Oral Hygiene after Tooth Extraction: Dos and Don'ts

Oral Hygiene after Tooth Extraction: Dos and Don'ts

May 01, 2023

In America, tooth extractions are standard for adults. Oral surgeons and dentists remove millions of teeth every year. Whether you must have a tooth extraction near you because of decay, overcrowding, trauma, or wisdom tooth extraction, knowing how to care for the extraction site after oral surgery is essential.

Although the dentist nearby believes in the power of knowledge, it is crucial to understand your post-operative instructions after getting a tooth extracted.

Post-Operative Advice 24 to 48 Hours

After tooth extraction, you must maintain the blood clot forming in the surgical site. It is an integral part of healing and helps avoid complications like a dry socket. Dry sockets are painful when the blood clot fails to develop or gets dislodged, exposing the underlying bone and nerve endings. However, if you follow the below-mentioned dos and don’ts, you help promote a healthy blood clot and uncomplicated recovery.


Here are some tips you must follow after tooth extraction in Smithtown, NY, to promote blood clot formation and your recovery.

  • Use Gauze : A gauze is placed by the dentist after removing your tooth over the extraction site. The gauze helps prevent breeding and promote blood clot formation. You must leave the gauze in place, biting down gently and applying pressure. You can change the gauze if required, but keep it in place for a few hours after tooth removal.
  • Rest : your body needs rest to recover after tooth extraction. You must avoid strenuous activity for the initial 24 hours and continue the practice for another 24 after your procedure.
  • Head Elevation : When sleeping, use extra pillows to elevate your head because it helps with blood clots and promotes healing.
  • Medications : take your prescribed medicines by the dentist to alleviate pain, besides antibiotics if advised by the dentist to prevent infections. Take the pain relievers as required and complete the course of antibiotics without skipping doses.
  • Ice Packs : You can use ice packs on your cheeks to alleviate swelling, remembering to keep them on your face for 15-minute intervals for the initial 24 hours. The ice packs help reduce swelling and ease pain.
  • Soft Foods : the extraction site can become irritated to dislodge the blood clot if you insist on having hard and crunchy foods. Therefore for the initial 48 hours, you must stick to soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, applesauce, scrambled eggs, and soups. You must also avoid chewing on the extraction site.


Some practices can irritate the extraction site and affect clotting and recovery. Therefore it is essential to avoid the following to reduce the chances of a dry socket.

  • Smoking : the chemicals in tobacco can affect blood clotting to increase your chances of developing a dry socket to need treatment from the emergency dentist near you. Therefore you must refrain from smoking for at least 48 hours after tooth removal.
  • Avoid Probing the Extraction Site : noticing an open space in your mouth where a tooth once existed might be strange. However, you must keep your tongue away from it because it increases the chances of dislodging the blood clot to result in a dry socket.
  • Avoid Spitting : You might think to continue spitting because of the increased saliva and blood after tooth removal. However, it is normal and will subside within 24 hours. Instead of spitting, consider leaning over the sink and allowing the blood and saliva to drain from your mouth.
  • Refrain from Using Straws : Do not use straws for drinking because they cause suction to damage the blood clot. Avoid using straws for at least 48 hours.

Post-Operative Advice Following 48 Hours

Your mouth requires time to heal, making it essential to maintain good oral health. Some tips to follow after tooth extraction after the initial 48 hours include the following:


  • Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth : Maintaining good oral hygiene after removing a tooth is essential. However, you must avoid brushing and flossing near the extraction site until the healing is complete.
  • Saline Rinses : Saline rinses help kill bacteria in your mouth after the blood clot is securely in place. Instead of commercially available mouthwash brands, use a warm saline solution with water and a pinch of salt to ensure mouth and allow the water to drain without spitting.
  • Continue Eating Soft Foods : Do not stop eating soft foods until the extraction site heals entirely. You must stick to non-chewy foods even after the initial 48 hours.


  • Avoid Hard Foods and Seeds : until the extraction site heals completely, avoid eating hard foods and food with seeds or nuts because they can damage and irritate the recovery site.
  • Keep Toothbrush Away : While you must maintain good oral hygiene, it is an excellent idea to keep the toothbrush away from the extraction site until you complete healing to ensure you safeguard the blood clot.

Recovering from tooth extraction requires approximately ten days, and the time can vary between patients. In addition, the recovery time can differ depending on which tooth is extracted. However, you must follow the dos and don’ts of oral hygiene after tooth removal to ensure you recover quickly without complications.

If you must have a tooth extracted for the reasons described earlier, Joseph B Pantaleo, DDS, performs minimally invasive tooth removal procedures providing comprehensive instructions on the dos and don’ts during your recovery. Consult them for your tooth removal and recover quickly by following their advice.

Call Now Book Now