How to Practice Self-Care After a Tooth Extraction
We never want to extract a tooth, but in some cases it is necessary. For example, wisdom teeth can often cause problems with the rest of the teeth in your mouth if they are not pulled. In other cases, a tooth that is dead or problematic for another reason needs to be extracted to preserve the health of your other teeth.
If you are facing extraction—particularly those requiring oral surgery—your Chesterfield, MO dentist Dr. Robert Rahm has the expertise to make the procedure go as smoothly as possible. It’s also important to know how to care for the extraction site once you leave our office to promote fast, healthy healing.
Here are some tips.
Keep the Clot in Place
After having an extraction, you will get a pack to bite down to help form a clot at the site. This clot is essential to healing because it protects the bone. If you disturb this clot, it results in a painful condition known as “dry socket.” This is to be avoided.
Practice Good Oral Care
You don’t want to brush immediately after the procedure, but you do want to keep your mouth clean. Initially, you can gently rinse with plain water. Once you do brush, be careful not to disturb the extraction site.
It might seem like getting an extraction is no big deal, but any kind of surgery is traumatic on the body so rest is essential. Plan to take a day or two off from your normal activities and at least three or four days before you get back to the gym.
Watch What You Eat
It instinctive to want to stick to liquids or soft foods after having a tooth pulled, so go with that. You definitely want to avoid anything that is crunchy or has small particles that could get stuck in the extraction site. Don’t use a straw for liquids or you can cause the dry socket condition, mentioned above.
Deal With Any Pain or Swelling
If your dentist prescribes medication for pain, be sure to take it as scheduled. Staying ahead of the pain is crucial for your recovery. If you didn’t get a prescription, you can try an over-the-counter pain reliever. Use ice to treat minor swelling.
If you have any questions about healing, feel free to contact Chesterfield Valley Dental for more information on taking care of yourself after oral surgery.