After having a tooth removed (extracted), you can improve healing by providing some extra care for your mouth. On the first day after an extraction, you can help control bleeding by biting down firmly on gauze. The pressure helps to form a blood clot. However, if you are having a lot of bleeding, you can also bite on a tea bag. The acid in the tea also aids in forming a blood clot. Placing an ice pack on your cheek near the extraction size may help to reduce swelling and can be applied for ten-minute intervals as needed. After 12 hours, you can rinse up to four times a day with 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of water. Be sure to rinse very gently. You could dislodge the blood clot if not careful. For the first 24 hours, it is best to limit your activities to avoid heaving lifting or aerobic activity. Be sure to get enough sleep and elevate your head slightly when lying down.
You may brush your teeth, but do not brush the actual extraction site. Avoid using toothpaste initially, as rinsing the toothpaste could dislodge the clot. Eat a soft diet for the first couple of days and be sure to drink plenty of liquids. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth than the extraction site and avoid crunchy or sticky foods. After an extraction, you should NOT: smoke, suck on a straw, or drink hot liquids. These activities could dislodge the blood clot and/or impede healing time.