Having a tooth pulled is never fun, but the most important part of making sure your dental hygiene is taken care of comes after the procedure. The mouth needs to heal properly so that you avoid any infection, inflammation, or pain. If you're having a tooth pulled, there are several things to keep in mind to make sure you take good care of your mouth.
The First 24 Hours
Within a day after your dental extraction, there are some important things to be aware of. These first 24 hours are critical to making sure you heal properly.
- Apply a clean gauze piece into the hole where you tooth has been pulled. There will be small amounts of bleeding for a while, so change the gauze out frequently using clean hands. Bite down on the gauze for about 30 minutes to help stop the bleeding, then change the dressing with new gauze and repeat.
- Eventually, a blood clot will form to help fill in the hole where the tooth was. Once the clot is formed, you can remove the gauze and let it "breathe."
- Avoid drinking hot beverages, smoking, using a straw, and chewing in that area if possible. Do NOT directly brush over this area with a toothbrush for at least 24 hours.
- If you're experiencing tenderness or pain, you can use an over-the-county remedy such as ibuprofen. If the pain is too much, your dentist may be able to prescribe something stronger. If you've been given antibiotics, they should be taken until the prescribed dose is finished.
Even after the first 24 hours of having a tooth extracted, you will want to pay special attention to it in order to maximize the healing process and make sure there are no complications.
- Try to avoid brushing or chewing near the area where the tooth has been pulled until the stitches are dissolved or you return to your dentist to have them removed. This helps to ensure that the area of the gums is completely healed and can handle any irritation without the wound reopening.
- Use a gentle mouthwash and swish it around where the tooth has been pulled to help kill bacteria. A mixture of salt and water is recommended, since alcohol found in most mouthwashes may be too irritating for a few days afterward.
- For the next several days, try to eat on the opposite side of your mouth from where the tooth was pulled.
- Be very conscious of dry sockets and if you think you have one, contact your dentist, one like A Q Denture Services, immediately for treatment.