Tooth Extraction Aftercare: The Ultimate Guide

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There are several reasons why your dentist would suggest tooth extraction– from tooth decay to overcrowding of teeth. Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons why dentists recommend tooth extraction. To avoid such situations, it is, therefore, paramount that you maintain oral hygiene and brush your teeth regularly. Try Oral-B’s Pro Series Electric Toothbrush which comes with a professional timer for optimal tooth cleaning. Its round head ensures efficient cleaning of your teeth, while being gentle on your gums, leaving you with a happy and healthy mouth.

When you have tooth decay that cannot be salvaged, your dentist may suggest a tooth extraction, also known as tooth removal, which is the complete removal of a tooth from one’s mouth. Your dentist will perform the tooth extraction procedure after administering a local anaesthetic into the area around the tooth that needs to be extracted. This will ensure there’s no pain felt during the process1.

After tooth extraction, gauze is placed to control bleeding. This is an important aspect of tooth extraction aftercare. You must ensure that the blood clot is maintained in the socket after tooth extraction. This is done to make sure one doesn’t end up with a dry socket.

Tooth extraction aftercare

It typically takes a few days to recover after a tooth extraction, depending on the severity of the case. The healing period also depends on which tooth is extracted as the depth of the root varies from tooth to tooth. The initial two to three days, after tooth extraction is critical and if tended to with care can help speed up the healing process. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind after tooth extraction3.

  1. Allow the first gauze that was put in your mouth to stay for at least a few hours. This will enable clot formation which is an important step

  2. Do not rinse or wash your mouth, and do not spit. The pressure caused by doing so may disrupt the clot formation.

  3. Don’t use straws as it adds pressure on the recovering area, and may dislodge the clot that is forming.

  4. Take rest, plenty of it. The next 24 hours after tooth extraction should be a time of complete rest.

  5. Sleep with your head at an elevated position to prevent pooling of blood
  6. Take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist.

  7. You can also place an ice pack or a towel filled with ice cubes on the affected area to help minimise the pain.

  8. Continue brushing and flossing your teeth, gently, to avoid any infection.

What to eat after tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction aftercare also includes the foods that you can eat. You will most likely be asked to eat soft foods such as:

  • Smoothies

  • Soups

  • Puddings

  • Juices

  • Yoghurt

After a couple of days, the blood clot would have been formed in your socket and it is important to continue following the above guidelines to recover speedily. Here are some things you must keep in mind once the clot has been formed after tooth extraction.

  1. You must gently rinse your mouth with saline water without putting too much pressure on your mouth. This will help keep any bacterial growth at bay and help the healing process.

  2. Continue brushing and flossing gently to maintain oral hygiene. Use Oral-B’s Essential Mint Dental Floss as it is specially designed to be gentle on the gum line. It glides through the crevices between your teeth with ease, ensuring effective cleaning and a healthy mouth.

  3. Avoid eating any hard foods. Stick to the soup and smoothies that you have been having and it will ensure a faster recovery.

Wisdom tooth extraction4

Wisdom teeth are typically the last adult teeth that sprout at the back. They are your back molars that can emerge on the top or bottom. Sometimes, our jaws are too small and there isn’t enough room for the wisdom tooth, which is why your dentist may suggest extraction. The process for wisdom tooth extraction is similar to a normal tooth extraction with generally the same expected time for recovery.

Pain after tooth extraction

It’s okay to have some pain after extraction and your dentist will most likely prescribe some painkillers to combat the pain. However, if the pain seems unbearable despite having painkillers or the pain persists even after two or three days, then you must inform your dentist.

Tooth extraction is mostly a safe procedure and is conducted in a single appointment in most cases. After around a week or two, once the area where you had your tooth extracted is completely healed, you can go back to your routine and diet.


  1. How long does the pain last after tooth extraction?

    You will typically feel some pain for around two to three days after tooth extraction. You can check with your dentist for some painkillers for this.

  2. How long does it take to close the hole after tooth extraction?

    The hole created after tooth extraction causes considerable trauma to your jaw bone, and it takes longer to heal than your gums, ranging from 10 weeks to four months.

  3. How long do you have to wait to eat after getting a tooth pulled?

    You must avoid chewing and must stick to eating soft foods for at least three days after tooth extraction.