If you are having a tooth removed, some dentists only give you basic aftercare instructions. Time may prevent your dental care provider from giving you an extensive list of tips or you may be too groggy to remember. The following are some helpful tips to avoid painful complications.
Ten Important Aftercare Tips for 24 to 72 Hours after Tooth Extractions
1. While your mouth is numb be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip or your tongue.
2. Biting down gently on gauze pads provide relief and slow bleeding. call your dentist if bleeding persists 24 hours after the procedure.
3. Try to keep your head propped up as lying flat can increase bleeding.
4. Apply alternating ice packs and moist heat to the outside of your cheek for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours.
5. Avoid vigorous physical activity as it may increase bleeding.
6. Eat only soft foods for the first 48 hours, then begin adding solid foods while chewing on the opposite side of the extraction.
7. On the second day, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water a few times a day. This will reduce swelling and pain.
8. Don’t rub the area with your tongue or touch it with your fingers.
9. Gently brush your teeth and tongue but avoid disturbing the healing tooth socket.
10. Do not use a straw or smoke for 48 hours – this can loosen the healing clot and cause dry socket, a rare but painful complication.
Remember, while minor, tooth extraction is a surgical procedure. Take care of yourself after having a tooth removed and call your dental provider if you experience severe pain, fever, or any sign of infection.
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