What Are the Dos and Don’ts After a Tooth Extraction?

915 smile studio office photos 8

Tooth extractions are a common treatment for a variety of conditions, including overcrowding, tooth decay, or a tooth injury. Many adolescents have their wisdom teeth extracted as a preventative measure to avoid dental and oral health issues. Whether your tooth extraction is preventative or therapeutic, you should follow a few simple rules to keep your gums healthy while they heal.

Do: Rinse With Saltwater Every Day

Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. They may recommend that you wait until the first 24 hours have passed to begin using saltwater rinses. To make a saltwater rinse, mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt in about 8 ounces of warm water.

Using mouthwash can cause healing sockets to dry out, so stick to your salt water rinse after meals or right before bed. Your dentist can advise you on a safe frequency, but many advise 3 to 4 rinses a day.

Don’t: Drink Out of a Straw

Drinking out of a straw (as well as sucking drinks, soups, or candies) can dislodge the blood clot that forms over your gums as it heals. The purpose of the blood clot is to protect the exposed bone and nerves while new tissue develops. If the clot dissolves or dislodges, it can cause intense, radiating pain. Food can also get stuck in the socket resulting in discomfort and a higher risk of infection. So, sip gently after a tooth extraction.

Do: Eat Soft Foods

You can continue eating somewhat normally after a tooth extraction, but your diet may be a bit more limited. Stick to foods that don’t require a great deal of chewing and that aren’t a threat to your exposed socket. Some foods that should be safe include:

  • Rice
  • Cooked pasta
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soup

Definitely avoid things like chips, popcorn, nuts, or spicy and acidic foods that can irritate the gums.

Don’t: Exercise Within the First 48 Hours

Your dentist can give you a more detailed timeline about when it will be safe to resume normal activity. However, the first two days after your surgery are important to your healing and recovery. Rest! When you increase your heart rate and strain your body, you increase the risk of negative health outcomes like increased bleeding.

Do: Take Your Prescribed Medications

Pain relievers and antibiotics may be among the prescribed medications after your surgery. If your dentist prescribed them, it’s best to take them as directed. The last thing you want is an infected extraction site that draws out your recovery and endangers the health of your gums.

Don’t: Drink Alcohol or Smoke

Both smoking and alcohol can cause dry socket, but they can also inflame your gums and draw out your healing time. Your dentist may advise you to wait anywhere from 24 hours to five days after the extraction to indulge in either.

Visit 915 Smile Studio for Tooth Extraction in El Paso

At 915 Smile Studio, we perform routine and emergency extractions. We know how stressful it can be to undergo a procedure like this, so we prioritize your comfort and peace of mind from the moment you walk in the door. After your extraction, we can talk next steps for restoring your smile and maintaining your dental health. Call 915-265-4821 to schedule your appointment.

How to Ask Your Dentist for Sedation

915 smile studio office photos2 8

Everyone knows someone with a fear of the dentist. If that person is you–you’re not alone. A study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that around 36 percent of people suffer from dental anxiety. Researchers found that patient anxiety is often rooted in trauma or is learned from others. It may even be your personality to have dental anxiety. Whatever the cause, you deserve a dentist who is understanding of your fear.

If you have a trustworthy dentist, they will do everything in their power to accommodate you. For some, that may mean offering sedation. You don’t have to feel embarrassed about asking what’s available. Here are some tips to help you start the conversation.

Determine if Your Dentist Even Offers Sedation

Some dentists don’t offer sedation, or they may go through an outside contractor. If your dentist doesn’t offer it, you may have other options to explore. If you don’t have a dentist that you know and love, it wouldn’t hurt to research sedation dentists in El Paso who can meet your needs.

Ask About What Kinds of Sedation They Offer

So, your dentist offers sedation. That’s great! There are several different types of sedation, and each comes with unique benefits and disadvantages. For example, oral sedation:

  • Is administered in pill form
  • Takes up to an hour to come into effect
  • Is great for moderate to severe anxiety
  • Won’t completely wear off for around 8 hours
  • Can make you sleepy
  • Allows you to remain conscious and take commands

While oral sedation is more effective than more traditional methods (such as laughing gas) in controlling anxiety, it does require you to get a ride to and from your appointment. It may also negatively interact with existing anxiety medication.

Some Sedation Allows You to Remain Conscious

Many methods of sedation allow you to remain awake with significantly reduced anxiety levels. Even though you are conscious and able to take orders, you may not remember the appointment. If you don’t want to take the risk of waking up or remembering the appointment, conscious sedation may not be right for you.

Be sure to express your desired outcome to your dentist, so they can choose the right kind of sedation for your needs.

Ask About Prices Before You Agree to Sedation

While it may be more than worth the price to forget your appointment ever happened, the cost of sedation may be a stumbling block for some. Services like sedation often come with an added price, so bring this up with your dentist before agreeing to anything. It definitely won’t help your dental anxiety to be hit with a surprise bill.

Practice Phrases for Anxious Patients

If you’re really struggling to initiate the conversation, feel free to take some of these ideas to introduce the topic with your El Paso sedation dentist:

  • “I tend to get so anxious before a dental appointment that I cancel at the last minute, do you think sedation would help me feel more at ease?”
  • “I’m wondering if sedation dentistry will help me be more consistent with my check-ups and oral health. Can you tell me more about what you offer?”
  • “I’ve heard that sedation can make me feel less anxious about coming to the dentist. Could I have some information about what’s available?”

For a Dentist with Sedation in El Paso, Call 915 Smile Studio

If you’re looking for a sedation dentist in El Paso, TX, look no further than 915 Smile Studio. We want to redefine what it’s like to go to the dentist so that each generation looks forward to their visits. We understand that other dentists may have contributed to your fears, so we hope to counteract that with patient, compassionate care. To learn more about how we’re different from other dentists or to schedule your appointment, call 915-881-3860. You can also fill out our contact form to get started