Tooth Extraction Aftercare: The Dos & Don’ts

tooth extraction aftercareThere are a few reasons why someone would need to have a tooth extracted: extreme tooth decay, tooth infection, or crowding, to name a few. Once someone goes through an extraction, it’s important that they consider following these tooth extraction aftercare dos and don’ts.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare Dos:

After a tooth is extracted, the healing process begins. Follow these tooth extraction aftercare tips to ensure a smooth healing process:

Apply pressure to the area by biting on gauze. You will want to change your gauze every half hour until the area has stopped bleeding. Getting a clot—and keeping a clot—is very important to the healing process. The area may ooze slightly for a few days: this is not uncommon. If the area continues to bleed, you can take a tea bag and bite on that instead of gauze. The tea will help to promote clotting.

Rinse with warm salt water to help clean the area after eating. You can start to do this the day after your extraction. To do this, simply take ½ teaspoon of salt and mix it with a cup of warm water. Rinsing with this will sooth the area, whereas using mouthwash may burn.

Use ice to help reduce inflammation. Simply take a bag of ice, wrap it in a towel, and place it on the skin adjacent to the area of the extraction.

If an antibiotic is prescribed due to an active infection, it is very important that it is taken as prescribed. You do not want to stop taking the prescription before it is finished, as this can sometimes allow the bacteria to adapt to the medication, and could cause the infection to recur.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare Don’ts

After getting your tooth pulled, it is advised to avoid rinsing, spitting, using a straw, or smoking. Doing any of these things can cause the clot to release, and the area to start bleeding. A clot is needed to continue the healing process.

Do not smoke. Yes, this is worth repeating! This could cause the extraction site to become infected, and may dislodge the clot needed to heal.

Do not sleep with your head facing down. You want to make sure that you prop your head upwards to ensure proper healing.

What Can I Eat After a Tooth Extraction?

Generally, when you are healing from a tooth extraction, you want to eat softer foods. Here are some foods that are safe to eat:

1.     Soup

2.     Yogurt

3.     Pudding

4.     Applesauce

5.     Smoothies (with a spoon, not a straw)

Eat soft or easy-to-chew foods for a few days after your tooth extraction. The key is to listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain, stick with soft food items until the pain subsides.


Temple Family Dentistry is a private dentistry practice that has been servicing the Temple, PA community for several decades. We pride ourselves on making our patients feel at home in our dentist’s office from the moment they walk through our doors. Dr. Dan and his team provide much more than basic dental care. In addition to your bi-annual cleanings, we also offer extractions, root canals, dental implants, dentures, and more, based on your individualized treatment plan. You will never feel like a number here, and we are happy to take the time needed to answer your questions and ensure your satisfaction. For your convenience, we offer flexible hours and accept same-day appointments for dental emergencies.