Post-Operative Instructions: Single Tooth Extraction

Post-Operative Instructions: Single Tooth Extraction


  • Medication is usually not necessary; however, ibuprofen may be used for discomfort or pain. 


  • Always wash your hands before and after touching bloody gauze.
  • For the first 4 hours after surgery, the gauze packs need to be changed every 1½ to 2 hours.
  • Usually the gauze does not need to be replaced more than once.
  • A certain amount of bleeding is expected following the surgery. Saliva might be tinged with blood for the first 48 hours.
  • Remove gauze while eating, drinking, and at bedtime.


  • Avoid touching the area near the extraction site for the first few hours after surgery.
  • Keep fingers, toothpicks, and other objects out of the mouth, as it can cause infection.
  • Avoid touching the treated area with your tongue.
  • Do not rinse the day of surgery unless instructed by the doctor.


  • Brush as usual the day after surgery but be careful near the area of the extracted tooth.
  • Use warm salt water rinses (½ tsp of salt dissolved in 8 oz of warm water) 4 to 6 times a day for 2 to 3 days.

AVOID (for at least 4 days after surgery)

  • Avoid hard foods, crackers, chips, popcorn, nuts, and seeds for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid sodas and carbonated drinks.
  • Avoid sipping on a straw.
  • Avoid smoking (it can be detrimental to the healing process).
  • Avoid chewing on the opposite side of the mouth from the extraction.


  • A soft diet is best for the first 2 days after surgery.

If you have any problems or questions, please call (505) 988-2121.