Did you know that about 5 million people in the United States have their wisdom teeth removed annually?
Tooth extraction is a dental procedure that can be necessary for several reasons. This can include overcrowding in the mouth, impacted wisdom teeth, and severe decay or infection.
While the focus is often on preparing for tooth extraction and post-operative care, it’s equally important to know the things to avoid after tooth extraction. Below are six things you should avoid to ensure a smooth recovery and prevent complications.
1. Smoking or Using Tobacco Products
Smoking or using any form of tobacco products can impede the oral surgery healing process. The chemicals in tobacco can disrupt blood flow to the extraction site. This can cause a dry socket or delayed healing.
Furthermore, smoking or using tobacco products can increase your risk of developing infections and other complications. It’s best to avoid any form of tobacco for at least 72 hours after tooth extraction.
2. Drinking Through a Straw
Using a straw may seem harmless, but after tooth extraction, it can be harmful. Sucking on a straw creates negative pressure in the mouth. This can dislodge the blood clot that is forming over the extraction site.
The blood clot is essential for healing. It’s crucial to avoid using straws for at least 24 hours after tooth extraction.
3. Eating Hard or Sticky Foods
After tooth extraction, your mouth will be sensitive and may have stitches or an open wound. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods that can damage the extraction site or cause bleeding. This includes nuts, chips, candies, and chewy meats.
It’s best to stick to soft foods like soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies for the first few days after tooth extraction. In case of bleeding, check out this article on how to stop bleeding after tooth extraction to help you.
4. Vigorous Rinsing or Spitting
Rinsing and spitting with force can also dislodge the blood clot and disrupt healing. It’s important to avoid vigorous rinsing for at least 24 hours after tooth extraction.
You can still rinse your mouth gently with salt water to keep the extraction site clean. This will also help to reduce swelling and promote healing.
5. Skipping Medications
Your dentist may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics after tooth extraction to manage pain and prevent infection. It’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and take the medications as prescribed.
Skipping doses or stopping medication too soon can lead to complications and delay healing. If you have any concerns or side effects, consult your dentist for further advice.
6. Neglecting Oral Hygiene
While it’s crucial to be gentle around the extraction site, neglecting oral hygiene can lead to infections and other complications. It’s essential to continue brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing gently around the extraction site. If your dentist has advised against using mouthwash, you can rinse with salt water instead.
Knowing the Things to Avoid After Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a dental procedure that requires proper care and attention after the surgery. Knowing the things to avoid after tooth extraction can help promote healing, prevent complications, and ensure a smooth recovery.
Remember to always consult your dentist if you have any concerns or questions during the tooth extraction recovery process. With proper care, you can have a healthy and pain-free mouth after tooth extraction.
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