Did you know that at one time, people who lost a tooth to decay or accident would be fitted with replacement teeth from a corpse?
As macabre as it sounds, it’s true. In some cases, poor but healthy adolescents and adults would donate one or more teeth while they were still alive — for a price, of course.
Luckily, folks who need to have a tooth pulled can easily get a high-quality artificial replacement.
Not to mention that you can get your teeth troubles fixed with the Lombard Dental Studio for professional services.
Before that can happen, though, they must have a tooth extracted.
If you are in that position, check out these tooth extraction recovery tips that will get you smiling again!
1. Immediately After the Extraction
The 24 hours or thereabouts after your tooth is removed are crucial.
The dentist will have left a gauze pad in place.
That’s there for a reason — namely, to help a blood clot form in your tooth socket.
Leave the pad in place for about 4 hours, then remove it carefully.
As soon as you get home, you will also want to apply an ice pack to your jaw.
This will help control swelling and minimize your pain.
2. Take Steps to Avoid Dry Socket
Now, about that blood clot…. It’s important not to dislodge that.
If you do, you will be at risk for a problem called “dry socket” — which in turn can lead to infection.
In addition to being painful and potentially very dangerous, an infection will drag out the healing process well beyond the standard 7 to 10 days.
For at least the first 24 hours after you have the tooth pulled, do not use a straw.
Don’t smoke, spit, or rinse your mouth with anything.
Naturally, you should avoid all but the very softest foods for a few days, too.
Wondering what to eat after a tooth extraction?
Ask your dentist.
3. Take Medication As Prescribed
Many people are opposed to taking prescription pain pills, opting instead to “tough it out.”
Unless you have a good reason to avoid pain medication — a history of addiction, an allergy, or contraindications — take your meds as prescribed.
In some cases, you will be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection.
People who have had joint replacement surgery, for example, are more prone to dental infections.
They should take an antibiotic to ward off any potential problems.
4. Brush and Floss (Almost) Like Normal
Having a tooth extracted does not give you a Get Out of Dental Hygiene Free card.
Brush and floss your teeth as you normally would — with one exception.
Steer clear of the teeth on either side of the empty socket.
Be careful not to spit forcefully at first.
It’s also a smart move to forego mouthwash at this time.
5. After the First 24 Hours
Limit your activity for the first 24 hours.
Some patients should take it easy for the next week or so, too.
When the 24 hours have passed, rinse your mouth carefully with a mixture of water and salt (1/2 tsp salt for 8 oz. water).
Another way to promote speedy healing is to prop your head up on an extra pillow when you sleep; lying flat can delay healing.
Follow These Tooth Extraction Recovery Tips for Best Results
Once your socket has completed healed, you can begin the process of replacing the missing tooth.
But that’s only if you have followed these tooth extraction recovery tips to a T!
Otherwise, your mouth may not be ready.
Interested in more dental hygiene tips?
Check out our health and wellness articles!