Brushing Teeth with Toothpaste After a Tooth Extraction

Tooth Extraction McLean, VA

Visiting your dentist for tooth extraction can bring on anxiety for even the calmest people. The dentist's office is high on the list of most people's fears. For some patients, you walk into the office with pain and leave feeling better than ever. 

An extraction may not have been your first choice, but it may have been the only option. Before you leave the dentist's office, you will get instructions on how to take care of your mouth. 

Taking care of your mouth after any type of oral surgery is very important. Follow the dentist's recommendations. You typically can still brush your teeth but don't use any toothpaste for at least 3 to 4 days following the procedure. 

Why can't I use toothpaste after an extraction?

Tooth extraction leaves behind a gap in the gums that need to be closed with a stitch, and the area must be allowed time to clot and heal. If you brush your teeth with toothpaste, you have a very high risk of the blood clot dislodging from the site. 

However, you do need to keep the extraction area clean. To do this, wipe the site clean with either a wet gauze pad or a wet cloth. Make sure to be very gentle when wiping the site, so you do not move the blood clot. You should not use toothpaste for at least 3 to 4 days. 

The activity of brushing your teeth requires you to spit out the toothpaste. By doing this, you could cause the blood clot to come loose and cause bleeding, and the healing process will have to begin all over again.

Basic follow-up care after tooth extraction

Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to take care of your mouth after an extraction. There are several universal rules most dentists follow regularly.

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Eat a soft diet of healthy foods
  • Brush your teeth gently without toothpaste
  • Keep the extraction site clean with gauze
  • Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater (Do not rinse hard)
  • Avoid taking aspirin while recovering. Aspirin could cause more bleeding
  • Do not smoke. Smoking is never a good habit and smoking after extraction could cause more serious health problems
  • Get plenty of rest. Your body needs rest to heal
  • Use ice packs if the area swells

The recovery after an extraction is rather quick. You should be back to normal in a few days. Be sure to take care of the site and follow your dentist's care instructions to make the healing process as quick as possible. 

A tooth extraction is a necessary dental procedure for patients to treat a decayed tooth. Removing a decaying tooth prevents the decay from spreading to other areas around the site. Your oral hygiene is very important to your health, and you want to make sure you are doing everything to keep your mouth happy and healthy.

Request an appointment here: or call Oak Tree Dental at (703) 763-5239 for an appointment in our McLean office.

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