Dental HealthWisdom Tooth Extraction

Can I use mouthwash after wisdom tooth extraction

Can I use mouthwash after wisdom tooth extraction? It has been the question in the mouth of those who just had their tooth removed. The good thing is that you are asking and not making a blind decision; although your dentist might have provided some Dos and Don’tsyou still need to be sure.

Wisdom tooth extraction might not be wrong, but failing to adhere to post-surgery instructions will not help. So, this article will guide you concerning mouthwash and how best to apply them to avoid excruciating pain.

What is Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a dental hygiene liquid held in the mouth passively or swilled around the mouth by contraction of the perioral muscles and movement of the head, and maybe gargled, where the head is tilted back and the liquid bubbled at the back of the mouth. source

Hey! Forget about Wikipedia and their grammatical confusion. Mouthwash, also known as an oral rinse, is a liquid product used to rinse teeth, gums, and mouth. It contains an antiseptic to strengthen your enamel and kill harmful bacteria that can live between your teeth and your tongue. Yup! Simple and better! 

Is it Safe to Use Mouthwash After A Tooth Extraction?

The answer is No. Mouthwash should not come close to your mouth within 24 hours after tooth extraction. If possible, avoid mouthwash for the next 48 hours after extraction so you’d be safe from dislodging the blood clot. 

Some mouthwash also has alcohol in them, and this may cause damage to your tooth extraction site if used even four days after wisdom tooth extraction. Instead, you can swish warm salt water in your mouth to keep things clean, this can be done four times a day.

Alcoholic mouthwash can cause a tooth socket to dry up, leading to severe irritation and pain. So, avoid alcoholic mouthwash, spitting, sucking, and using straws should be avoided. Very clear that mouthwash is a no-go when going through the tooth extraction healing process.

When can I use mouthwash after wisdom tooth extraction?

Can I use mouthwash after wisdom tooth extraction

I recommend not using mouthwash for at least 72 hours after an extraction. Reason: Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can dry the mucosa at the extraction site, rendering it vulnerable to infection and a condition called “dry socket.” In such a case, healing would be delayed, and discomfort may be prolonged.

I would also advise no rigorous rinsing in the first 24 hours. The first stage of healing involves coagulation at the extraction site. Rigorous rinsing would likely dislodge the blood clot, leading to further bleeding and delayed healing.

If you have accumulated saliva, you either swallow it or bend down and allow it to pour on its own. The force incurred by spitting it out can also disturb or dislodge the essential blood clot at the extraction site. The saliva is your own and is relatively clean, even if slightly tinged with blood.

However, it is still essential to maintain good hygiene in the mouth, even in the area(s) adjacent to the extraction site. I would encourage gentle, slow brushing on the first evening and perhaps use a q-tip to ‘walk’ around the neighboring teeth.

Again, gently and slowly direct the water out of the mouth with your tongue. Excellent hygiene is conducive to speedy healing. Otherwise, you can return to normal function after 2–3 days.

Use warm salt water rinses four to five times daily for the first week. Swish very gently for a minute and then gently expel into a sink, letting gravity do most of the work. Avoid the temptation to spit forcefully.

You will have a very painful dry socket if you forget this last step and lose the clot. You will tell yourself, “Why didn’t I remember this?” After that, a non-alcoholic mouthwash like Oxyfresh is OK for day eight and beyond.

By day fourteen, you should be “much more stable” and the healing socket “nearly fully covered” with pink gingiva with no bleeding. Allow extra healing time if you have diabetes or are taking medications such as a blood thinner, and check in with your dentist if you think there is still a problem by the end of the third week.

When can I use Listerine after tooth extraction?

Yes! You can use Listerine mouthwash 14 days after the extraction; however, from the 2nd-3rd day after your extraction, none-alcoholic mouthwash or warm salt water is your best option. You cannot use mouthwash like Listerine or Colgate Plax. 

You can use Betadine mouthwash till the wound heals. It contains from 9% to 12% available iodine; it works by releasing iodine which results in the death of a range of microorganisms. Once the wound heals, you can continue using your regular mouthwash.

Can I use non-alcohol mouthwash after wisdom tooth extraction?

Yes, you can use none alcoholic mouthwash 48-72 hours after the extraction. To keep the surgical site clean, you will need to rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash or simple warm salt water following oral surgery. 

However, vigorous swishing and swirling are not suitable for a healing socket. Make sure you use only gentle motions and very gentle spitting motions.


This article is not to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Related Articles

Back to top button