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Post tooth extraction care

23 Feb 2013  |  No Comments

Looking after yourself post tooth extraction is extremely important and often undervalued. It can sometimes make the difference between a speedy and smooth recovery or one that is delayed and stressful. Here is a simple list of instructions to look after yourself after having a tooth extracted:

  • Immediately after the extraction, keep biting on the sterile gauze provided for half an hour – this helps with the bleeding and increases the chance that a stable blood clot is produced
  • For the first 2 hours, avoid eating and drinking of hot fluids – this prevents breakage of any blood clot that has been produced. A soft diet for the folllowing 48 hours is highly recommended
  • The next day (or at least 4 hours after surgery) gentle rinsing of the area is advised. Use a glass of lukewarm water with half a tablespoon of salt every 4 hours
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption for the next 48 hours. 
  • Ice packs are useful to reduce swelling – if using ice packs, use them for 30 minutes maximum at one time followed by 30 minutes of rest, as prolonged use can slow healing.
  • Where advised or if pain is present, every 4 hours alternating between 1 tablet of Panadol (or generic panadeine) and 1 tablet of Nurofen (or generic ibuprofen) can help. Please take care to follow the instructions of use or consult us if unsure – panadeine is a pain-killer and ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Some weeping of the wound is always present a couple of hours after tooth extraction. If this is troubling you or if there is excess bleeding bite on another provided sterile gauze for another 30 minutes. 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by gentle brushing
  • If non-resorbable sutures have been placed ensure that you attend your suture-removal appointment
  • If you have been prescribed antibiotics to be taken before your extraction, these are usually taken 30 minutes before surgery unless instructed otherwise
  • If there is excess bleeding or swelling 48 hours after your tooth extraction that is concerning you or if you are developing a fever, please contact our surgery on (02) 9887 1961

HANDY HINT: If you have had a history of uncomfortable extractions, often taking a painkiller 30 minutes before the extraction will improve comfort after anaesthesia has worn off. This gives time for the painkiller to circulate in your bloodstream and act when you need it. 

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