What should be done after the first 24 hours of wisdom tooth extraction?

After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow.

For the first 24 hours, avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.

For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently afterward, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask your dentist about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don't clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.
Rest and engage in quiet activities for the first 24 hours after having a tooth extracted. You can expect some bleeding or oozing in the day following the procedure, and if this occurs, bite down gently on folded clean gauze for an hour at a time.

Protect the beneficial blood clot that forms in the hole where your tooth was located to avoid a painful "dry socket" from developing:
  • don’t rinse, spit, or brush your teeth
  • don’t use a mouthwash
  • don't pick at the hole or blood clot
  • don't use a straw or a Water Pik
  • don't drink alcoholic or carbonated beverages
  • don't smoke or chew tobacco
Use ice bags if you have bruising or swelling for intervals of 30 minutes with 15 minutes off. Take pain medication as prescribed or recommended by your dentist or oral surgeon. Eat cool, soft foods such as milkshakes, yogurt, and applesauce. If you have any questions or concerns, call the dentist or oral surgeon's office. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.