Instructions for after a tooth extraction

After an extraction, you can be a little shaken and you should focus on your recovery rather than worrying about how to take care of your tooth.

Firstly, you want to rest and take it easy for the rest of the day. You should have no major physical exersion and should rest and drink plenty of fluids. Wait at least one hour after the extraction before you try to drink anything and have nothing hot while your mouth is still numb.


You are fine to eat. Wait until the numbness has worn off and try to avoid the affected area so that you do not cause any bleeding. So long as you don’t cause bleeding, or pain, you can have whatever you want. Softer foods will be easier. Consider mashed potato, noodles or pasta. Ice cream is also good as the cold will reduce swelling.


The bleeding should all have stopped before you leave and your dentist will check. It can start again later, so if it does, don’t panic. Bite on a moist gauze pack as provided, or if you don’t have one, some wet tissues wrapped in a sausage shape for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, if it is still bleeding, try again with fresh gauze/tissue. If bleeding still persists, come back or if we are closed, go to hospital for a suture/stitch (unlikely).


A certain level of pain is to be expected after a traumatic treatment. The more difficult the procedure was, the more pain should be expected. It should be controlled with your normal preferred painkiller. Ibuprofen (Nurofen) has been shown most effective, but can upset your stomach and is not suitable for asthmatics. If you are getting extreme pain, it may not be healing properly and you should return.


Any infection from your tooth will be cleared normally by your body after removal of the tooth as the source of infection is now gone. If there was surgical bone removal required, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics, but for most extractions, this is not necessary or advisable.


You must avoid smoking or alcohol for 24 hours after any extraction.