After a dental extraction, your surgeon will most likely provide you with a list of instructions that you will need to follow to reduce the chances of a post-operation. Even though the post-extraction tips may vary between individuals, there are some general procedures that patients recovering from a dental extraction should follow. Keep in mind that the first 24 hours after the extraction surgery play a crucial role in setting the pace for the healing process given that recovery is a gradual process.

Bleeding
After a tooth extraction, the first step is to ensure that the bleeding is being contained into a blood clot in order to begin the healing process. It is recommended that patients keep on biting on a gauze for at least 30-45 minutes. Keep the slight pressure on the gauze without altering its location. In case the bleeding goes on, insert another gauze and bite tightly until the oozing stops. You may have to repeat this process several times. The ultimate goal of the whole process is to keep the blood clot in the tooth socket to avoid bleeding and the formation of the painful dry sockets.

Do Not Disturb the Area
After the blood clot has formed, it’s important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it will result in a faster healing process. This means limiting vigorous exercise for the next 72 hours. You should not engage in activities such as drinking alcoholic or carbonated drinks, smoking, brushing, sucking straws, and vigorous rinsing of the mouth. Some of the above activities can physically dislodge the clot, increase the blood pressure on the tooth extract, or even dissolve the clot.

Diet
Ensure that you only eat soft foods within the first 24 hours. Additionally, do not engage in strenuous activities, and take plenty of time to rest. Keep in mind that keeping the blood pressure lower will limit bleeding and quicken the healing process.

Prescriptions and Dealing with Pain
After a dental extraction, you are bound to experience mild pain and swelling. An ice pack might help to keep the swelling at a minimum. If you`ve been prescribed to some antibiotics, ensure you take them as directed.

Follow-up appointments
Depending on your conditions, you may need a post-extraction appointment to remove the sutures or just a brief follow-up healing check.