Tooth extraction and returning to normal teeth cleaning?
January 13, 2015 2:03 AM   Subscribe

Three weeks ago I had a molar extracted. There were no complications with the extraction or the immediate aftermath. My normal teeth cleaning routine involves using an electric toothbrush and mouthwash both of which I have been avoiding as being too aggressive for the still healing gap. When (or should) I go back to my old cleaning habits?

My upper right molar before the wisdom tooth (UR7) was cracked down to the root and was extracted on the day before Christmas Eve as an infection risk. The tooth was not actually infected and the extraction went very smoothly. I followed the aftercare instructions and the discomfort over the following few days was minor.

I have been using a normal toothbrush to clean my teeth and I have been very careful around the gap where the molar was while still trying to clean the remaining molar and wisdom tooth properly. I have also been very gently trying to clean the gap which, while not being painful, is still very soft and tender.

I would like to go back to using an electric toothbrush along with flossing and mouthwash to clean my teeth because it makes my teeth feel much cleaner. At what point is the extraction site healed enough to let this happen?
posted by antiwiggle to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Best answer: I always just jumped right back to the electric toothbrush but turned off the motor for just the area where the tooth was extracted until it wasn't tender anymore. I also flossed normally. For mouthwash I used a non-alcoholic mouthwash until I was ready to be zinged again. You can always water your mouthwash down--I keep a "mouthwash carafe" with a lid in my bathroom and water it down (50/50) when I have root planing and scaling done every four years or so.
posted by xyzzy at 3:25 AM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Your dentist should have brought you in to check on your healing and advise you what to do. Call their office and ask about a follow-up, or at least for their opinion on when you can go back to an electric. If you feel OK you're probably good to go, but a dentist really should make that call.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:50 AM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Call your dentist.
posted by radioamy at 8:58 AM on January 13, 2015

Best answer: I recently had a tooth extracted and was told I could go back to regular brushing in that area after a week (and I was indeed fine). I'd say that's ok as long as the area feels healed. Like others are saying though, if you are unsure it' s probably best to consult with a professional.
posted by bearette at 12:38 PM on January 13, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks. Using the electric toothbrush with the motor turned off in the gap worked well (the brush seems to be exactly the right size for the gap).
posted by antiwiggle at 1:18 AM on January 14, 2015

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