Tips for After Dental Extractions

Tips for After Dental Extractions
Posted on 07/14/2021

We know that dental extractions can be painful and irritating, especially once after the procedure is done. Dr. William Rowell O’Neal knows all about what to do when patients go through this experience. Our office provides extensive care to all patients who need dental care right here in Mobile, Alabama. If you have recently gone through a dental extraction, here are tips that help you while in recovery.

What to Do After a Dental Extraction

  • Control bleeding- Before leaving the office, your dentist should have already put gauze in your mouth. Bite down on the gauze for about 30 minutes before removing. The pressure helps slow the bleeding down. If you notice that you have a lot of bleeding, one trick is to bite on a regular tea bag. The tannic acid in the tea aids in forming a blood clot. If you notice that the bleeding has not stopped (or becoming lighter), please contact your dentist.
  • Maintain pain/medication- To lessen any pain, your dentist will prescribe medication as directed. These medications may make you drowsy, so it’s important to avoid driving or operating any type of machinery throughout your recovery. Ask your dentist if you may take over-the-counter medicine if needed.
  • Swelling- If you notice swelling (which is a normal part of the healing process), put an ice pack or a cold compress on your cheek. Patients can expect swelling to increase for 72 hours after surgery and reside after 4-5 days. Apply the ice pack to your cheek for 10 minutes. Then remove it for 5 minutes. Repeat as needed.
  • Clean- The most important thing to do is to clean the extraction site to avoid infection. Pay careful attention to your dentist’s instructions when it comes to how and when to rinse and brush your teeth. Your dentist may recommend rinsing with saltwater 12 hours after the surgery and wait to brush after 24 hours after your procedure. If you aren’t sure what the best way to clean your mouth is, contact your dentist.
  • Rest- Before your procedure, be prepared to take at least two or more days off from work. Take it easy while at home and get plenty of sleep at night. When lying down, always keep your head elevated above your heart. Exercising, heavy lifting and anything else that might raise your heart rate should be avoided as it will likely result in more bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.

Do’s & Don’ts

Here are some things to consider when recovering.


  • Eat soft, healthy foods and snacks.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Avoid brushing around the extraction.
  • Keep the extraction site clean.


  • Don’t brush with toothpaste.
  • Don’t drink with a straw.
  • Don’t drink hot liquids and alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke

Need to See a Dentist for a Tooth Extraction?

Come see Dr. William Rowell O’Neal today! Our staff is equipped to handle all types of dental treatments, everything from dental extractions and cleanings to cosmetic dentistry and above. We are proud to serve the Mobile, Alabama community. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We strive to bring quality care to all of our patients!

Phone: (251) 479-5157

116 S. Florida St.,

Mobile, AL 36606

Dr. William R. O’Neal, Sr.

  • The Dental Office of Dr. William R. O’Neal, Sr. - 116 S. Florida St., Mobile, AL 36606 Phone: 251-479-5157 Fax: 251-471-3423

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