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Irrigation of Wisdom Tooth Sockets

It is common and inevitable that food and other debris will begin to accumulate in your extraction sites. This is even more common on the lower extraction sites. We have provided a curved-tip irrigation syringe that you should begin using on DAY 5-7 as instructed by your surgeon, after your surgery to aid in the removal of debris.

We recommend you use either a lukewarm saline solution or tapwater to irrigate your sockets as follows:

  1. With the plunger pressed all the way down into the syringe, place the tip of the syringe in a clean cup containing saline or tapwater.
  2. Pull up on the plunger to fill the syringe. In rare instances, if you find it difficult to draw through the tip, you may cut a small amount of the tip off with clean scissors to enlarge the opening.
  3. While standing in front of a mirror or with the assistance of another person, open your mouth and pull your cheek out with your finger, a toothbrush, or a tongue depressor. Pulling the cheek outwards will allow you to see the extraction site and may open the incision up a bit to facilitate insertion of the syringe.
  4. Advance the tip of the syringe just inside the socket and flush it with the water in the syringe.
  5. Spit and repeat until fluid comes out clear.
  6. Repeat on the other side if applicable.
  7. Sockets should be irrigated at least twice daily, preferably after meals, until sockets have fully healed. In some cases this may take several weeks.


  • Do not start irrigating earlier than day 5-7 after your surgery unless instructed to do so by your surgeon.
  • It is not uncommon for a small amount of bleeding to occur when first irrigating. Biting on gauze for a few minutes after irrigating generally stops any minor bleeding.
  • It is not uncommon for a bad odor or taste to be present. Keep in mind that the socket initially contains a blood clot and several days of food debris. A small amount of listerine mouth rinse mixed with the water in the syringe (half and half) is typically effective in eliminating the odor.
  • Keep your syringe in a clean place, ideally with your toothpaste and other oral hygiene products.

More after care instructions for Wisdom Tooth Removal >> 

More after care instructions for Tooth Extraction(s) >> 

Please do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions! 

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