Wisdom teeth removal is looked at as a rite of passage because these third molars are usually extracted between the ages of 18 and the early 20s. In fact, that’s where they get their name – your wisdom teeth grow in when you’re older (and hopefully wiser). This procedure is simple and predictable, however their can be issues like infection if you don’t take the proper aftercare steps. Read on to learn your dentist’s top tips for a swift and smooth recovery after wisdom teeth removal!
Immediately After Surgery, You Should…
- Place a gauze pad over the affected area for 30 minutes. After this time, remove the pad and discard it. If there is still heavy bleeding, repeat this step to promote healing.
- Avoid vigorously rinsing or touching the surgical area – this can cause bleeding by dislodging the blood clot that has formed.
- Take your medication as your dentist prescribed and instructed. It’s best to take your first dose as soon as you notice the lightest level of discomfort so you can proactively manage your pain.
- Give yourself at least a day or two to rest before resuming your normal activities once you feel comfortable.
- Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Typically, swelling doesn’t occur until the day after surgery, and it will become worse 2 to 3 days into your recovery. This can be managed by applying ice packs to the sides of your face.
What You Can Eat!
- Hydration is key – drink liquids after your surgery. Be sure to sip from a glass instead of using a straw because the suction your mouth creates can dislodge the blood clot.
- You can eat anything that is soft but do your best to chew with the areas of your smile that aren’t affected. Mashed potatoes, soups, smoothies, yogurts, ice cream, and more are always popular comfort foods that you can turn to.
- Even with an altered diet, do your best to intake high calorie, high protein food. Overall, try to limit your eating in the first few days, and drink at least 5 to 6 glasses of liquid (water is always best) to stay hydrated.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
It will usually take 3 to 4 days, or even a week to recover for some cases of wisdom teeth removal. During this entire time, it’s vital that you keep your mouth clean. Brush twice a day and floss once a day but avoid the surgical sites. This is the best way to avoid problems like infection that can complicate your recovery.
Wisdom teeth removal is a time of excitement and nerves. However, now that you know the best tips for recovery, you can complete this rite of passage in ultimate comfort!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. John Russo has been helping Orlando patients smile for almost 25 years. He has extensive education and training, allowing him to perform treatments like wisdom teeth extraction at the same location that you can get your checkups and cleanings. For any questions, contact Dr. Russo through his website or by phone at (407) 843-2112.