Scared to brush: Tips for brushing teeth after tooth extraction

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene after a tooth extraction to promote healing and prevent infection. However, there may be some tenderness and sensitivity around the extraction site; but as long as you are gentle and don’t disturb it directly, there is no need to be scared to brush your teeth after extraction.

Stitches are commonly used after tooth extraction to help close the wound and promote healing. It is important to be cautious around stitches when brushing your teeth to prevent them from becoming dislodged or causing irritation to the surrounding tissue. 

If your stitches are dissolvable, they will typically dissolve within a week or two. However, some stitches may take longer to dissolve, especially if they are made from a different material.

Here are some recommendations for brushing your teeth after tooth extraction:

Scared to brush

Tips for brushing teeth after tooth extraction

Wait 24 hours to brush

Avoid brushing your teeth on the first night after the tooth extraction to allow the blood clot to form and stabilize. After 24 hours, gently brush the teeth near the extraction site.

Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush

Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean the teeth and gums around the extraction site. Avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too vigorously as it can irritate the extraction site and delay the healing process.

Use recommended toothpaste

When brushing after a tooth extraction, use a gentle toothpaste without harsh abrasives or strong flavors. A fluoride toothpaste is also recommended to help protect the teeth and prevent decay.

Keep in mind that ordinary toothpaste may neutralize the effects of medicated rinses, such as chlorhexidine, which can reduce their effectiveness. Therefore, it is recommended to use plain water or a non-medicated toothpaste that does not contain any active ingredients for brushing, to ensure that the rinse remains effective and provides the desired benefits.

Be gentle

Brush the teeth and gums around the extraction site gently and avoid applying too much pressure. Use small circular motions to clean the area and make sure to reach all the surfaces of the teeth.

Avoid the extraction site

Avoid brushing directly on the extraction site, especially if there is still some tenderness or pain. Instead, focus on cleaning the surrounding teeth and gums.

Brush at least twice a day

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals. This will help keep your mouth clean and reduce the risk of infection.

Rinse your mouth gently

After brushing, rinse your mouth gently with saltwater or a medicated rinse recommended by your dentist. This will help keep the extraction site clean and reduce the risk of infection. If using a rinse, follow your dentist’s instructions. Typical usage may range from a few days to several weeks.

If using a medicated rinse, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the dentist or healthcare provider regarding when to use it and how long to wait after brushing

Some medicated rinses may interact with certain toothpaste ingredients, so it is best to consult with the dentist or healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate toothpaste to use in conjunction with the rinse. They may recommend a specific toothpaste or suggest avoiding certain types of toothpaste.

Frequently Asked questions

When can i start brushing after tooth extraction?

It is generally recommended to wait at least 24 hours after a tooth extraction before brushing your teeth. However, it is important to follow your dentist’s specific instructions, as the timeline may vary depending on the individual case. If there is any concern about brushing, you should consult your dentist for guidance.

Can i brush my teeth 2 days after tooth extraction?

Yes, but you should be careful to avoid dislodging the clot or irritating the extraction site by following the tips discussed above. If bleeding starts for some reason, you should stop brushing immediately and rinse your mouth with cold water. Gently bite down on a piece of moistened gauze or a tea bag for about 20-30 minutes to help the bleeding subside. If bleeding persists or is heavy, contact your dentist or oral surgeon for further instructions.

Why does it feel different when brushing teeth after wisdom tooth extraction?

Brushing teeth after wisdom tooth extraction can feel different due to the healing process and the absence of the wisdom tooth. The area around the extraction site is likely to be swollen and tender, and the socket may be covered by a blood clot or stitches.

Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too stiff can irritate the area and dislodge the blood clot, which can lead to complications like dry socket.

Additionally, the missing wisdom teeth may make it difficult to reach certain areas of the mouth, which can lead to incomplete cleaning and the accumulation of plaque and bacteria.

It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions on how to brush your teeth after wisdom tooth extraction to promote healing and prevent complications.

Final note

Remember to always follow the instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon regarding brushing and oral care after a tooth extraction. If you experience any pain or discomfort, contact your dental professional for advice.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

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