What To Do After Teeth Extraction

What To Do After Teeth Extraction

Teeth extraction, while a common dental procedure, can be daunting. The good news is that with proper aftercare, you can ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. This blog will be your one-stop guide to navigating the post-extraction phase, from managing pain to keeping the extraction site clean and promoting healing.

The First 24 Hours: Crucial for Healing

The first 24 hours after a teeth extraction are critical for proper healing and preventing complications. Here’s what you need to do:


Some minor bleeding is normal after a teeth extraction. Your dentist will likely cover the extraction site with gauze. Bite firmly on the gauze for 30-45 minutes to control bleeding. If bleeding persists, replace the gauze and bite again.

Pain Management: 

You’ll likely experience some discomfort or pain after the procedure. Take any pain medication prescribed by your dentist exactly as directed. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen, two over-the-counter pain medications, can also aid with pain management.


Take it easy for the first 24 hours. Avoid strenuous activity that could increase blood pressure and worsen bleeding.


Stick to soft, cool foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, and soups. Steer clear of spicy and hot foods as they may aggravate the extraction site.

No Smoking or Straws: 

Smoking raises the chance of infection and slows the healing process. Avoid using straws for at least 24 hours, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot that forms in the socket, leading to a painful condition called dry socket.


Elevate your head with extra pillows while sleeping to reduce swelling.

The Next Few Days: Gentle Care and Healing

After the initial 24 hours, you can gradually resume your regular activities. Here are some key points to remember during this phase:


Minor oozing or bleeding might persist for a few days. This is usually nothing to worry about. If you experience excessive bleeding, contact your dentist immediately.

Pain Management: 

Continue taking pain medication as prescribed or required. The pain should gradually subside within a few days.


Gradually introduce solid foods, but stick to soft options for the first few days. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that can irritate the extraction site or get lodged in the socket.

Oral Hygiene:  

It’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent infection. Gently brush your teeth and tongue, but avoid brushing directly on the extraction site for at least a week, or as instructed by your dentist. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle fluoride toothpaste.

Saltwater Rinses:  

After 24 hours, your dentist might recommend using a saltwater rinse to gently clean your mouth and promote healing. Mix half a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water and swish gently for 30 seconds, two to three times a day. Avoid spitting forcefully.


Swelling is a normal response to an extraction. It usually peaks within 24-48 hours and gradually subsides within 3-4 days. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek near the extraction site for 15-minute intervals with 15-minute breaks in between.

Visible Blood Clot:  

You might see a white or yellowish clot in the extraction site. This stage of the recovery process is common. Do not disturb the clot, as it promotes healing and prevents infection.

Potential Complications and When to Call Your Dentist

While most teeth extractions heal without problems, some complications can arise. Here’s what to watch out for:

Excessive Bleeding:  

After a day, get in touch with your dentist if the bleeding continues or gets worse.

Severe Pain:  

Uncontrolled pain that doesn’t improve with medication warrants a call to your dentist.


A fever exceeding 100°F (37.8°C) after 24 hours could indicate infection.

Swelling that Worsens or Doesn’t Improve:  

Significant swelling or swelling that worsens after a few days requires a dentist’s evaluation.

Pus Drainage:  

Pus coming from the extraction site is a sign of infection and needs immediate dental attention.

Dry Socket:  

This painful condition occurs when the blood clot in the socket dislodges or dissolves too early, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. Symptoms include throbbing pain at the extraction site, a bad taste in your mouth, and sometimes visible bone.

If you experience any of these complications, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist in Austin or proceed to the nearest emergency dental clinic.

Healing Timeline and Follow-up Care

The healing timeline after a teeth extraction can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and your healing rate. Here’s a general timeframe to keep in mind:

  • First 3 Days: Focus on pain management, rest, and a soft diet.
  • Days 4-7: Pain should subside considerably. You can gradually introduce solid foods but maintain a soft diet.
  • Week 1-2: The socket should begin to fill in with new bone tissue. Swelling should be minimal.
  • Weeks 3-4: The extraction site should feel almost healed. You can resume your regular diet.
  • 6-8 Weeks: The bone socket should be completely healed.

Follow-up Appointment with Your Dentist

Your dentist will likely schedule a follow-up appointment within a week or two after the extraction. This appointment is crucial to ensure proper healing and discuss further treatment plans, if any. Here’s what to expect:


Your dentist will examine the extraction site to monitor healing and check for any signs of infection.

Stitches Removal: 

If stitches were used to close the gum tissue, your dentist will remove them during this visit.

Replacement Options: 

If the extraction was performed to prepare for a dental implant or bridge, your dentist will discuss the next steps for these procedures.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene is Key

Following a teeth extraction, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to prevent infection and promote optimal healing. Here are some key practices:


Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Be mindful of the extraction site and avoid brushing directly on it for at least a week, or as instructed by your dentist.


Flossing is crucial to remove food debris and plaque from between your teeth. Use a gentle flossing technique to avoid irritating the extraction site.

Saltwater Rinses: 

Continue using saltwater rinses as recommended by your dentist, typically for 7-10 days after the extraction.

Returning to Normal Activities

You can gradually get back to your regular activities after a few days. However, avoid strenuous exercise or activities that could dislodge the blood clot for at least a week.

Smoking and tobacco use can significantly hinder healing and increase the risk of complications. It’s best to avoid smoking or using any tobacco products for at least two weeks after the extraction, or ideally, quit altogether for optimal oral health.

A teeth extraction, while a necessary procedure at times, can be disruptive to your routine. By following these aftercare tips and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can ensure a smooth recovery and minimize the risk of complications. Remember, if you experience any concerning symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for prompt evaluation and treatment.

For additional information or to schedule a consultation with a dentist in Austin, consider reaching out to a reputable dental practice in your area. They can address your specific needs and provide personalized guidance throughout the extraction and recovery process.