Have you had your wisdom teeth removed or know someone who has? “Wisdom teeth” are the molars that are the furthest back in your mouth, and are often removed due to lack of space. Most people who need to get them removed will do so when they are teenagers or young adults. Wisdom teeth removal involves a minor surgical procedure. Whether you still need to get your wisdom teeth taken out or have someone close to you who is planning on getting the surgery, we are here to share some tips and tricks that will hopefully make recovery as successful as possible!
- Manage the pain carefully. There is a high chance that you will have some pain and swelling in the days directly following your surgery. One of the best ways to manage this pain is by using an ice pack. Make sure to ask your dentist about how often you should be using one. It is also important to not directly place ice on your face, as this can lead to an ice burn. Pain medication is another way to help your recovery along. Your dentist will be able to guide you in whether you need to be taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. You may also be advised to take antibiotics. Antibiotics will help protect your mouth from infection as the wounds heal.
- Take your recovery seriously when you get home. It is essential to take precautions when you get home from your surgery to avoid infections and other painful issues. Rinsing with salt water to keep the wounds clean and free of bacteria is one of the most simple and effective things you can be doing on a regular basis. Make sure you don’t forcefully spit the saltwater when finished, but let it gently fall from your mouth. Your mouth will have some blood in it right after the surgery, so make sure to gently clean the wounds with gauze or a cotton ball after rinsing. It is also integral to avoid dislodging your stitches. This can disrupt the healing process and lead to dry sockets, which are painful and can cause a prolonged recovery process.
- Think about what you are eating. Finding the right foods to aid your recovery can help immensely. You may not have a considerable appetite directly after surgery, and your mouth will most likely be sore. The best foods to consume while recovering are those that won’t require much chewing and will be safe for your stitches. Cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, soup, pudding, apple sauce, and smoothies are all equally delicious and safe! You should also avoid foods that could potentially get stuck in the surgery site or are too hot. It is essential to avoid drinking from a straw, as slurping too aggressively may compromise your stitches or the blood clot that protects the surgery wound. The more careful you are with what you eat after your surgery, the sooner you’ll be able to re-introduce your usual favorite foods into your diet!
Recovery from wisdom teeth removal should be treated like any other surgery recovery: with patience and gentleness. Proactively managing your pain, keeping the surgery wounds clean, and thinking about what you are eating are three simple ways to keep your recovery short, sweet, and simple! Make sure to heed your dentist’s recovery tips as well. If you or someone you know has questions about the wisdom teeth surgery and recovery process, call us today at (254) 729-8400.