While mouthwash can be a valuable addition to your daily oral hygiene by combating bad breath or cavity prevention, there are specific occasions when you should use it and when you shouldn't.
Plus, using mouthwash too soon after tooth extraction healing process may:
- prematurely dislodging the blood clot
- loosen the healing tissue
- cause severe pain
- potentially disrupt surgery site healing
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the best timing to use mouthwash after tooth extraction or surgery.
What is tooth extraction?Tooth extraction is a dental procedure where a dentist removes a tooth due to issues like tooth decay, damage, or infection.
There are two types of extraction:
- simple tooth extraction: the removal of teeth visible in the mouth which is simply done in-office with forceps.
- surgical tooth extraction: a more complex procedure for impacted or non-visible teeth, usually wisdom teeth.
Dental extraction is common, but taking proper care after the procedure is still essential to ensure a smooth recovery.
Why do teeth get removed?Studies show that teeth may need to be removed for various reasons.
While dental professionals prefer to save natural teeth whenever possible, they typically consider extraction a last resort, as other restorative methods such as dental fillings or dental crowns, aren't always enough.
Your dentist may recommend tooth removal or wisdom tooth extraction if you have several cases, such as:
- severe tooth decay
- advanced gum disease
- impacted wisdom teeth
- orthodontic needs
- dental trauma
- failed ailed root canal
- malformed or non-functional teeth,
- and as part of orthognathic surgery
- An extra tooth blocks another tooth or teeth from erupting properly
- A tooth contributes to overcrowding or complicating orthodontic treatment
- A tooth removal requires medical treatment (such as radiation therapy)
Leaving a damaged tooth unpulled can lead to further severe complications.
It is important to note the decision to extract a tooth depends on individual cases and the assessment of a dental professional.
Plus, regular oral care, including brushing with nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste, using expandable floss, rinsing with alkaline mouthwash, and dental check-ups, can often prevent the need for extractions.
When is it okay to use mouthwash?
It is generally okay to use alcohol free mouthwash as part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
However, it's advisable to avoid using mouthwash, especially if it's alcohol-based, after a dental extraction or oral surgery as this could interfere with the healing process.
After getting a tooth pulled, you should not rinse for the first 24 hours. The initial healing involves a blood clot that stops bleeding, and aggressive rinsing can disrupt it, leading to more bleeding.
Plus, you should avoid forceful spitting that may disturb the extraction site. After 48 hours, you can then resume using your regular mouthwash.
Further, take caution and swish gently for the first week after extraction.
Always follow your dentist's recommendations for the best timing based on your specific situation.
How can mouthwash help with tooth extraction?
After waiting for 24 hours, using mouthwash for post-tooth extraction is beneficial as it can:
- Reduce Bacteria: Antiseptic properties in mouthwash like neem oil and licorice extract can help kill bacteria in the mouth, minimizing the risk of infection at the extraction site.
- Promote Healing: Some mouthwashes contain ingredients like chlorhexidine, which can promote healing, help with bad taste and odor, and reduce inflammation by preventing bacterial growth.
- Minimize Discomfort: Rinsing with a mild, non-alcoholic mouthwash can help keep the extracted area clean without causing irritation or discomfort.
- Freshen Breath: Mouthwash helps maintain oral hygiene, preventing bad breath during the initial stages of recovery when normal brushing might be challenging.
While mouthwash doesn't replace daily brushing and flossing, it can help prevent plaque, cavities, and gingivitis when included in your oral hygiene routine.
And don't forget, choose a mouthwash without alcohol like SWISH Mouthwash to keep things gentle on your healing mouth.
What should I do after tooth extraction?After undergoing a tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removal, it is essential to maintain your oral care.
Particular actions, even from the initial day, can contribute to a smooth and efficient recovery.
Best practices after an extraction include:
- Oral Hygiene - brush with fluoride-free toothpaste and floss, but avoid the extraction site to protect the blood clot.
- Medication - take prescribed antibiotics or pain medication as directed.
- Comfort Monitoring - contact your dentist or oral surgeon if discomfort persists after 48 hours.
- Rest and Elevation - rest with an elevated head to aid recovery and minimize bleeding.
- Diet - eat soft foods, chew gently, and maintain oral hygiene after meals
Remember, it's not just about what you avoid; it's also about what you do to help yourself heal.
Follow these steps to keep your mouth clean, and you'll be on your way to a smooth recovery with a healthy smile!
What to avoid after a tooth extraction?
To ensure a successful recovery after a tooth extraction, following a dental professional recommendation is crucial to prevent complications:
- Avoid taking hot liquids such as soup, coffee, tea, etc.
- Avoid using a straw, sucking on candy or ice pops, slurping soups or liquids, rinsing your mouth too vigorously, or smoking for the first 24 hours. These activities create suction that could dislodge the blood clot.
- Skip alcohol and mouthwash with alcohol for the initial 24 hours, as alcohol use may hinder the healing process.
- Refrain from spitting, as it may loosen or dislodge the clot.
So, make sure you avoid these things, keep it easy, and your mouth will thank you later!
Should I use salt water rinse after tooth extraction?
Yes, using a saltwater rinse is generally recommended after a tooth extraction.
Studies suggest that it can help keep the extraction site clean as well as reduce the risk of infection and promote healing.
To do so, mix about half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm (not hot) water and gently rinse your mouth.
Of course, it's important to follow the specific instructions provided by your dentist regarding when and how to use a saltwater rinse, as immediate use may not be advisable in some cases.
Summary: How long after tooth extraction can I use mouthwash?It's generally advisable to wait at least 24 hours after a tooth extraction before using mouthwash.
During the initial healing period, focus on gentle oral care.
After the first day, gradually introduce a mild, alcohol free mouthwash into your routine.
Also, always prioritize your dentist's guidance, as individual cases may vary.
Plus, maintaining good oral hygiene, along with proper care, contributes to a smoother recovery process after a tooth extraction.
In conclusion, wait 24 hours after tooth extraction, then use alkaline mouthwash for a happy, healthy smile and fresh breath.
Easy-peasy, isn't it?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use mouthwash immediately after a tooth extraction?
No, you should not use mouthwash immediately after a tooth extraction. It's generally advisable to wait at least 24 hours before using mouthwash after a tooth extraction. This allows time for a blood clot to form, aiding in the healing process.
What type of mouthwash should I use post-tooth extraction?
You should use an alcohol-free and non-irritating mouthwash post-tooth extraction to prevent complications. Alcohol-free options are gentler on the healing tissues, reducing the risk of irritation.
When is it okay to resume regular mouthwash use after extraction?
You can typically resume using your regular mouthwash after 24-48 hours but always follow your dentist's specific recommendations based on your case.
Why is avoiding alcohol important after extraction?
Alcohol may interfere with the healing process, so it's recommended to skip alcohol and mouthwash with alcohol for the initial 24 hours after a tooth extraction.
When is it safe to resume regular oral hygiene after extraction?
You can resume regular oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing (avoiding the extraction site), the day after extraction. That said, be sure to check in with your dentist for personalized advice.