When Can I Use Mouthwash After A Tooth Extraction

The general rule of thumb is to wait 48 hours before using mouthwash after a tooth extraction. Mouthwash contains strong anti-bacterial properties, and if used too soon after an extraction, it can irritate or dry the mucosa, increasing the likelihood of developing a condition called “dry socket” (also known as alveolar osteitis). If dry socket occurs, healing of the extraction site will be delayed, and discomfort is prolonged.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Mouth Wash?

Mouth wash is a dental product designed for use in the mouth. It is swished around to clean and freshen the mouth and then discarded. Mouth wash typically contains antimicrobial and other ingredients designed to inhibit odor-causing sulfur compounds and reduce the bacteria that contribute to gum disease and gingivitis. While it can’t replace daily brushing and flossing for getting rid of the bulk of oral bacteria, it may provide some additional long-term benefits.

According to the ADA, the ADA categorizes mouth wash or mouth rinses as either a cosmetic mouth rinse or therapeutic mouth rinse. Cosmetic mouth rinses as those that do not contain medicinal ingredients and are meant to freshen breath only. Therapeutic mouth rinses, on the other hand, include substances such as fluoride and can help protect teeth from cavities, keep your mouth clean, control plaque, reduce gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay.

Should I Rinse my Mouth After an Extraction?

After a tooth is pulled, your Fairview dentist recommends avoiding vigorous rinsing for at least 24 hours. The first stage of healing involves a blood clot that helps to stop the bleeding. Vigorous rinsing could disrupt the clot and allow more bleeding, and spitting it out can also disturb or dislodge the blood clot. After 24 hours, you can use a salt-water mouth wash to help clean and heal the area. To help cleanse the area and speed up recovery, mix together a teaspoon of salt and warm water and gently rinse your mouth. Do this twice a day for at least a week or as long as your dentist recommends. When you’re done rinsing your mouth, spit gently into a sink, allowing gravity to do most of the work. Do not spit forcefully as you may agitate the extraction site. After 48 hours, you may then use your mouth wash.

When Can I Brush My Teeth?

After your tooth extraction, it is advisable to avoid any sort of oral hygiene for the first 24 hours. This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Following your tooth extraction, your healing tooth socket needs to be left alone for the first 24 hours so that a blood clot can begin forming and the healing process can begin. After the first 24 hours, you may brush your teeth carefully, but be sure not to brush too hard or come into contact with the extraction site.

Can I Use Mouthwash after My Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Following a wisdom tooth removal, it is recommended not to use mouthwash after wisdom tooth removal for up to 48 hours. The same do’s, and don’ts apply as with a wisdom tooth extraction.

What's The Healing Time After A Tooth Extraction?

After undergoing a tooth extraction, you can expect to experience the following stages of healing. Although everyone heals differently, the following stages are common:

  • First 24 hours – After an extraction, you may expect a clot to form in the socket. Get plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activity. During this time, you may experience minor bleeding, swelling, and some pain within the first 24 hours after having a tooth pulled. If these symptoms get worse, or you experience severe pain, contact your dentist immediately. 
  • Day after surgery –  Following an extraction, patients should avoid dislodging the blood clot. Dislodging the blood clot could cause a painful condition called dry socket. After tooth extraction, do not suck on a straw or brush in the area of your tooth extraction.
  • After three days – The gums will begin to heal and cover the extraction site within three days of a tooth being pulled.
  • After one week – Within 7 to 10 days after the extraction, the socket formed by the removal of the tooth will have begun to heal. By that time, any discomfort or tenderness should have subsided.