Tooth Extraction: 5 Do’s and Don’ts After Surgery

Tooth Extraction San Jose, CA

It can be little confusing and sometimes even overwhelming to figure out exactly how to take care of your mouth after a tooth extraction. In the past, there used to be a lot more pain involved after a tooth extraction, however, modern-day dentistry has allowed for the evolution of less invasive techniques which results in less swelling, less pain, and faster healing. Nevertheless, there still are correct and incorrect ways to take care of your mouth after a tooth extraction. Keep reading to find out more.

3 Do's and 3 Don’t after tooth extraction

Outlined below are the most basic yet important 3 do's and 3 don'ts after a tooth extraction per Dr. Dennis Baik DDS. Dr. Baik is a trained dentist in oral surgery who offers simple, surgical, and most impacted teeth extractions along with the necessary aftercare here in San Jose, CA.

Do #1: Bite on the gauze and apply firm pressure on the extraction site until active bleeding stops

Biting properly on a gauze is one of the most critical things to do on the first day after a tooth extraction. Although it can be difficult, you’ll also want to avoid spitting and sucking after your tooth extraction.It is extremely important to bite on a gauze pad firmly for 45 to 60 minutes. Change the gauze as necessary and continue to apply pressure on the extraction socket for several hours. This will ensure to stop bleeding, reduce pain, and swelling. All these steps will help stop the bleeding quickly and form a blood clot properly without causing a dry socket which is mandatory for a fast recovery.

Do #2: Use ice or cold compresses

Using an ice pack or cold compress after a tooth extraction can reduce inflammation and discomfort. “5-minutes on and 10 minutes-off”technique typically works well. Remember, icing the surgical area is one of the most effective methods to reduce swelling but needs to be done on the first day. Second day icing has very little benefits.

Do #3: Take pain reliever – per your dentist recommendation

It is not unusual to experience discomfort after a tooth extraction. Discomfort depends on the difficulty level of the extraction and the dentist’s expertise. Typically an over-the-counter pain reliever does the trick. Narcotic pain medications rarely have to be prescribed. Pain medication such as acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (such as Advil) can also be taken simultaneously in a “stacking”, pattern to maximize each pain medication’s benefits without the risk of an overdose.

Don’t #1: Eat hard or tough foods

Eating food that is difficult to chew can be irritating to the fresh extraction wound. It is best to avoid foods that may be too hard or too tough to chew, such as jerky, meat with bones, or raw vegetables. Instead, a soft-food or a semi-liquids diet are best to consume for a day or so after tooth extraction.

Don't #2: Skip brushing and flossing– “Skip the first day only if there still is active bleeding”

It’s tempting to skip oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) after tooth extraction out of fear of irritation, however, this can harm the healing process due to excessive plaque build up. Dr. Baik recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing as normal as possible without irritating the surgical area too much. “Clean wounds always heal faster and better,” per Dr. Baik.

Don’t #3: Smoke and drink alcohol

No brainer, right? Smoking is not only carcinogenic but likely to cause dry socket, a very painful complication of tooth extraction. Remember, any sucking will likely dislodge the blood clot and cause problems. Alcohol consumption can compromise your immunity and healing process.

Ready to get started?

It is beneficial to consult directly with an experienced dentist or oral surgeon. Dr.Baik and his team can provide additional resources on a fast recovery. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Request an appointment here: or call Dennis Baik, DDS at (408) 676-5321 for an appointment in our San Jose office.

Check out what others are saying about our office: Google Review of Dennis Baik DDS.

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