How to Rinse With Salt Water After a Tooth Extraction

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A tooth that is chipped, rotted or otherwise damaged beyond repair is removed by a dentist or oral surgeon via extraction. A similar procedure is also used to eliminate unnecessary wisdom teeth from the mouth. While a tooth extraction is a simple procedure, patients still experience discomfort and are also at risk for infection once the tooth is removed. Rinsing with salt water on a daily basis after the extraction prevents infections, heals cuts and other wounds and speeds up overall recovery time.

Things You'll Need

  • Cup
  • Water
  • Salt

Wait 24 hours after the extraction before rinsing. This keeps you from experiencing severe pain while rinsing.

Fill a cup or glass with one cup warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot to avoid pain or accidentally burning the inside of your mouth.

Add roughly ½ tsp. of table salt to the water. Stir the water gently with a spoon to mix the salt into the liquid.

Pour all of the salt water into your mouth. Swish the mixture around your mouth, concentrating on the area of the extraction. Swish gently to avoid pain. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds.

Spit the salt water out into the sink. Rinse your mouth carefully with lukewarm tap water to remove any unwanted salty taste from your mouth.

Repeat Steps 2 through 5 right when you wake up, after each meal and right before you go to bed to avoid infection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rinse your mouth with salt water for a week or two, or as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon, to avoid infections and speed up healing time.
  • Remember to drink plenty of fluids (if/when your doctor gives you the OK to do so), as rinsing with salt water dries out your mouth and skin.
  • Contact your dentist or oral surgeon if you experience excess pain, bleeding or swelling or any high fevers 48 hours after the extraction.

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