Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Have you recently undergone a tooth extraction or are you on the cusp of getting one? If you haven’t had it done yet, you should know when it’s time to finally get an extraction. If you had an extraction, you must be wondering how soon you can recover and eat unworried. Well, this tooth extraction aftercare guide will help you achieve the fastest route to recovery after an extraction.

When is it necessary to have a tooth extracted?

Every tooth pain should not scare you of tooth extraction. There could be several factors that could lead one to undergo tooth extraction. Mentioned below are the various situations when our dentists deem tooth extraction necessary.


tooth extraction of young woman


Aftercare Tips to Follow After Tooth Extraction

The type of extraction and location of your tooth may affect your aftercare, so it varies for each person. But still, you can safely presume your complete healing in about 7–10 days if all the aftercare tips are followed to a larger extent. Here are some of our words of wisdom for your better and swifter recovery.

  • Get plenty of rest. Remain at home for 24 hours following surgery and restrict your activity for the next few days.
  • Position your head up with pillows while napping. Do not lie on your stomach.
  • Ensure that the extraction site is clean.
  • Rinse the mouth several times with warm salt water very gently. Or else a dry socket can be formed.
  • Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss your teeth as usual to avoid infection, but avoid the extraction site.
  • Take pain relievers exactly as directed.
  • Apply ice packs intermittently (15 minutes on, 15 minutes off) to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Consider replacing the gauze sponges as and when required.
  • Do not spit unnecessarily, as spitting creates suction pressure which could dislodge the blood clot.

Foods to Eat After a Tooth Extraction

You can typically start consuming your food after a few hours post-operation. Below is the List of Recommended Foods to Help You Decide What to Eat After Tooth Extraction. 

  • First 24 Hours-Liquid Diet

To start with, it is advised to abstain from foods that require chewing and mastication. A liquid diet is usually preferred for the first 24 hours.

P.S.- Do not use a straw to drink liquids because suction pressure created due to movements of the mouth and cheek muscles can unseat the blood clot.

  • After 24 Hours-Stick to Soft Foods

After 24 hours or so, you can now adhere to soft or mashed foods, which contain essential vitamins and minerals, which would aid in the healing process as well. It is strongly recommended to avoid tough foods and extremely cold or hot foods as you are still in your recovery phase. Below is the list of foods you can opt for after having your tooth extracted

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Scrambled Egg Whites
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Blended soups and broths (either lukewarm or cold)
  • Pureed fruits
  • Mashed bananas
  • Avocado
  • Oatmeal
  • Banana Ice-cream
  • Cheese
  • Cupcakes
  • Puddings

Foods to Avoid after a Tooth Extraction

Certain types of food should be kept at arm’s length when you come home after tooth extraction. This is required as these foods can stick to the extraction or your missing tooth site and further complicate things. Underneath is a list of types of food to refrain from eating:

  • Hot & Spicy Foods 
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Crunchy and chewy foods
  • Grains and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Meat

Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?

Avoiding smoking, in general, is better for your overall health, which also includes your oral health, but it is especially vital after tooth extraction. You should inform your dentist about your tobacco use before the extraction and when the dentist says it is okay to resume use.

Dentists usually advise smokers to abstain from smoking for at least five days following tooth extraction. It would be great if you abstain from smoking for 5 days, but smokers should still wait at least 72 hours following tooth extraction before smoking. 

The rationale being the same: the suction pressure created by the motions of the different muscle groups in the mouth can displace the blood clot, resulting in a very painful condition known as ‘Dry Socket.’

Smoking can cause complications and prolongs the healing process. Smoking reduces blood circulation to the extraction site, causing healing to be delayed. Additionally, the blood in a smoker’s body will impede the healing process. This is because a smoker’s bloodstream has less oxygen. The oxygen in the blood that rushes to the wound site is crucial for the healing process.

Trying to distract yourself with a new hobby that keeps your mind and hands busy is one of the finest ways to buy yourself time between your extraction and your cigarette. Try engaging yourself in new activities like reading, drawing, coloring, squeezing a stress ball, and spinning a fidget spinner.

How to eat after tooth extraction?

Now that we know what to eat and what to avoid after getting a tooth extracted, we also need to know the correct way to eat. The approach to eating is more important than what to eat.

It makes sense to chew on the other half of your mouth where the surgery is performed. It is very difficult to eat this way for long because we are not used to it and also because this is not the conventional way. This is categorically necessary to provide an adequate amount of time and space for the operation site to fully recover.

How soon should you eat after having your tooth extracted?

Following surgery, you should typically avoid eating anything for an hour or so. This is to ensure sufficient time is available for the blood to clot at the site of tooth extraction. Gauze sponges are placed in your mouth to absorb blood and to clean wounds. These gauges are removed after an hour or so when the bleeding stops or reduces significantly so that you are able to eat again. You can then start eating at your convenience.

When should you see your dentist after tooth extraction?

The healing process can take up to 10 days or more to complete. It also depends on the patient’s age, if they smoke or consume alcohol, and which tooth has been extracted, as wisdom teeth usually take longer to recover. Noticing the red flags mentioned below, we should immediately connect to our dentist

  • Unbearable pain that doesn’t get better with medication 3 to 4 days after surgery.
  • Swelling that worsens rather than improves.
  • Heavy bleeding from the extraction site
  • Persisting High Fever (above 100.4 Degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble swallowing

You can just relax if you do not see any of these symptoms. You can consult a dentist at Anoka dental for dental implants to replace your extracted tooth. If you’re in Anoka, you may locate our office or you can contact us.