I’ve had my tooth out – What should I do now?
Take it easy for the rest of the day. Take as little exercise as you can, and rest as much as you can. Keep your head up to avoid any bleeding.
Avoid hot food or drinks until the anesthetic wears off. This is important as you cannot feel pain properly and may burn or scald your mouth. Also be careful not to chew your cheek. This is quite a common problem, which can happen when there is no feeling. If you do rest, try to keep your head higher for the first night using an extra pillow if possible. It is also a good idea to use an old pillowcase, or put a towel on the pillow, in case you bleed a little.
Should I rinse my mouth out?
Do not be tempted to rinse the area for the first 24 hours. It is important to allow the socket to heal, and you must be careful not to damage the blood clot by eating on that side or letting your tongue disturb it. This can allow infection into the socket and affect healing.
Is there anything else I should avoid?
Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, as this can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Eat and drink lukewarm food as normal but avoid chewing on that area of your mouth.
When should I brush?
It is just as important, if not more so to keep your mouth clean after an extraction. However, you do need to be careful around the extraction site.
What do I do if it bleeds?
The first thing to remember is that there may be some slight bleeding for the first day or so. Many people are concerned about the amount of bleeding. This is due to the fact that a small amount of blood is mixed with a larger amount of saliva, which makes things look more dramatic than they are. If you do notice bleeding, do not rinse out, but apply pressure to the socket. Bite firmly on a folded piece of cotton material such as a handkerchief for at least 15 minutes. Make sure this is placed directly over the extraction site and that the pad is replaced if necessary. If the bleeding has not stopped after an hour or two, contact your dentist.