Your natural teeth are essential in maintaining a healthy smile and overall well-being. While your dentist will always try their best to save your natural tooth, sometimes extraction may be the best remedy. For instance, extractions may be necessary to remove a severely damaged or decayed tooth, an impacted wisdom tooth, or to remove a tooth for orthodontic treatments.
If you’ve been scheduled for a tooth extraction near you or already had your tooth removed, you might need clarification about what to do and not do after extraction. Specifically, when it comes to rinsing your mouth, your dentist will instruct you to wait for at least 48 hours before using mouthwash. Read on to learn more about using mouthwash after tooth extraction, and other dos and don’ts after tooth removal.
What is mouthwash?
A mouthwash is a liquid dental product used in the mouth. You should swish it around the mouth for about 30 seconds and then spit. It helps remove debris and bacteria that cause gum disease and decay to keep your mouth clean, healthy, and fresh.
Mouthwash typically contains various properties like antimicrobial or antibacterial ingredients that reduce bacteria and inhibit odor-causing sulfur compounds. It’s an excellent addition to your regular oral hygiene practices, like brushing and flossing. However, it cannot and should not be an alternative to brushing and flossing.
According to the ADA, mouthwash can either be cosmetic or therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash contains unique ingredients like hydrogen peroxide that offer cosmetic benefits like whiter teeth or fresh breath – they don’t provide medicinal value.
On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwash includes essential ingredients like fluoride that help strengthen your teeth and protect your mouth from bacteria attacks, cavities, sensitivity, decay, gum infection, bad breath, and control plaque.
Should I use Mouthwash after tooth extraction? If so, when?
Whether you should use a mouthwash after extraction depends on the timeframe. The golden rule is to avoid all mouthwash or rinses for at least 24 hours after the extraction. This time is critical as it allows a clot to form in the socket to stop the bleeding and to promote faster healing. Rinsing your mouth too soon can cause the blood clot to dislodge, leading to more bleeding and other complications. You should also avoid spitting forcefully, sucking, or using straws within this period.
After 24 hours, you can rinse gently with warm salt water to remove debris and prevent infections in the area. You can use saltwater rinses throughout the day. Be sure to spit gently, or you can irritate the extraction socket. Follow the dentist’s instructions. Avoid alcoholic mouthwash as it can irritate and dry the socket, leading to severe discomfort, delayed healing, and infections.
Types of Mouthwash to use after Tooth extraction
After tooth removal, it’s essential to take excellent care of your mouth to prevent infections and promote faster healing. While there are many types of mouthwash, it’s worth noting that not all are safe to use after tooth extraction or other oral procedures.
For instance, our dentist in 91723 will advise you to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol since they can irritate the extraction socket, potentially leading to a dry socket and delayed healing. Your dentist will clarify the best mouthwash after extraction.
Tooth Extractions Aftercare Tips
Besides using mouthwash, below are certain things to do and to avoid after tooth extraction to promote faster healing and recovery after tooth extraction:
Rest adequately. Avoid strenuous activities like lifting and bending over as they can cause increased pressure in the head, leading to more bleeding and pain.
Take medication as prescribed. Your dentist might give you pain, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic medicines to manage your symptoms after tooth extraction.
Use cold therapy. Apply cold therapy or ice to the cheek against the socket to minimize pain and swelling.
Maintain a soft diet and keep hydrated. Eat soft foods like yogurt, scrambled eggs, avocado, and soft fish. Avoid hard, hot, sugary, spicy, and cold items.
Maintain excellent oral hygiene.
Visit a dentist near you if you experience severe or abnormal symptoms like excessive bleeding, swelling, pain, or fever.
Are you interested in tooth extraction in Covina?
If you have more questions about tooth extractions and the healing process, contact Jeffrey L. Cohen, DDS, to schedule your consultation today.