Dentists always try to avoid extracting teeth, but wisdom teeth are a different story! These pearly whites erupt after our other adult teeth come in; usually when we’re between 17-21 years old. Because they can overcrowd your teeth, or become impacted or infected, often our wisdom teeth are removed entirely. The procedure itself doesn’t take long, but aftercare is super important to ensure you mend properly. Keep reading to learn 5 tips that will help you successfully recover from your wisdom teeth extraction.
Tip #1: Use Gauze
Your dentist probably packed the extraction site with gauze after they removed your wisdom teeth. They may even send you home with additional supplies so that you can bite down on the soft material if you experience bleeding. Leave it in place for 30-45 minutes or until bleeding stops. If that doesn’t work, you can use a tea bag in place of gauze. The acid in the tea leaves helps form blood clots so you can heal.
Tip #2: Rinse With Saltwater
After 24 hours, you’ll want to gently wash potentially harmful bacteria from your mouth. After all, you don’t want to risk an infection! Rinsing with warm (not hot) salt water can help with minor swelling and discomfort. It’ll also keep your mouth clear of any unwanted debris. You can use an antiseptic mouthwash as well, but make sure to choose one without any alcohol to avoid dry mouth.
Tip #3: Enjoy Soft Foods
Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions, but you can expect to stick to soft foods for a few days after your procedure. You’ll want to avoid chewing any food near the surgical sites for a while, so that you don’t put undue pressure (or food particles!) on the open wounds. Some nutritious choices include yogurt, thin soups, and puddings.
You’ll also need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids following your surgery, but don’t use a straw! The suction from a straw can loosen the blood clots that are protecting the surgical site, which will slow your healing process.
Tip #4: Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Just like with a straw, the sucking inhalation on a cigarette can dislodge blood clots. Not only that, but it will reduce blood flow to the area, which will hinder your ability to recover. Alcohol use can also keep the site from healing correctly. It’s best to just avoid these culprits altogether after extracting wisdom teeth.
Tip #5: Manage Discomfort
It’s normal to experience slight swelling and discomfort for 24 to 48 hours after your procedure. You can take over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol or ibuprofen to ease these symptoms. If you experience additional bleeding or pain that worsens over time, reach out to your dentist. It could be that you’ve developed dry socket (a blood clot at the surgery site becomes dislocated) and they may need to provide additional instruction or pain management medications.
Following these recommendations will help you get through your recovery period relatively smoothly. Soon you’ll be back on your feet with a happy, healthy smile!
About the Practice
Our dentists at Brown & Nawrocki Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry approach each patient’s specific needs with compassion and years of specialized training in prosthodontics. That means they’re experts at restoring and replacing teeth. They’re well-versed in the more intensive surgical treatments like implants and extractions. If you need your wisdom teeth extracted or suspect you’ve developed dry socket, you’re welcome to contact us on the website or by calling (386) 677-1046.