Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons understand that many of our tooth extraction patients have never had any other type of surgery before. Because this oral surgery can be your first surgical experience, our doctors spend extra care and effort in educating our tooth extractions patients on what to do, and what not to do, after their tooth extraction procedure. Here’s a list of the top tooth extraction do’s and don’ts to help prepare you for your upcoming procedure.
After tooth extractions, do:
- Take any pain medication you may have been prescribed exactly as directed. This means you shouldn’t skip a dose if you feel okay, or just because it’s the middle of the night. You need to take every scheduled dose to stay on top of your pain.
- Take some time off work to rest after your procedure. You’ll be numb for quite a while after tooth extractions, and if you had IV sedation for your surgery, you’ll likely feel a little loopy and out of it. Instead of rushing straight to the office after tooth extractions, patients are advised to take the rest of the day off work to rest, with their head elevated so that they can recover from their procedure.
- Watch your diet carefully. Often, tooth extractions, such as wisdom teeth extractions, leave the jawbone tissue exposed. A blood clot will naturally form over this exposed tissue, but it can be easily damaged or destroyed if you eat foods that are too rough and crunchy. Instead, stick to a mostly liquid diet by spoon-feeding yourself juices, soups, smoothies, and milkshakes, or eating mushy foods like bananas and eggs until you’re advised to resume your regular diet. Don’t worry; you will be able to enjoy dining at your favorite restaurant as soon as you are given the go-ahead by your doctor.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out after eating food.
After tooth extractions, don’t:
- Tooth extraction patients should not brush, floss or use antibacterial mouthwash until our doctors advise them that it’s safe to do so. We know this order seems odd because dental professionals are always telling you to brush twice a day. But, if you brush your surgical sites too soon after tooth extractions, you run the risk of dislodging the blood clot over your jawbone tissue that promotes proper healing after oral surgery.
- Use a straw at all. The sucking motion of drinking from a straw can also dislodge your blood clot, which won’t form again if it’s damaged and can cause dry sockets; a very painful side effect that is easily avoided by gently, slowly, drinking small amounts of their beverages.
- Smoke cigarettes after your tooth extractions surgery. Just like with using a straw, the sucking motion of smoking can dislodge your very needed blood clot to promote proper healing. Additionally, nicotine usage constricts blood vessels, making it harder for your mouth to heal compared to non-smokers.
Making Sure You’re Well Prepared for Recovery
A big part of our doctors’ responsibilities is making sure that their patients who’ve had a tooth extracted are well prepared for recovery from their oral surgery. In addition to following the above do’s and don’ts, our doctors may also prepare specialized post-operative instructions based on your unique case. Make sure to follow these directions to a “t.” They’re put in place to protect you from infection and to promote fast, proper healing.
Call Us with Any Questions
If you want more information on what to do before or after a tooth extraction, the doctors of Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons will take your call. Whether you think you may need to have a tooth extracted, or already know you need to schedule this oral surgery, we’re happy to help.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment.