Do I Need an Antiseptic Rinse After Dental Surgery?

Learn about antiseptic rinses after dental surgery and how they can help reduce the risk of infection. Find out what to avoid eating after surgery.

Do I Need an Antiseptic Rinse After Dental Surgery?

Different people heal at different rates after a dental extraction. It's important to keep your mouth and the extraction site as clean as possible, ensuring that the cavity is free of food and debris. For the first 24 hours after surgery, it's best to avoid rinsing your mouth. This will help your mouth begin to heal.

After this time, you can use a saltwater rinse to help clean and heal the area. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water rinsed gently around the cavity twice a day should do the trick. Keep this up for at least a week or for as long as your dentist tells you to. Tooth decay can occur when plaque hardens and forms dental tartar, trapping a layer of bacteria on the teeth.

Some dental equipment and procedures, such as ultrasonic scrapers, air polishing, an air-water syringe, and dental polishing with manual pneumatic turbine parts or air abrasion, generate aerosols, a mixture of liquid and solid particles. Mouthwash can help keep your mouth clean, but you shouldn't use it for the first 24 hours after a tooth extraction or oral surgery. To prevent infection at the surgical site from impacted food debris, avoid eating popcorn, peanuts, seeds, or chips for at least two weeks after surgery. Alveolar osteitis (AO), also known as dry alveolitis, is a common postoperative condition that follows tooth extraction procedures, in particular those of the third molar.

However, there is no evidence that mouthwash prior to the procedure protects against clinical illness among dental staff. Dental problems such as tooth decay and advanced gum disease are the most common reasons for extracting a tooth.

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