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Best Aftercare Tips for Tooth Extractions

MAY 2024

Tooth extractions, whether normal or surgical, are common dental procedures. Proper aftercare is essential to ensure a smooth recovery and prevent complications. This comprehensive guide provides you with all the tips you need to care for yourself after a tooth extraction.

Immediate Aftercare

  1. Bite on Gauze
    After the extraction, your dentist will place a gauze pad over the extraction site. Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze to help stop the bleeding and form a blood clot. Keep it in place for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Avoid Touching the Area
    Refrain from touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers. This can dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.

Eating and Drinking

  1. Stick to Soft Foods
    For the first few days, eat soft foods that require minimal chewing, such as yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Avoid hot, spicy, and crunchy foods that can irritate the extraction site.
  2. Stay Hydrated
    Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Avoid using straws, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot and cause dry socket.

Pain Management

  1. Take Prescribed Medications
    If your dentist prescribes pain medication or antibiotics, take them as directed. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also help manage discomfort.
  2. Apply Ice Packs
    Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek for 10-20 minutes at a time during the first 24 hours to reduce swelling and numb the area.

Oral Hygiene

  1. Gentle Rinsing
    After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) several times a day to reduce swelling and keep the area clean. Avoid vigorous rinsing.
  2. Continue Brushing and Flossing
    Maintain your regular oral hygiene routine, but be very careful around the extraction site. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid the surgical area until it heals.

Lifestyle Tips

  1. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
    Refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol for at least 48 hours after the extraction. Both can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
  2. Elevate Your Head
    When lying down, keep your head elevated with pillows to help reduce swelling and bleeding.

Managing Bleeding and Swelling

  1. Control Bleeding
    If bleeding continues, place a fresh gauze pad over the extraction site and bite down gently. If bleeding persists beyond a few hours, contact your dentist.
  2. Monitor Swelling
    Swelling is normal and usually peaks within 48–72 hours after the extraction. If swelling continues, or you develop a fever, contact your dentist, as these could be signs of an infection.

Signs to Watch For

  1. Dry Socket
    A dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the extraction site dislodges or dissolves, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. Symptoms include severe pain, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste. If you suspect a dry socket, contact your dentist immediately.
  2. Infection
    Signs of infection include severe pain, swelling, fever, and pus discharge. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek dental or medical attention promptly.

Long-Term Care

  1. Follow-Up Appointments
    Attend any scheduled follow-up appointments with your dentist to ensure proper healing. Your dentist may need to remove sutures or check the extraction site.
  2. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
    Continue to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily, to prevent further dental issues and promote overall oral health.


Proper aftercare following a tooth extraction is crucial for a smooth recovery and avoiding complications. By following these tips and maintaining regular dental visits, you can ensure your mouth heals properly and stays healthy.

For more information on our dental services, schedule an appointment through https://nationalmed.ae or visit our clinic.

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