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  • While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite your tongue or the inside of your cheek or lip.

  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

    • If the dentist gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.

    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your dentist if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.

  • If your dentist prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

  • If you have bleeding, bite gently on a gauze pad. Change the pad as it becomes soaked with blood.

  • After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day. Your dentist may recommend other mouth rinses if needed. Do not rinse hard. This can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.

  • Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or swishing liquid in your mouth. And don't use a straw for the first few days. These actions can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.

  • Avoid chewing in the area where the tooth was removed until your mouth heals. Soft foods like gelatin or soup might be easier to eat and may help you heal.

  • If needed, put ice or a cold pack on your cheek for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake) or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.

  • Do not smoke or use spit tobacco for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Tobacco use can delay healing.

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