Tooth Extractions

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.

To all my wonderful patients and their families:


The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.


Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.


Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.


I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.


Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.


Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.


My very best wishes to all of you,


Dr. Deborah Himelhoch