How Long Should You Use Salt Water After Tooth Extraction?

How Long Should You Use Salt Water After Tooth Extraction?

October 1, 2022

Occasionally, your tooth may become so damaged from illness, injury, decay, or infection that it must be extracted. In addition, adult teeth may be overcrowded, and tooth removal is a necessary part of the alignment process. At Indian Creek Family Dentistry, our experienced dentists are qualified to pull your teeth safely and deliver the aftercare one needs to recover. You’ll also regain tooth function, health, and a beautiful smile.

When you visit your dentist for tooth removal, they’ll give you aftercare instructions. In addition, our surgical team will advise you on what to do and what not for a smooth recovery.

One of the directions one may be given is to start using saltwater rinse a day after the procedure. Oral surgeons recommend this step, as it helps expedite your healing process.

But how does saltwater work? Are there steps you can follow to improve post-tooth extraction care?

Why Saltwater Rinsing Helps

When you use salt water rinse, it promotes proper healing. The healing speeds up the tooth extraction recovery process. After getting tooth extraction near you, cleaning your mouth becomes more difficult. You can’t use a toothbrush near or at the extraction area until the area is healed. Doing so can irritate the gum tissues. Saltwater rinse acts as a substitute for brushing and keeping your socket clean.

Additionally, rinsing with salt water helps create an environment that’s hostile to dental bacteria. As a result, using saltwater regularly helps prevent infection and other post-extraction problems.

How to Make and Use a Saltwater Rinse

Making the saltwater rinse is incredibly easy. All you have to do is to add about a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, then stir until it’s dissolved.

To use, swish the solution lightly around the mouth for 30 seconds. Then spit it out gently and take care not to dislodge the blood clot formed over the extraction area. When the clot is dislodged, it can be painful and may lengthen the recovery process. It may also lead to post-extraction complications.

How Long Should one Use Salt Water after Tooth Extraction?

It’s essential to keep your mouth clean after oral surgery. You should keep using warm salt water rinses at least twice daily for seven days.

Additional Tooth Extraction Aftercare Advice

Other aftercare tips include:


When you leave your dentist’s office after tooth extraction in Trafalgar, IN, the tooth socket will have stopped bleeding. However, if you disturb the socket, it may start bleeding again. If this happens, you should take a clean handkerchief and roll it up into a sausage shape. Next, dip into hot salt water, squeeze it fairly dry, place it over the socket and bite it firmly while resting.

Rest is essential as it reduces blood pressure. After 15 minutes, remove the handkerchief from the pocket and rest for 30 minutes. Contact your dentist if bleeding continues.


After the anesthetic wears off, you’ll start feeling the pain that lasts 24 hours or so. Any soreness or pain is relieved by taking a suitable painkiller. You shouldn’t exceed the recommended dosage. If you experience severe pain, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist immediately.

Eating and Drinking

You shouldn’t eat until the anesthetic has worn off, and you should only eat soft foods. Avoid chewing at the site of extraction for at least three days. Drinks such as warm tea are not bad, but you should drink them straight back and don’t swill them around the socket. Also, you shouldn’t consume alcoholic drinks and smoke for at least 24 hours.


Your dentist will advise you not to prolong physical exertion for a few days after the surgery. If in doubt, you should ask your dental professional.

Swelling and Brushing

Swelling often occurs, and it’s normal during the healing process. However, if it’s excess and is accompanied by severe pain or fever, please call your dentist near you immediately.

You should use an ice pack for the first day after surgery. This contributes to your comfort and minimizes swelling. Place the ice on your face over the extraction area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.


You should always begin taking your pain medication before your numbness wears off. If your dentist prescribes an antibiotic, take it directly until it’s all gone. Your dentist recommends you take an over-the-counter probiotic when taking antibiotics.

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