After care instructions for extractions

Every extraction is different and each person responds differently.   We encourage patients to pay attention to their own experience.  The following advice will be useful in your recovery: 

What to do directly after an extraction:

  • After an extraction you must keep firm pressure on the gauze swab provided.  Keep this in place for approximately half an hour after leaving the surgery.
  • After half an hour, use a new piece of gauze provided by the dentist, remembering to keep firm pressure.

DO NOT rinse your mouth for at least 24 hours. Rinsing and spitting hard may cause the clot to come out of the wound and will promote bleeding and delay healing.

  • After 4 hours you may GENTLY swirl water around your mouth
  • If it continues to bleed, apply pressure on the wound with gauze or a handkerchief for half an hour to an hour.
  • If there is excessive bleeding contact the surgery on 9589 2675.
  • The day after extraction, rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water 3 times a day, and continue this regime until the wound as healed.
  • Contact us if you have any concerns or problems.

What to avoid

  • Avoid smoking as it interferes with the healing process, and the site will take longer to heal. Smokers are more likely to get what is called a ‘dry socket’. If this occurs the wound will become very painful and you will need to see the dentist for a dressing,
  • Avoid hot foods and liquids, especially while still numb. When numbness has gone, choose lukewarm liquids and soft foods, and chew away from the wound.


  • Infection is uncommon, and if occurs, will usually present 3-4 days after extraction.  
  • Good oral hygiene is extremely important in avoiding infections.  Lukewarm salt water rinses 3 times a day, together with teeth and tongue brushing are part of good oral hygiene after extraction.

Lukewarm salt water rinse = 1teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water.