How to Stop Bleeding After Tooth Removal: Quick Tips

When your child gets a tooth removed, it’s normal for some bleeding to occur. When a tooth is pulled, bleeding is required to form a clot. If that clot doesn’t form and your child continues to bleed, there could be a more serious problem that should be checked out by a dentist.

We want you to understand what happens when the tooth is removed, how to stop bleeding after tooth removal, and the reasons for getting teeth extracted in the first place. This article explains what should be avoided after tooth removal to prevent bleeding and gives you tips on how to stop any persistent bleeding.

If you need a dentist for a tooth removal or are looking to follow-up with a dentist who accepts various forms of payment, including Medicaid, Kool Smiles can help. Call us at 254-781-0553 to learn more about our quality care, where we’re located, and how we can help your child.

Dental Precautions After Tooth Removal

After your child has a tooth pulled, which is called a tooth extraction, the dentist will cover the area with gauze pads and instruct them to bite down. The dentist will likely give you extra gauze to take home. This will help stop some of the initial bleeding.

Before leaving the dentist’s office, your dentist might change the gauze pads again, depending on how much your child is bleeding. You will then be sent home with the assumption that the gums will eventually stop bleeding.

Once you arrive at home, it is recommended that you change your child’s gauze each time it fills with blood.

How to Prevent Bleeding After Tooth Removal

If you want to prevent your child from bleeding after tooth removal, avoid these eight activities immediately following the procedure:

  1. Chewing foods—It is best for your child to avoid hard or difficult foods, such as seeds, tomato sauce, popcorn, hard vegetables and hot liquids. Instead eat soft foods such as yogurt, soup, ice cream and mashed potatoes for the first three days following tooth removal.
  2. Drinking through a straw—The suction from drinking out of a straw can dislodge the blood clot and lead to a dry socket. Avoid straws for at least three days.
  3. Brushing the area where the tooth was removed—Not only can this be painful, but it can disrupt the blood clot and harm the healing process. Make sure your child knows not to brush this sensitive area.
  4. Feeling the area with their tongue—Curious as your child may be, probing the area with their tongue can also dislodge the blood clot and disrupt the healing process.
  5. Rinsing out the mouth—This can be tempting, especially with blood, but rinsing out the mouth, in the hours following, can actually dry out the socket, which you don’t want. This is why you should use gauze to soak up the blood.
  6. Spitting—Like rinsing or drinking through a straw, this can cause a dry socket to form so it’s best to avoid it, even if your child is tempted to spit.
  7. Strenuous activities—After getting a tooth removed, your child should take it easy for a couple of days and avoid sports, playing outside and other exertion. This will help control bleeding.
  8. Talking—Your child likely won’t want to talk after they have a tooth or multiple teeth removed. If they do, discourage them since it’s best to avoid talking for the first day and let the blood clot.

If your child is still experiencing severe bleeding after a couple of days, call the dentist for advice on next steps.

What Can You Eat and Drink Following Tooth Removal?

Maybe your child had a baby tooth pulled, or maybe they had all four wisdom teeth pulled. The post-treatment care, for either, is extremely important, which is why children should avoid chewing for a few days.

What can they eat when they’re hungry or thirsty? Here are some foods and drinks recommended for after tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removal.

Recommended food and drinks after tooth extraction:

  • Soups
  • Broths
  • Applesauce
  • Avocados
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Baked apples
  • Pasta
  • Smoothies (with a spoon, not a straw)
  • Squash

Your child probably won’t feel like eating for the first few days, but food can help aid in the recovery process. High-protein foods, like eggs and yogurt, can help speed up the recovery.

What Does Tooth Extraction Feel Like?

When teeth are removed, especially wisdom teeth, you won’t feel anything during the procedure. For wisdom teeth removal, you will probably be given anesthesia. Upon waking up from the procedure, you can expect the following:

  • Bleeding, which should go away
  • Swelling
  • Discomfort, which will probably persist for the first week

Medication can be taken to ease the pain. Susan Maples, D.D.S., often recommends ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which are not addictive like other pain medications.

What Should You Watch Out for during Recovery?

You should do your absolute best to avoid developing dry socket. A dry socket can expose your nerves and bones, leaving you susceptible to infections. Look out for the early signs of a dry socket, which include:

  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant smell or taste
  • No sign of a dark blood clot
  • Sudden severe pain a few days after the procedure

Excessive bleeding could be a sign of another complication as well. Minimal bleeding in the first few days is normal, but what if you are unable to stop bleeding after tooth removal? If you don’t know how to stop bleeding after tooth removal after a few days, you should see a dentist right away. They can determine the issue and recommend the right care. If the bleeding is heavy, there’s a very rare chance your child could have a disorder called arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Only 5% of these occur in the jaw.

How Long Does It Take for the Hole to Close After Tooth Removal?

If you carefully follow your dentist’s instructions and our tips, the hole from the extracted tooth will stop bleeding, close up and heal. If your child had their wisdom teeth removed, expect the healing to take about a week. After a month, the hole should be fully closed and healed.

The actual bone in the socket, however, will take a long time to heal. Your child won’t notice this, but it will take a few months for this bone to adjust. If you’re concerned that it has not healed properly, you can set up an appointment with a Kool Smiles dentist to monitor the process and make sure your child isn’t developing any issues.

Tooth Removal: What Should You Know?

Teeth may need to be removed for a number of reasons. There could be a major infection or significant tooth decay that requires extraction. If children have adult teeth growing in where their baby teeth have not yet fallen out, they may need to get those teeth removed. And, of course, your child may need to have their wisdom teeth removed.

Not every child needs to have teeth removed, but many do. If you take your child to the dentist every six months—which we highly recommend to maintain oral health—the dentist will pay special attention to the molars and the shifting of teeth. If any the following occurs, your child may need to have their wisdom teeth removed:

  • Overcrowding—If there’s not enough room for the wisdom teeth, they may push against the other teeth and cause major problems.
  • Pain in the wisdom teeth—If they are experiencing pain, it’s likely a sign of eruption but could also be a sign of an infection called pericoronitis.
  • Diagonal growth—If their wisdom teeth don’t grow in straight, the teeth might need to be removed to avoid pushing against the other teeth.

Often, children are advised to get their wisdom teeth removed prior to eruption to prevent future complications. However, not everybody needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, and some people’s wisdom teeth never grow in.

Dr. Greg Huang, a professor and chair of the department of orthodontics at the University of Washington, suggests, “You can wait and see how [the wisdom teeth] develop. Most of the time, if they’re going to erupt, they’ll do so by the time you’re in your mid-20s.”

Portrait of an cute african teenage girl sitting in a dentist chair at dentist office. Dentist is examining her teeth.

Dental Care at Kool Smiles

Don’t have a dentist? Or feel you can’t afford a dentist, but need one? Don’t let the costs stop you from getting your family the dental care they deserve. At Kool Smiles, we have a network of dentists and orthodontists who can assist you with your dental needs. Whether it’s a routine cleaning, tooth removal, braces or a root canal, we can help. With over 120 locations throughout the U.S., there may be a Kool Smiles office near you.

Call Kool Smiles Today

Kool Smiles provides quality dental care to children at an affordable price. Best of all, we accept Medicaid and TRICARE, CareCredit, among many other insurance plans.

If you need more information on how to stop bleeding after tooth removal, we are happy to help. We want to make sure your child gets the care they need. Call us today at 254-781-0553 to make an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Kool Smiles.

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Sources:

WebMD: webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dry-socket-symptoms-and-treatment

Dental Health: dentalhealth.org/what-to-do-following-an-extraction

Active: active.com/nutrition/articles/5-high-protein-foods-for-optimal-recovery?page=1

SELF: self.com/story/wisdom-teeth-removal-facts

U.S. National Library of Medicine: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537400/

WebMD: webmd.com/oral-health/guide/pericoronitis

Today: today.com/health/should-wisdom-teeth-be-pulled-why-experts-disagree-t74186

CareCredit: carecredit.com/dentistry/