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A tooth extraction is kind of like a wedding. You get so focused on preparing for it, you may not think as much as you should about what happens when it’s over. We’ll give you everything you need to make a quick and healthy recovery from your extraction, including complete care instructions and medication if needed.

We’ve hit some of the high points here. (Some might say low points, since things like bleeding aren’t exactly pleasant topics!) We’re happy to discuss in more detail before your surgery if you’d like. Call 1st in Smiles today at 972-380-8105 to plan your extraction or for any other dental need.

Stay Comfortable During Tooth Extraction

First, a word about comfort during your extraction. Depending on the kind of extraction you’re having and whether you’re feeling anxious, you may want to consider receiving dental sedation. You can choose from three kinds: inhaled sedation (laughing gas, an oral sedative in the form of a prescription pill, or IV sedation. Dr. Barfield can help you select the one that’s best for your situation.

What to Do About Bleeding & Swelling

Bleeding and swelling are both a normal part of recovery from tooth extraction. You’ll bite down on a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. However, oozing can continue for up to 48 hours. If it slows, then seems to pick up again, rest upright (like in a recliner) and try biting down on a dampened tea bag (black tea like Lipton’s). Tannic acid in tea helps constrict blood vessels and encourage clotting. If you need to clear blood from your mouth, don’t rinse or spit vigorously. If possible, just let it drip into the sink or rinse very gently.

Swelling can last up to several days, especially if you’ve have several teeth removed. Minimize swelling by keeping ice packs on the area as much as possible for at least 24 hours. If the cold bothers you, keep the ice on for 20 minutes, take a break for 20, and repeat.

Watch Your Diet for a Few Days

Many people wonder what they can eat and drink during recovery from tooth extraction. You’ll need to be careful for a few days. Avoid spicy and acidic substances and temperature extremes, along with items that require much chewing. Your best choices are soft foods like eggs, yogurt, smoothies, fish, and pudding. Don’t suck liquids through a straw, as that can interfere with blood clotting. You should also skip popcorn, nuts, and foods with seeds for several weeks.

Give Yourself a Gentle Reintroduction to Oral Hygiene

If there is little bleeding, you can brush very gently the night of your surgery, avoiding the extraction site. You can also gently rinse with lukewarm salt water beginning 24 hours after surgery. Rinse several times a day, especially after meals if possible. Use a solution of 1 tablespoon of salt in 8 ounces of water.

Resume Exercise Slowly Too

You’ll want to take it easy for the first few days of recovery from tooth extraction. Avoid lifting, strenuous activity, or bending as much as possible. Resuming workouts too soon can result in increased swelling and bleeding.

Ready to talk to us about tooth extraction (and recovery)? Call 1st in Smiles at 972-380-8105 for an appointment in Plano, TX.