Wisdom tooth extraction can be a relatively painless process. Yet, oftentimes people experience complications such as dry sockets after a wisdom tooth extraction. The real key to post-operation healing processes involves allowing your natural healing process to work its magic. Any interference with this process will reduce your chances of a simple wisdom tooth healing process. Mouthwash poses one such serious risk. If you jump the gun on mouthwash rinsing, you will prevent blood clotting and put yourself in harm's way.
Things You'll Need
Avoid the temptation of mouthwash. While you may use mouthwash regularly to kill germs and freshen your breath, the very chemicals you have grown to love can hurt you. Using mouthwash, which contains alcohol, will stifle the blood clotting process. You should avoid mouthwash for 14 days after the surgery to minimize your risk of complications. Otherwise, using mouthwash within 24 hours should be avoided at all costs. Failure to adhere to the 24 hour rule will lead to severe burning and pain.
Kill the germs in your mouth. Mouthwash does not hold exclusive rights to killing germs and preventing infections. Rather, warm salt water can do the trick. Pour some warm (not hot) salt water into a glass. Add 1 or 2 tbsp. of salt to the water. Mix the water with the spoon. Next, pour a small amount of the saltwater mixture into your mouth. Rinse your mouth with the warm saltwater. Do not rinse as you normally would. Rather, gently rock your head side to side to avoid breaking up the blood clotting process. This will kill germs in your mouth and remove food debris from the extraction sight. You should rinse with warm saltwater at least three times a day. If you really want to kill infections, rinse in the morning, at night and after every meal. You should avoid rinsing with warm saltwater for 24 hours after the extraction. This will give your mouth some time to form natural blood clots.
Clean your mouth with your prescription mouthwash. Occasionally, your dentist may prescribe you a special mouthwash containing chlorhexidine. This mouthwash will not disrupt blood clotting. You do not need to use saltwater if you have the prescription mouthwash. Use the mouthwash for only as long as your dentist recommended.
Resume the use of mouthwash. After 14 days, you should be ready to use mouthwash again. You can mix the mouthwash with water to ease your way back into the process. Gradually increase the proportion of mouthwash to water until you find yourself back in your normal dental routine.