A lot of people get scared of going to the dentist and having their tooth extracted. There is no denying that a tooth extraction can be very painful. And the situation afterwards can also be very challenging to deal with. When your tooth has just been extracted, you have to avoid certain types of food and you have to be very cautious in cleaning your teeth. So, to help with your uncomfortable situation, here are some tips on tooth extraction aftercare. Some tooth extractions are quite simple and don’t cause much discomfort.
All you will really need are some over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Sometimes you don’t even need to take any medications at all. However, most tooth extractions are complicated procedures and cause severe pain and discomfort afterwards. And it is important that you take good care of the area where the tooth is extracted to prevent complications like infections and dry socket and to make the wound heal faster.
So keep the following in mind after having your tooth extracted:
• Keep the gauze on. After the extraction, the dentist will place a piece of gauze on the open wound to help clot the blood and seal off the area. Steady pressure must be placed on the gauze for a minimum of an hour. Do not chew on the gauze piece and do not play with it or poke it with your finger or your tongue. Replace the gauze every half hour or depending on the amount of blood that is expelled.
• Rest. It is important that you stay away from any heavy physical activity. Physical activities, especially strenuous ones, increases blood circulation and will prolong the bleeding. So rest and rest properly. Do not lay flat on your back as this will also prolong the bleeding. Use a pillow to rest your head up and don’t lie with your face down. Try squeezing two pillows on your mouth to soothe the discomfort.
• Avoid spitting. Spitting can dislodge the clot. And if the clot gets dislodged, you might develop a dry socket. As much as possible, avoid spitting for 24 hours. Afterwards, spit 3 to 4 times a day so that no food gets stuck in your mouth, especially in the area where the tooth was extracted. Some dentists advise the use of chlorohexidine mouth rinses as they kill bacteria. And if you do spit, spit gently.
• Avoid sipping through straws. Any sucking motion can dislodge the clot, so it is important to avoid sucking through straws when drinking liquids. • Eat soft foods. Don’t take any solid foods, especially those that are hard to chew or that may stick to the gums and teeth. Instead, eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, soups, oats, smoothies, milkshakes, and yogurts. Also avoid hot drinks and spicy foods.
• Do not smoke. If you smoke cigarettes or cigars, you should stop doing so as your wound heals. This is to prevent any infections. The chemicals present in the smoke may also have significant effects on the healing process of the wound.
• Take your medications. Your medications are prescribed by your dentist for a reason and so you must follow the instructions given by your doctor. You might also want to take these meds after you have eaten in order to avoid nausea.
• Brush and floss. Be sure to keep the other areas of your mouth clean as you would normally do so. Brush and floss your teeth to avoid infections and to keep you from getting another tooth extracted.
• Avoid blowing your nose, sneezing, and coughing. All of these can dislodge the clot and so impend the healing process. If you have and upper respiratory infection or any allergies, keep your sinus medication on hand at all times.
• Take food supplements. Because you can’t eat properly, the food you can eat is limited. The nutrients you get are also limited. So in order to stay healthy, take vitamins and other supplements to give you the proper nourishment while you recover. Getting your tooth extracted may seem like a horrible experience. But if you know how to look after your tooth extraction then you won’t have to suffer for long. And if you know how to care for your teeth, you won’t have to worry about any tooth extractions.