Hacks for A Faster Recovery After Tooth Extraction
You’re not alone if you’re not looking forward to that oral surgery. Dentists are one of the most feared medical professionals. From the high-pitched whine of the drills to the fear of the needles, people often put going to the dentist off until the last minute. Tooth extraction can be a scary procedure. However, there really isn’t anything to worry about. The process is relatively painless thanks to the wonders of modern medication, Novocain, and these life hacks to help you recover faster after tooth extraction.
Rest But Keep Your Head Up
Not just in spirit but in practice. It’s important not to over-exert yourself when you’ve had oral surgery for at least the first 48 to 72 hours. When it comes to tooth extraction, you want to avoid having your head lower than your heart. That means not doing things that require you to bend over or lift heavy items. It can cause problems like excessive bleeding. The big tip here is that though you should be resting, you want to keep your head up.
So grab those extra pillows off the guest bed and a good book, or binge the latest hit show and prop yourself up and enjoy. Getting a tooth extracted isn’t a fun process, but you can at least enjoy the downtime if you do it right. Be sure to keep any instructions you’re given after your extraction and follow them as closely as possible.
Propping your head up will help control your swelling and bleeding.
No Straws or Spitting
Say no to that iced coffee, no matter how good it sounds, unless you can skip the straw. Anything that creates suction in your mouth is one of the biggest no-nos after removing a tooth. It runs the risk of a dry socket, which is incredibly painful. A dry socket can also lead to a significant infection, nerve damage, and even possible damage to the jawbone. So, smoking and straws are out of the question.
Also, be careful when rinsing your mouth and spiting for at least the first 24 hours. Your dentist will likely instruct you to rinse your mouth but don’t spit with force or swish too roughly as it can also dislodge the clot and lead to a dry socket.
It’s All About the Ice
Cold packs or ice packs can make a big difference. Swelling is what causes a good portion of the pain you will experience. Keeping a cold pack on hand will help keep that pain under control. If you don’t have ice packs or bags, you can always opt for a bag of frozen peas or just put some ice into a couple of zip lock bags.
Ice shouldn’t be used for long periods; instead, use the ice pack for 10-15 minutes per session. Make sure to give your mouth and skin time to warm up in between.
Eat Like a Baby
A soft food diet might not be the most appealing thing in the world. Still, neither is disturbing the extraction site and causing unnecessary pain. So for the first week or so, you need to stick to soft foods.
You also want to avoid anything that has significant amounts of acid or spice, as those can both irritate your healing wound.
For the first day, skip that diet coke, no tea or coffee. A soda’s carbonation can cause clotting problems, and hot drinks can worsen bleeding.
Of course, ice cream is a go-to for the soft food diet, but you also don’t want to eat ice cream for a week straight. Some of our favorites for that week’s soft food include breakfast smoothies, mashed potatoes and gravy, refried beans and melted cheese, tuna salad sandwiches on soft white bread, and blended soups.
Also, stay away from alcohol for the first week, as it can slow down the healing process.
Keep Track of Your Medications
If you’ve been prescribed pain medications for tooth extraction, take those as directed. They may also advise you to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They’ll likely give you instructions on over-the-counter medicines, so make sure you pay attention and follow the directions. Missing a dose can lead to an increase in swelling and make the site more painful.
If you’ve had an infection, they may prescribe you antibiotics to continue taking after the tooth has been extracted to ensure you are completely rid of the infection. When it comes to antibiotics, it’s critical to follow the directions. If you have any questions, ask the pharmacist or your dentist. Don’t ever stop taking antibiotics without being directed by the prescriber, as this can lead to a more severe rebound infection.
Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown for years that getting enough sleep at night can help you heal. Even though tooth extraction is considered minor, it is still a form of surgery and one that you have to allow your body to recover from.
So be sure to get a good night’s sleep if you can, and you’ll be well on the way to healing faster from your tooth extraction
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Your dentist will likely explain to you the importance of oral hygiene as they do at every appointment. Still, it is one of the easiest ways to heal faster from a tooth extraction.
You want to continue brushing the rest of your teeth and flossing like you usually would just avoid your extraction site. You can also add to that by using a saltwater mix after eating to ensure no food particles get into the wound. It will help you keep from getting an infection that can seriously slow your recovery.
Though no one wants to have a tooth extracted, these handy hacks will help you heal faster. Most people can get back to normal life within a few days to a week as long as they follow these simple steps to faster healing.
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