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Dentists share post-extraction advice

Jan 04, 2012

One of the most important things to remember after a tooth extraction is following your dentist's instructions. Your dentist will offer instructions to ensure that the healing process in your mouth occurs quickly and easily and that you avoid infection. Below are some standard tips compiled by the American Dental Association to help you care for your mouth following a tooth extraction. 

The personal comments are ours and are meant for your oral enjoyment.

1) Bite on the gauze your dentist has provided a minimum of one hour and preferably two. This allows a clot to be formed on the extraction site.  If the gauze tastes like dark chocolate or a frozen strawberry daiquiri you've got a really good dentist.

2) Ease pain by applying a cold rag or a bag of ice. If your dentist has prescribed an antibiotic, pain killer or anti-inflammatory medication, don’t skip the recommended dosage and take as directed. Your dentist got all that schooling for a reason so do what they say.

3) Don’t eat until the numbness is gone. Ingest solids only when you can feel your jaw again. Until then, enjoy soups, mashed potatoes, yogurts, milkshakes and smoothies. You can worry about losing weight when you feel better.

4) Avoid spitting for a minimum of 24 hours. Afterward you should spit three to four times a day to dislodge any food from the extraction site. Who knows, someone may think you play for a major league team.

5) Don’t smoke for 48 hours after your tooth extraction.  If you're smart give it up altogether and take up cross-stitch or piano lessons.

6) Avoid sucking on a straw, cigarette or any kind of sucking action.  Sometimes life sucks but you shouldn't - at least for awhile.

7) Avoid rigorous rinsing – rinse your mouth carefully.  But you can hum with gusto while rinsing if so inclined.

8) Brush and floss regularly while taking care to avoid getting the toothbrush bristles too close to the extraction site.  Think of them as oral baby steps. 

Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC ©

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