What to do after a tooth extraction
When you leave the office, the area will be numb and you will be biting on gauze. You can change the gauze as needed until the bleeding slows down. The first thing you need to do is have your prescriptions filled. You will need the medications right away. Once you get your prescriptions filled, it is advised to take a pain medication before the numbness wears off. Start the antibiotic if one was prescribed. Also, cold soft foods like ice cream feel good and decrease the inflammation.
Once you get home, it is time to apply ice or cold packs. Ice in a zip lock with a towel around it is fine. Rice bags put in the freezer are the perfect temperature. You will want to apply the pack for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes. Do this while relaxing with your head in an elevated position. Follow this recommendation for the first 24 hours as much as possible. Sleep the first night in an elevated position. If you lie flat, there will be more pain in the morning and possibly some visible swelling.
You will want to eat soft foods, avoiding the area that the tooth was removed. Foods that don't have to be chewed like mashed potato, yogurt, corn, pasta, are all good examples of foods that are easier to eat when you have had a tooth removed. Examples of difficult foods to eat are chips, crisp vegetables or nuts, try to avoid these.
If you have any stitches, they will dissolve after about a week.
Things to avoid
Things you should avoid after you have had a tooth extraction:
Do not suck through a straw
Do not drink carbonated beverages,
Do not smoke
Do not spit or rinse vigorously
People heal at different rates. Some people feel great after the first day, and only have to take over the counter medications, while others will have pain for a week. Some things to look for that you will want to report. If you feel anything sharp around the extraction site, you may have some tiny bone chips working their way out of the wound. It is common for small pieces of bone to come through after a tooth is removed. Also if the pain medication does not relieve the pain, please let us know. Not all pain meditations work the same for everyone because of their unique physiology.