Instructions for Home Care Following Tooth Extraction
1. Your mouth will be numb for awhile. Average time is 2 – 3 hours. Be careful not to pinch, hit or bite your cheek, lips or tongue while they are numb. If you do, they can be quite sore later. Avoid chewing while you are numb. Take liquids and foods that can be eaten without chewing.
2. PAIN – A certain amount of pain following an extraction is not uncommon. Acetaminophen (e.g Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (e. g. Motrin/Advil) is usually sufficient for pain control. Use as directed on the bottle for your child’s age and weight. Avoid aspirin as this can increase bleeding. Call if your child is having difficulty with pain control.
3. BLEEDING – A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following tooth extraction. If bleeding occurs, place a small folded pad or gauze directly over the bleeding area and bite or hold down firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat the above process if necessary: avoid hot liquids. Do NOT spit or rinse VIGOROUSLY for 24 to 48 hours. Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 to 48 hours.
4. ACTIVITY– No sports, swimming or vigorous activity for 2 days as this may increase the likelihood of bleeding.
5. SWELLING – Only minor or no swelling is expected with a primary (baby) tooth extraction. If swelling does occur it is usually worst 24-48 hours after the extraction. An ice pack may be used the day of the extraction to reduce swelling. If pain or swelling occurs after the wound has apparently healed, call the office for an appointment.
6. MOUTH RINSE – Vigorous mouth rinsing may stimulate bleeding. Therefore, DO NOT rinse the mouth until the following day. You may then gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of ordinary salt to a glass of warm water) after eating and before going to bed if desired.
7. DO NOT DISTURB THE BLOOD CLOT – The grayish or yellowish appearance and a slight odor do not indicate an infected condition. Keep fingers, toothpicks or other matter that may cause infection out of the mouth. In some cases Gelfoam (a foamy white material) has been placed in the socket to reduce bleeding. Do not disturb this material. It will dissolve by itself over several days time.
8. DIET – Light, soft foods and adequate liquids are advisable. Avoid foods that are difficult to chew.
Follow-up – Return to the office for post operative treatment, if so instructed.
Call the office if you have any concerns or unusual problems.