Post-operative care after your child’s general anaesthetic extraction

Outpatient Department
Maxillofacial Services

After a tooth is removed, the cavity left behind is filled with blood, which clots and heals over. Do not disturb the blood clot, as there is nothing better you can put in its place. Do not rinse out, or poke at it with the tongue or handkerchief, especially not for the next 24 hours.


Do not rinse today, but start tomorrow with lukewarm salt water. (1 teaspoon of table salt, to half a glass of warm water). The next day, and everyday afterwards for one week, rinse with warm salt water, particularly after meals. This will help the healing.


If your child is having pain, give him/her any medication you would use normally e.g. Calpol / Disprol (paediatric). There should be nothing more than a dull ache. If your child is in pain and you are worried, do not hesitate to contact the hospital or your dentist.


When your child leaves the clinic, the bleeding will have stopped. Your child should not take part in any activity for the rest of the day, and should not return to school. If the wound is disturbed, it may start bleeding again. If this happens, don’t be alarmed, take a clean, damp handkerchief, roll it up like a sausage, place it over the wound and bite on it for 15 minutes by the clock. Do not remove it until the 15 minutes has passed. Do not lie the child down.

If bleeding continues, contact the dentist who referred you, or in an emergency, contact the Rotherham Urgent and Emergency Care Centre on 01709 424455.


Do not have drinks that are very hot or cold. Please dispose of any blood-stained swabs safely when taken off the hospital premises.


Produced by Maxillofacial Unit, July 2005
Revised July 2011, December 2014, December 2015, August 2019, August 2022.
Next revision due August 2024. Version: 6.0

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  • Page last reviewed: 22 August 2023
  • Next review due: 22 August 2024