Getting a tooth extracted is sometimes a necessary part of maintaining your oral health. A tooth that is badly decayed can become infected and negatively impact the surrounding teeth and soft tissues of your mouth. In other cases, your dentist may have to remove a tooth to resolve severe crowding issues. Whatever the reason is necessitating the extraction, it is important that you take the proper steps after the extraction to prevent infection of the site and to speed up your recovery.
Be Careful of What You Eat
After your tooth has been removed, you will want to avoid consuming solid foods, such as hard vegetables. These foods require chewing, which could cause pain and damage at the extraction site. Focus on eating soft foods, such as soups, stews, or smoothies, that are easy to digest and do not require a lot of chewing. Ice cream is also a nice treat after having a tooth removed! It is advisable to also avoid very spicy foods and hot drinks.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting enough rest is essential to healing. For the first 24 hours after the tooth extraction, avoid engaging in strenuous activities, including exercise. When you are resting, elevate your head so that it is in a slightly upright position. These steps will minimize any excessive bleeding after the procedure.
Use Ice Packs to Limit Swelling
In many tooth extractions, the area around the extraction site can become swollen. This is particularly true for wisdom teeth. The application of an ice pack to the side of your face where the extraction took place can reduce the swelling. However, it is important that the ice pack is applied within the first 24 hours after the surgery to get the most benefits. The ice packs should be applied in 15-minute intervals during a two-hour period.
Finish All Medications Prescribed by Your Dentist
You should pay careful attention to the instructions provided by your dentist regarding your medication. In order for some drugs to be effective, such as antibiotics, it is critical that you complete the course of treatment as prescribed. Your dentist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers to combat swelling and pain. If you are still experiencing pain two days after the procedure, or the site has begun bleeding excessively, get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible.
Avoid Touching the Space Where the Tooth was Removed
Manipulating the space that remains after the tooth extraction can delay or prevent it from healing correctly and can encourage bleeding. This means you should avoid touching it with your fingers or any other object. Your dentist may recommend that you skip brushing directly around the extraction area for a short period of time. This will allow a blood clot to form properly at the site, so that the site can receive the blood it needs to heal properly
One of the worst things you can do after an extraction is smoking. This will almost certainly result in delayed healing, and is very likely to cause a dry socket, a very painful situation where the blood clot responsible for healing is lost. Try your best to avoid smoking for at least 7 days after your extraction, and use it as motivation to quit altogether!
If you believe that you are in need of tooth extraction, contact us at Brewery District Dental today. We can assess your dental situation and advise you on how we may best be able to help you restore your dental health.