How Do I Take Care of My Mouth After an Extraction?

During the first 24 hours:

  • Bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes. You may change the gauze pad every 15 minutes until bleeding stops. You may need to use gauze for 1-3 hours. The site could ooze for 24 hours.
  • Don't spit, don't drink through a straw or suck on candies.
  • Don't rinse your mouth or brush or floss next to the site.
  • Don't smoke or use tobacco for at least 72 hours to promote healing.
  • Don't sneeze or cough, especially forcefully.
  • Limit yourself to calm activities. Elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
  • Don't drink hot, carbonated or alcoholic beverages. Avoid spicy foods.
  • Take pain medication as directed.
  • You may use an ice bag, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, to keep swelling to a minimum.

After the first 24 hours:

  • You may begin to eat and drink normally.
  • You may rinse with warm salt water. Use 1 teaspoon of salt per glass of water. You should gently rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day for a week after the extraction.
  • You may resume normal, gentle brushing and flossing

When to call us:

  • if you have heavy or increased bleeding
  • pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond 2-3 days
  • a bad taste or odor in your mouth
  • any reaction to medications