Your dentist is going to do everything he or she can to save the teeth you have. But if one of your teeth is a lost cause and has to come out, don’t worry. Tooth extraction is a lot easier to get through nowadays. Of course, a successful tooth extraction involves not only the extraction itself, but the post-extraction care. With the right steps, a little caution, and a few tea bags you will be fine very quickly.
Post-Extraction Self-Care Tips
If You’re Undergoing Sedation
First, if you’ve opted to use sedation for the procedure, you have to discuss post-op care with whoever is looking after you. It does you no good to learn about the care only to have someone else mess it up because you’re halfway asleep and they don’t know what to do. Ensure they speak with the dentist before you undergo the procedure.
Painkillers and Positioning
Your dentist will likely tell you to take some over-the-counter painkillers. Follow those instructions; if you’re still having pain more than a couple of days after that (or rather, if the pain a couple of days later is not substantially better than it was the first day), contact the dentist. Cold packs are also a big help.
Keep your head upright. You’ll likely have some weeping — very light, slow oozing — but you don’t want to have full-on bleeding. Lying down can delay healing and increase the chances of actual bleeding. You may also have to keep extra gauze in your mouth; lying down wouldn’t be safe if that were the case.
Eating, Drinking, and Things in Your Mouth
Even if you’ve had only one tooth pulled, your jaws will be sore. Any food you have should be very, very soft and at a reasonable temperature. Follow your dentist’s orders regarding adding more solid food back in. Drinks should be at a reasonable temperature, too, and all food and drink should stay on the side of the mouth that did not have a tooth extracted. Do not drink alcohol.
Do not use straws, smoke, or suck on candies. The sucking action that accompanies all three of these can dislodge the clots that need to form at the extraction site. Also be very careful brushing your teeth near the site, and follow your dentist’s advice about rinsing with warm water that is mildly salty.
Slightly Damp Tea Bags
The tannins in tea help promote clot formation. But rather than drink tepid tea, you can use a damp tea bag to help heal your mouth. Soak a black tea bag in cool water for a few minutes, wring out extra water, and place the damp bag on the extraction site. Lightly bite down, just enough to keep the bag in place but not enough to hurt the extraction site.
If you’ve got more questions about any part of the procedure, give Brooklawn Dental Associates a call. The right information helps make the procedure much more bearable.