Dos and Don’ts after a Tooth Extraction

Trauma, decay, infection, and crowding are some of the dental issues that can make a tooth extraction necessary. Removing a tooth is a routine procedure, and, in most cases, recovery goes smoothly. You can help the site of the extracted tooth heal by sticking to this checklist of post-operative dos and don’ts.


Do Let the Socket Heal

While a tooth extraction isn’t major surgery, it does take a toll on your body. It’s important that you get plenty of rest afterwards and try to limit physical activity for 24 hours. Your dentist will put a piece of gauze over the extraction site, which you should leave in place for at least an hour afterwards.


Do Use Ice Packs

Swelling is a common side effect of tooth extraction, but it doesn’t always occur the same day as the extraction. That said, ice packs are only effective for preventing swelling in the first 48 hours after the procedure. During this period, take a proactive approach to your recovery by applying an ice pack to your jaw for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, for one to two hours at a time.


Do Take Prescribed Medication

After a tooth extraction, it’s important to follow the plan prescribed by your dentist. For your safety, and to avoid complications with your recovery, always take medication as directed. Equally important is to avoiding medication that your dentist didn’t recommend. If you’re experiencing pain and bleeding two days after the procedure, or have any questions about medication, follow up with your dentist.


Don’t Smoke or Use a Straw

A dry socket is an incredibly painful complication of a tooth extraction surgery and it’s made significantly more likely by smoking or using a straw in the 48 hours following the procedure. It occurs when the blood clot that’s supposed to form over the extraction site either fails to develop or gets dislodged before the clot has completely healed. If you are experiencing intense pain and think you might have dry socket, call your dentist right away.


Don’t Eat Solid Foods

Stick to liquid and soft foods following the surgery. As the socket heals, you can transition to solid foods. It’s a good idea to check in with your dentists about which foods you can safely eat during recovery.


Visit Our Clinic

We’re pleased to announce that Canmore Smiles has been given the go-ahead to reopen! A lot has changed, but one thing that remains the same is our commitment to giving you high-quality treatment and attentive care. Because of this, our staff will be equipped with extra personal protective equipment. Additionally, all patients will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire and to have their temperatures checked before entering and leaving the office. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment — we look forward to seeing you.