Teeth extractions are never fun, but they are often times necessary. But now that the worst is over, you need to think about the aftercare for the procedure and your own recovery. Below is a good list of the things you should do and avoid right after you’ve had a tooth extracted.

Cleaning your mouth.

Just because you’ve just had a tooth removed does not mean you should stay away from cleaning your teeth and the rest of your mouth. In fact, it’s more crucial for you brush more than ever since you have an open wound which can easily be infected. However, be very careful that you do not hit the open socket which can dissolve or damage the blood clot, and lead bleeding.

On the other hand, gargling or rinsing with mouthwash can actually dislodge the clot and still cause bleeding. However, once the 24-hour mark has elapsed or if the bleeding has subsided for at least a day, you can use a salt water solution in order to disinfect your mouth and kill the bacteria. The use of commercial mouthwash has to be avoided because of the alcohol levels which can irritate and dry out the empty socket.

Taking medications.

Days before, during and a couple of days after the procedure, you need to avoid taking drugs which can suppress your ability to form a blood clot. This includes aspirin and other anticoagulants. Doing so will lessen your chances of bleeding out because of the exposed dental socket.

On the other hand, your dentist will also prescribe you with different kinds of drugs in order to minimize your risk for infections and help you manage the pain. Some of these drugs include over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotics. The OTC pain relievers can be taken in a “as needed” basis while antibiotics should be taken for a certain time period.

Modifying your diet.

Immediately a day after the procedure, you will have to stick to a liquid diet. This means that you cannot eat anything that is hard to chew. In fact, chewing would be discouraged and patients should stick with soft foods such as porridges. However, it’s important that the patient stay away from foods and drinks which can be too hot, such as coffee, especially minutes after the extraction since the oral tissues will still be numb and the patient might inadvertently scald himself or herself.

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