole to completely close after the extraction. But usually, you’ll feel back to normal after the first few days.