What Should You Avoid After a Tooth Extraction?

People need to have a tooth extracted for a variety of reasons. Whether your tooth decay has gotten to the point that an extraction is necessary, your wisdom teeth are impacted, or you have crowded teeth, sometimes extraction is the best option.

Although a tooth extraction is generally a successful procedure, doing your part to help your mouth heal can help prevent pain and infection. While you should always follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for healing, keep the following things in mind to avoid following your procedure. What should you avoid after a tooth extraction?


If you’re a smoker, it’s important to avoid smoking for a minimum of 48 hours (two days) following your tooth extraction. There are many chemicals present in cigarettes that can affect how well your mouth heals and how the clot forms over your extraction site.

If you smoke, it can increase the chances of dry socket, which is a painful condition in which the clot doesn’t form properly or is dislodged, which can delay healing and will require professional treatment from your dentist [1].

It’s best to avoid other forms of smoking during this time as well, including the use of e cigarettes and marijuana, both of which can affect the oral cavity and may delay healing of your extracted tooth site.

Drinking with Straws

For some people, drinking with a straw is a habit. For others, it’s only something that happens when they order an iced coffee. Whether you drink with a straw regularly or not, it’s important to remember to avoid straws while your extraction site is healing.

Straws can accidentally poke and injure the extraction site, which could result in dry socket. However, the sucking action of using a straw can interfere with clot formation as well. It’s best to drink beverages as you would without a straw, at least for the first week or until your mouth is well on its way to healing after your procedure.

Eating Hard Foods

You should absolutely avoid eating hard, crunchy foods after your procedure, at least for a few days. It’s best to focus on softer, colder foods during this time that can help with the pain and also help you to avoid injury to the extraction site [2].

Hard foods to avoid include chips, harder breads, candy, nuts, popcorn, and even fried foods. It’s also important to not eat anything immediately after your procedure as your mouth will still be numb from the anesthetic. If you have any questions about whether a certain food is safe to eat, follow up with your dentist.


While Ibuprofen is fine to take, aspirin thins the blood and can affect healing and clot formation after your tooth extraction. It’s essential to take medication as prescribed and always consult with your dentist before taking any medication after a tooth extraction.

In addition, you should never put aspirin on a tooth that hurts, whether it’s from a toothache or an extraction site [3]. Any pain or discomfort should be evaluated by your oral healthcare professional before you pursue treatment options.

While having a tooth extracted is never fun, you can get back to doing your normal activities as quickly as possible by taking the best care of your smile following your procedure. This includes avoiding the above things that can hurt your mouth, so exercise caution until you’re fully healed!

1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dry-socket
2. https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/maxillofacial/tooth_extraction.html
3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dental-emergencies