What to Do After a Dental Extraction

woman holds an ice pack to her cheek after tooth extraction surgery

We always consider other treatments before dental extractions, but an extraction may be the best choice for your long-term health. Thanks to modern techniques, anesthesia, and sedation, tooth extractions are not painful. After the procedure, what should you do?

Rest for the Next Few Days

Rest is essential for the healing process. After your extraction, you should get a ride home and rest for at least the first 24-48 hours with your head elevated on a pillow. Depending on how invasive the extraction was, it’s best to take it easy for a few days. Avoid vigorous exercise or any heavy lifting.

Take Your Medication as Directed

It’s common to feel discomfort and pain after an extraction, so we’ll prescribe pain relievers and recommend over-the-counter medications. Always follow the instructions on how much to take and how long you need to wait between doses. If you’re still feeling pain, please contact us.

Eat Bland, Soft Food

Crunchy, chewy, and spicy food can disturb and irritate the extraction site. For the first day of healing, eat yogurt, pudding, smoothies, applesauce, and other bland foods that don’t require chewing. Don’t use a straw! As you continue to heal, you can move to food like soft scrambled eggs, well-cooked rice, and oatmeal. It may take around two weeks before you can go back to your normal diet.

Don’t Brush or Rinse for 12-24 Hours After an Extraction

The first day or so after an extraction, don’t brush your teeth or rinse your mouth. When the appropriate amount of time has passed, you can resume brushing and flossing, but you should avoid the extraction area. We’ll always provide clear instructions on cleaning.

Dental Extractions at Mission Hills Family Dental in San Marcos, CA

Dental extractions can sound scary, but Dr. Miller and the team are committed to making the process as comfortable as possible. Once you’ve healed, we can discuss tooth replacement options. If you have any questions about extractions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!

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