To speed healing after a tooth extraction and have a more comfortable recovery, you need to follow your oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions. And one of the guidelines you’ll likely be given is to use a warm saltwater rinse in the days after your procedure.
Why rinse with a saltwater solution? Simply put, salt has natural properties that expedite the healing process. In addition to using a saltwater rinse, you can take several other steps to expedite your recovery after a tooth extraction.
How a Saltwater Rinse Speeds Healing
When you use a saltwater rinse, you change the pH balance of your mouth. The salt creates an environment where bacteria struggle to survive and find it incredibly difficult to breed. So, with regular rinsing, you can reduce your risk of infection and other complications.
Rinsing with a saltwater solution also promotes faster healing by acting as a substitute for brushing. After a tooth extraction, you can’t get near the surgical site with a toothbrush – but you can use a rinse to keep the area clean.
How to Use a Saltwater Rinse
To make a saltwater solution, just add ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and stir until it completely dissolves.
You can start using the saltwater rinse the day after your tooth extraction. Oral surgeons typically recommend rinsing four to five times per day for about a week. Each time, gently swish the saltwater solution around in your mouth, then carefully spit it out – use too much force, and you could dislodge the blood clot. If that happens, the surgical site may take longer to heal and you could experience painful post-extraction complications.
How to Enjoy a Smooth and Easy Recovery
After a tooth extraction, you’ll need to follow all of your oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions. Using a saltwater rinse certainly helps promote proper healing, but taking other steps can help ensure you have a fast, problem-free recovery.
Here at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our oral surgeons recommend these tooth extraction recovery guidelines:
- Take medication and apply ice on schedule, as directed.
- Don’t rinse the mouth or spit for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
- Drink plenty of fluids, but skip straws and avoid hot liquids.
- Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least three days.
- Refrain from smoking and drinking for as long as possible after the extraction.
Do you need to get a tooth extraction? For expert care from a highly-skilled and compassionate oral surgeon in the east central Indiana area, make an appointment at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly are board-certified oral surgeons with over 40 years of combined practice experience, and both routinely perform both simple and complex extractions. You’ll be in good hands with the Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team – contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, office and schedule a tooth extraction consultation today.