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Question about water syringe after extraction?



Junior member
May 8, 2013
So on Tuesday I got one of my molars removed (I think it's number 18?). The surgeon gave me a sheet with instructions about diet and care of the site. One thing I don't get, though, is that they gave me a water syringe to wash out the hole, but there's not really a hole there, at least from what I can tell. There's just sort of a dent with a darker, red part at the bottom of the dent, which I assume is the blood clot.

I'm a little paranoid about getting dry socket, and I don't want to use the syringe and end up dislodging the blood clot myself. According to the sheet, I'm supposed to start using the syringe on the third day after surgery, but after looking up how to use it (since the sheet didn't supply that information), every other source I've found says to wait 5 days to a week before using the syringe.

I have a followup appointment in a week, but I don't want to wait that long to use the syringe if I need it. I just don't see why it would be needed if there's not really a hole to irrigate, and I don't want to use it anyway if it's going to cause more harm than good. So, I guess I'm kind of at a loss about what exactly I should do.

EDIT: I just got a good look at it with a flashlight. There are some stitches, but I didn't bother drawing those. So, I guess it's more like a cut, so disregard my crappy description above, but that just makes using the water syringe that much more confusing. Should also be noted that I've been gently rinsing with warm salt water every couple of hours.
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Well-known member
Jan 15, 2013
My oral surgeon told me to use the syringe on the 5th day..He also told me I only had to use it on my bottom extraction sites..If it is just a small indent just squirt salt water over it to make sure it is clean..But I would think just rinsing with salt water would work also..


Super Moderator
Staff member
Mar 27, 2006
United States
I did not start using the syringe until I had my stitches out but my extractions were impacted wisdom teeth so that could be a different situation. :confused: They did not even give me a syringe until I came for the follow up and they demonstrated how to use it in the office right after the stitches were out. I know it probably doesn't seem like a large "hole" but you would be really surprised what gets caught in there and I doubt plain salt water rinses will cut it. I had significant debris after each meal even though I was sticking to soft foods and upon inspection it didn't look like anything was caught there. I remember using the syringe for awhile (tops and bottoms) maybe a week or 2? But I don't think I used it til 7-10 days after the procedure because as I said it was post-follow up appointment and the remaining stitches that did not resolve were removed. The mouth heals very quickly and it might be more of a "fold" in the gum tissue after a few days vs. an actual "hole" but just like the tiny spaces around our teeth capture debris and need to be flossed that very small hole or fold can capture debris. It does not have to be very precise you just need to aim it in that general direction. You start to get the hang of where it needs to go with practice.