Illustration of special dental tools performing a dental extraction in Shoreline, WA

Tips for Recovering After a Dental Extraction

May 28, 2022 10:26 pm
Published by

While keeping all your natural adult teeth is generally the ideal, a dental extraction can be necessary and beneficial for a few reasons. Here are things you can do after your extraction to promote a smooth recovery:


After an extraction, you’ll want to take it easy. Stay at home for at least the first 24 hours with your head elevated on an extra pillow. Avoid bending, lifting, and vigorous activities (like exercise) for at least 48 hours.

Use a Cold Pack for Swelling

Swelling after a dental extraction is common for a few days. To bring the swelling down, press a cold pack wrapped in cloth against your face for up to 15-20 minutes. Leave the cold pack off for 15-20 minutes.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

You shouldn’t brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for 12-24 hours after the extraction. This can disturb the blood clot. Once this time has passed, you can resume brushing and flossing your teeth, but avoid the extraction site for several days. Gentle saltwater rinses can help cleanse the area. At your appointment, we’ll provide more detailed instructions on cleaning.

Eat Soft Foods

For several days after the extraction, stick to foods that don’t require much chewing, like yogurt, applesauce, lukewarm pureed soups, bananas, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and smoothies. Don’t drink anything through a straw. Avoid hard and crunchy foods, as well anything hot and spicy, until you’ve healed. It may take up to two weeks before you feel ready to return to a normal diet. In the meantime, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Take Medication as Directed

We may prescribe medications like pain relievers and antibiotics. Make sure to follow our instructions on how much medication to take and at what intervals. If you take over-the-counter pain relievers, be sure to closely follow the label’s directions.

Dental Extractions in Shoreline, WA

Even if your dental extraction is fairly quick and simple, you’ll still need time to recover. If you notice any problems like fever, severe pain, or persistent bleeding, please reach out to us right away. For those that need a tooth replacement, we offer bridges, dentures, and implants. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact us today!

Contact Us

Tooth extraction image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Categorized in: