Although dentists try to avoid them if they can, sometimes a tooth extraction is a necessary procedure. Afterward, the doctor gives the patient aftercare instructions to try to avoid complications like pain and swelling, as well as watch for signs of infection. If you’re having a tooth taken out, follow these instructions for caring for the wound.
For 24 hours after an extraction, you should only drink liquids or eat soft foods to avoid chewing hard foods on the same side as the extraction. However, avoid using straws for at least three days because using one could dislodge the clot. Smoking or sucking on a straw can also cause dry socket, which is a painful infection of the surgical area.
Avoid exercise and other vigorous activities for the first 24 hours. To prevent swelling, apply an ice bag to the jaw near the extraction area for 20 minutes. Then remove the ice for the same length of time. The next day, you can apply moist heat to the area to reduce any swelling that you have. Carefully rinse the area with salt water two to three times daily for a week.
If you experience a fever, swelling, pain, or bleeding contact, our offices at Mertz Family Dentistry in Longmont, CO, and follow their instructions. By knowing how to take care of the extraction site, you should be able to prevent complications, infection, and other serious problems.