There are many different reasons why a person may have a tooth extracted: from getting rid of a baby tooth to make space for an adult tooth, to needing to for orthodontics, because it has been cracked or has decayed . . . the list is almost endless. Many people underestimate having a tooth out because of its size, but it is actually a relatively large dental procedure, and the more care and attention that you give your teeth as part of the aftercare process will hugely define how well and how quickly you recover. You want to ensure that you can reduce the risk of infection, and so listening to what your dentist says that you should do after the procedure is very important. Most of the time, they will ask you to follow these rules:
- Bite down on the gauze that they give you, even if it hurts a little, even if it is uncomfortable. It is there to prevent even greater pain and discomfort. If you start to bleed again, then you will need to get a new piece of gauze to apply until the bleeding stops.
- Sit up as much as you can, and do not do any intense movement for a few days. That includes sport, but also smaller things like running for the bus, and rushing to a meeting.
- Rinse out your mouth with warm salt water every hour, on the hour, for two full days after the surgery. This will keep the area clean and sterilised – do not use mouthwash, as this will damage the wound area.
Eat soft foods and brush but brush gently. Keeping hydrated is the key if you have lost a lot of blood, and you should be patient when you wait for the healing process to finish. For some people, it can take up to a week.