Our goal is to have your healing phase after a tooth extraction be as comfortable and smooth as possible. Proper home care is very important. Here are some general instructions to follow during your healing phase. RINSING YOUR MOUTH: You may gently rinse your mouth after 12 hours.Use ¼ teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water. Do not use any other mouth rinse unless specifically instructed to. BRUSHING: Start brushing your teeth the first evening using hot water to soften the toothbrush bristles. Be very gentle around the extraction area. GAUZE: After a tooth extraction, it is normal for bleeding to occur. You may leave the office biting on wet gauze to assist in the healing of this area. If you do leave the office with gauze, please discard after 2 hours (unless you have been instructed otherwise). If the area is still oozing slightly, you may change out the gauze. Fold up new gauze into a small square, wet it with water, and bite down firmly. Sit quietly in an upright position. This should control most bleeding. If bleeding continues, place a moist tea bag in the extraction area and bite/place good pressure until bleeding subsides. DIET: We encourage you to drink fluids immediately and choose softer foods as much as possible for several days. DO NOT use a straw for the first 48 hours after an extraction and avoid brittle, crunchy and chewy foods for the next several days. Eating a diet rich in protein (i.e., eggs, meats and cottage cheese) will promote healing. SMOKING: You should NOT smoke for 5-7 days after an extraction. Smoking will dramatically increase your chances of experiencing oral complications after your extraction and significantly slow down your natural healing process. ACTIVITY: Minimal physical activity is recommended; however, avoid excessive work or play. Overexertion may intensify your discomfort level or cause bleeding. SWELLING: Swelling is common. To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 30 minutes, remove for 30 minutes, and repeat for 4-5 hours as needed. DISCOMFORT: Some discomfort may be present for 7-10 days following your procedure. This may be felt in the ear, under the lower jaw, and in the temple region. If you experience a dull, intense, throbbing ache which cannot be relieved by pain medication, please feel free to call us. If we are not available, please proceed to the nearest emergency care facility. SKIN DISCOLORATION: It is not abnormal for your skin to show some bruising after a tooth extraction. This will gradually go away and does not require treatment. UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS: If you feel you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, please do not hesitate to call and speak to one of our dental team members. If it is after hours or you are unable to reach our dental team, please go to the nearest emergency care facility. Schedule an Appointment Today Our Hudsonville, MI, dentists are ready to help you and your family get the quality dental care you deserve. Call Hudsonville Dental today at (616) 209-4024, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.