Tooth extractions are typically a last resort for dental health when a tooth has become so badly damaged by infection or physical injury that it can't be saved. If you're going to go through a dental extraction soon or suspect that you may need one, rest assured that you're in good hands with your dentist. However, the steps you take at home are nearly as important to ensure that you have a swift and comfortable recovery. Here are three things you should do when you get home.
Maintaining pressure on the site of the tooth extraction is absolutely vital. Your dentist will place gauze in your mouth over the incision site and will direct you to bite down on it. You'll likely need to keep this gauze in place for at least a few hours, but your dentist will provide precise directions depending on your personal needs.
Biting down on this gauze not only helps to slow the bleeding but also encourages the body to create a blood clot within the gums. This helps to prevent further bleeding and provides a small buffer between the now-empty tooth socket and the surface of your gums, which will help to maintain comfort until your socket fully closes up and heals.
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking is something you can and should do after having your tooth extracted, but how you go about it is just as important.
When you eat and drink, you should avoid anything that's too cold or too hot, as your extraction site is likely to be sensitive at this time. Plan ahead and make sure that you have soft foods to enjoy in your home, like broth, apple sauce, and mashed potatoes. You want to avoid chewing as much as possible over the incision site for a few days to allow it time to fully heal.
When drinking, avoid using a straw or sippy cup. This can create suction that can dislodge your blood clot and will make the healing process start all over again.
You will need to keep caring for your dental health when you have your tooth extracted, but you'll want to take extra care when doing so. Be extremely gentle with yourself. You can avoid brushing the incision itself, but do your best to clean the surrounding area as much as you can.
When you go to rinse your mouth, very gently swish it around and then lean over the sink and just let it drop out of your open mouth, rather than forcibly spitting. Spitting can also dislodge the blood clot, so letting the water just drain will avoid this.
With these tips under your belt, you can help to ensure that you have as quick a recovery from this procedure as possible. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask a dentist about tooth extractions.