A teeth extraction may be necessary for a multitude of reasons. This could be as a result of severe tooth decay, overcrowding of the mouth or even periodontal disease (gum disease). When periodontal disease enters later stages, a tooth may become very loose and sometimes the best option is an extraction. If you've had an extraction recently, or if your dentist has recommended an extraction to you, you may be wondering, when can I brush my teeth after the extraction?
When Can You Eat After A Tooth Extraction?
The NHS recommends that you eat a well-balanced, soft diet for a few days until you've become able to chew. If you need inspiration for a soft diet, more information is provided by the NHS. It's also recommended to avoid hot drinks or food for the first 24 hours after the extraction. The reason behind this is that hot food and drinks can reduce the speed of the healing process. Smoking also affects the body's ability to heal and, likewise, should be avoided.
Brushing After An Extraction
After an extraction occurs, a blood clot may form in the tooth socket. Blood clots help prevent bleeding and infection. A dry socket is formed when a blood clot is dislodged. However, oral hygiene is still essential. When brushing your teeth, it is crucial that you are careful not to dislodge the blood clot. Using a child's toothbrush may be beneficial and easier to manoeuvre. Avoid using mouthwash and rinsing in general for the first 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, made by mixing one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Rinsing should be done 3-4 times per day, and always after meals.
Bleeding After Tooth Extraction
Bleeding should stop shortly after a surgery. Slight bleeding may occur for about a day. If you do experience bleeding, pressure over the area can help minimise and control the bleeding. After the extraction, you may have been given dental packs. To use the dental packs, moisten with tap water and wring out. After, place the pack over the socket and bite down for 20 minutes. If bleeding persists, contact your dentist.
When Will My Stitches Dissolve?
Stitches may be used to close sockets. Most stitches used are dissolvable. Your dentist will inform you if the stitches are not dissolvable. Dissolvable stitches will dissolve in 10-14 days usually. Do not fiddle with the stitches using your tongue or fingers.
Pain After Tooth Extraction
Commonly, during a tooth extraction, local anaesthesia is given to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. After the anaesthesia wears off, you may start to feel some pain. If necessary, take painkillers regularly.
Hopefully, you now feel more informed and comfortable with tooth extraction aftercare. Remember to also follow the procedure your dentist has advised, even if it is different from the general guidance. Read our blog on things you might not know, but should, about your oral hygiene to make sure you're maintaining those pearly whites properly!