Whilst you're probably aware that your tooth extraction won't be painful (thanks to anesthetic,) you may be dreading the procedure anyway. This is actually quite a normal sentiment: many people today dread dental procedures not because of the procedure itself but because they're worried about recovery. Perhaps you imagine a long and difficult recovery period, one that will interfere with your life for weeks. The good news: that's not true! In fact, you can feel yourself again quickly if you use these three smart recovery shortcuts.
Stop Bleeding -- Start Healing
Before you depart from the dental clinic, the dentist will surround the tooth extraction area with gauze padding. Whilst most people toss the padding after a few hours, they may not think to replace it if the surgical site isn't bleeding any longer. This is a common mistake, though.
The tooth socket will continue to bleed sporadically for some time, and the padding helps prevent clotting and other issues. Be sure to keep the tooth socket packed quite closely, changing the padding whenever the old one becomes wet. Bite down on the padding gently each time you replace it, as the pressure helps stop bleeding.
Irrigate -- Don't Inflame
Before you leave the dental clinic, speak to your dentist about oral irrigation. This is a practise commonly recommended by dentists after any type of tooth extraction or oral surgery. Oral irrigation is quite simple: you'll need only a small syringe and warm salt water. Mix one-half teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water, then fill the syringe. Place a full syringe of salt water around the tooth socket at least several times a day, and always rinse the area with salt water whenever you eat (soft diet included.)
The salt water helps hasten the healing process by reducing inflammation. It can also prevent infection by keeping harmful bacteria away from your healing extraction site. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection following your procedure.
Eat Well -- Even Though It's Soft
Your dentist will typically recommend a soft diet following a tooth extraction. Unfortunately, many people ignore this guideline -- only to pay the price of a painful extended recovery. If you follow the other two tips above whilst eating a soft diet for even just a day or two, you'll find recovery to be faster and easier than you'd imagined.
You can still enjoy soup, soft cooked eggs, puddings, ice cream, yoghurt, and well cooked vegetables among many other foods. Cutting your recovery time is well worth a few days of eating more carefully, isn't it?
Put these three simple tips into practise and you'll be yourself again quite quickly after your tooth extraction. You may even start to question why you've dreaded this procedure for so long.