While your tooth extraction may be painless, you still have to care for it to allow the soft tissues to heal properly as well as to prevent post-operative complications.

Here are some dos and don’ts of tooth extraction aftercare.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare


  • Do bite down on the gauze that your dentist will provide you to put pressure and stop bleeding
  • Do allow the site to heal by letting it clot
  • Do avoid any physical activity such as carrying heavy objects or exercising
  • Do take only soft foods like soups, smoothies, and mashed vegetables
  • Do rest as much as possible. Keep your head upright by propping it on a pillow
  • Do apply an ice pack on the side of your face where the extraction took place to reduce swelling

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  • Don’t smoke for at least 2 days (48 hours) after tooth extraction
  • Don’t eat solids while your mouth is still numb to avoid choking
  • Don’t skip your prescriptions, which help you feel comfortable and help reduce swelling
  • Don’t take aspirin, which is a blood thinner and can prevent clotting and healing
  • Don’t have hot drinks, sodas, candies, spicy foods, and sweets
  • Don’t poke or pick at the gap or extraction site as this delays healing.

Your extraction dentist may have other guidelines and instructions to give you, so be sure to follow them to the letter to avoid complications such as severe bleeding, inflammation, delayed healing, and infection.