When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, nothing is more important than preparation and aftercare. In part one of this blog series, we discussed some ways you can prepare for your wisdom tooth extraction, like fasting before the procedure, arranging for a ride, and taking time off work to recover. While this is all very important, the length of your wisdom teeth recovery time also depends on how well you take care of your mouth during the recovery period. Contact our dentists in Orléans with any specific questions you have, or continue reading for some wisdom teeth removal aftercare tips.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare
From watching what you eat to getting plenty of rest, there are many things you can do to help your mouth heal after wisdom tooth surgery. The key is to not push yourself to do more than you realistically can and to take as much time as you need to recover before returning to your daily routine. Here are some aftercare tips to make your wisdom teeth recovery as smooth and pain-free as possible:
- Take medication as needed. Immediately after your wisdom teeth removal, your dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe painkillers for you to take as needed over the next few days. It is recommended that you take the first dose before the anesthesia has completely worn off, as this will prevent you from being in unnecessary pain right after your surgery. The pain should subside over the next few days, so don’t feel like you need to finish the medication you have been prescribed if you no longer need it, and don’t be afraid to take half doses if a full dose is too much.
- Ice your cheeks. Swelling is your body’s response to injury — it is the result of the body sending white blood cells to the injured area in order to speed up healing. While swelling is a normal part of the healing process, it also causes the surgical site to become inflamed, painful, and can even cause some bleeding. Our dentists recommend icing your cheeks in 20-minute increments during the first two days after surgery. So, make the most of your time on the couch by placing ice packs on your cheeks for 20 minutes, removing them for 20 minutes, and repeating this while you watch your favorite TV shows or take cat naps.
- Drink plenty of water. It is extremely important to drink lots of water after your wisdom tooth surgery, as the anesthesia and pain medication can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy if you are dehydrated. You also won’t be able to eat much for the first few days after your wisdom teeth removal, so drinking smoothies, protein shakes, fruit juices, and tea is a great way to stay hydrated while getting the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to recover. One thing to note is that you should not drink from a straw for at least a week after your surgery, as this can cause wisdom tooth dry sockets, which appear when a blood clot does not develop at the surgical site, preventing the wound from fully healing.
- Eat soft foods. This brings us to our next tip, which is to eat soft foods and stay away from solids for a week or so after your wisdom tooth extraction. The goal is to allow your mouth to heal as quickly as possible, and vigorous chewing can prolong the healing process. Good foods to eat during your wisdom tooth recovery include yogurt, soup, applesauce, scrambled eggs, hummus, cottage cheese, oatmeal, and ice cream. In order to prevent the development of dry sockets, we recommend staying away from foods that require chewing or sucking (like popsicles).
- Get plenty of rest. Rest is critical for a speedy recovery after your wisdom tooth removal, as your body needs a chance to focus all of its energy on healing the surgical site. When you sleep, your body recharges and focuses on healing, rather than expending energy on other bodily processes, like eating, walking, and talking. Even by lying on the couch or watching a movie in bed, you are allowing your body to focus on the healing process, so there is no need to feel guilty for binge-watching your favorite movies or sleeping throughout the day. In fact, this will only speed up your recovery!
- Keep your mouth clean. Another thing to keep in mind is that you still need to make sure your mouth is clean, even though it will be difficult to brush your teeth right after your wisdom tooth extraction. You don’t want bacteria building up around the surgical site, causing a wisdom tooth infection while you are trying to recover. In order to keep your mouth clean after your wisdom teeth removal, you should carefully brush and floss the surrounding teeth without getting too close to the surgical site. Then, without swishing, gently rinse your mouth with warm water and let it spill out into the sink.
Book Your Wisdom Teeth Removal At Our Orléans Dental Clinic
Now that you have some wisdom tooth prep and aftercare tips, are you ready to schedule your wisdom tooth removal? If so, we invite you to contact Mer Bleue Dental Centre in Orléans or book your appointment online. Our dentists and oral surgeons would be more than happy to answer all your questions about wisdom tooth surgery, as well as take an X-ray to determine whether you have an impacted wisdom tooth or your wisdom teeth are coming in as normal. Either way, we will recommend a plan that works best for you!