Post Care Instructions: Extractions

Important Information for you to remember at home following tooth extraction

What to expect and do after extractions?

  • Bite on gauze applying pressure to the extraction site. Do not chew on gauze. Change gauze every 30 minutes until bleeding stops. Do not sleep with gauze in your mouth. If bleeding starts again, place new gauze or a warm (not hot) tea bag over the bleeding site and bite down with firm pressure for approximately 1 hour. Keep your head elevated with a pillow.

  • Do not spit. Spitting will cause excess bleeding and the extraction area needs to clot to help with the healing process.

  • Brush remaining teeth but do not rinse/spit forcefully or use mouthwash for 24 hours following your extraction.

  • Absolutely no smoking for 48 hours (or longer if you can). Smoking can cause a painful condition called dry socket. Healing is delayed in patients who are smokers.

  • No alcoholic beverages for 48 hours or while on pain medications.

  • Drink liquids and eat soft foods at room temperature (or cold) for the first 24 hours. Do not drink liquids through a straw.

  • After 24 hours, you may resume brushing and rinsing as usual. Rinse with 8 oz of saltwater (8 oz of water and 1 teaspoon of table salt) after each meal up to 6 times daily to keep the extraction site free of food and debris. Avoid chips, crackers, and anything that can get stuck in the extraction site and cause discomfort.

  • Black and blue marks/bruises can occur after surgery. Ice packs can be used to help minimize swelling. Apply ice packs to the outside of the face for 20 minutes and remove for 10 minutes. Re-apply as needed for the remainder of the day.

  • If pain increases after 48 hours or any abnormal reactions occur, please call the office.