Each year in the United States, millions of people have a tooth (or several) pulled for any number of reasons. Wisdom teeth that are crowding your mouth lead the charge, but tooth decay, which affects nearly 90% of adults, and gum disease, which affects nearly half of adults, follow close behind.
Whatever the reasons for your tooth extraction, you want the whole business to go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
While the team here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists will do our part to make sure the tooth extraction is performed expertly, we want to provide you with some recovery tips for when you get home.
1. Follow instructions to the letter
After we extract your tooth, we send you home with complete aftercare instructions, and it’s a good idea to follow these closely. From keeping the extraction site clean to the medications you can take for discomfort, we cover every aspect of aftercare for your tooth extraction.
2. Dive into soft, room temperature foods
You’ll be able to eat on the same day of your tooth extraction, but we don’t want you crunching into hard foods that can become lodged in your now-empty socket.
Stick to soft foods that you can move around your mouth easily, avoiding the extraction site. While soups certainly qualify, it may be wise to avoid hot liquids that can burn your mouth.
So, make yourself a yogurt smoothie, scramble up some eggs, or whip up some mashed potatoes for lunch or dinner. And, yes, you can follow up with some ice cream for dessert!
3. Don’t drink with a straw or from a water bottle
We want you to drink lots of liquids after your tooth extraction, but avoid having to suck the liquid, which can dislodge the helpful blood clot that’s formed inside your tooth socket. This clot is essential for healing, so you don’t want to disturb it in any way. This means steering clear of sucking through a straw or drinking from a water bottle.
4. Don’t exercise for a few days
For the first day or two (maybe even three), it’s a good idea to keep your aerobic activities to a minimum. If you really get your heart rate up, blood flows more quickly, which can lead to more postoperative bleeding as well as discomfort.
A leisurely walk around the block is a great way to get out and move around without raising your heart rate.
Once your socket feels stable, you can get back to your normal exercise regimen.
Rest assured, we’re here for any post-extraction questions you may have during your recovery. If, during your recovery, you run into issues — your pain increases, you’re bleeding more than you think you should, or the clot dislodges from the socket — please come see us so we can take a look.
If you have more questions about your tooth extraction recovery, we invite you to contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081, or you can book an appointment with us online.