Following a tooth extraction, the following procedures will ensure successful post operative care.

Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. In addition, smoking decreases blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgical site.

Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers. Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully. Your dentist will remove the stitches after a few days, if needed.

Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call Dr. Plexman's office if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.

Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing. After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Do not spit.

While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your lip, cheek or tongue. Do not lie flat as this may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.

Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat, such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out, for the following 2 or 3 days.

Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding. Eat soft foods, like jello, pudding, or soup and avoid foods with small kernels, grains or seeds. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.


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