Wisdom teeth extraction surgery can be a daunting endeavor, maybe it’s your first surgery or maybe you’re simply scared of all things dental. The most important things to keep in mind about wisdom teeth removal is that it is a routine procedure and recovery is simple.
You might have questions about what to expect after the surgery, or maybe you’re reading this with gauze in your mouth right now. Either way this is your definitive to do list after wisdom tooth surgery to help speed your recovery timeline.
Immediately After Surgery
- Keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area in its original position for half an hour. After that the gauze pad should be removed. If bleeding persists replace it, but otherwise you’re gauze free.
- Avoid touching the wound, this could cause more bleeding as the blood clot could be dislodged.
- Take your prescribed pain medications as soon as your begin to feel any discomfort, this will typically be after the local anesthetic diminishes.
- Keep ice packs near by, you’ll want to place them on your cheeks to reduce swelling. There are specially made ice packs that you can wear on your face to make things easier. Consider investing in one of these.
Control Any Bleeding
Your oral surgeon will instruct you to bite down gently on a piece of gauze to reduce bleeding. The gauze will capture any blood, and keep pressure on the site preventing extra bleeding.
After about 12 hours, consider switching to a damp tea bag instead. The tea leaves help reduce pain and they encourage clotting, pro tip they also help freshen the taste in your mouth.
Someone else should drink any tea brewed though, as it is not recommended to consume any hot liquids within 24 hours of surgery.
Rest As Much As Possible
After your surgery you may want to rush back into your regular life as quickly as possible regardless of any pain — the biggest pain is changing your daily routine — but you should take your time getting back to work, school, or any other activity.
Healing takes time and it’s important to rest. Relax with your head propped up by pillows, and maybe catch up on your favorite TV series. There’s no better time to binge Netflix than during surgery recovery.
Eat Something Soft
You’re hungry, that’s understandable, because you probably haven’t eaten for close to a day at this point. This is one of the hardest parts of recovery; it’s important to eat, but it’s equally difficult.
It’s crucial to stay away from anything crunchy. Stick to a diet of liquids, maybe it’s time to try out a trendy juice lifestyle. Break out the blender and mix up something substantial, but don’t, whatever you do, use a straw. The sucking action could lead to dry sockets. This is when the blood clot is dislodged in your surgery spot, it leads to severe pain and could set you back days in recovery.
After a while, gradually add solid foods to your regiment. Start with soft food like Jell-O and pudding. This is no time to be worried about calories.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Keeping your mouth clean is critical to recovery. Open wounds are susceptible to infection, but with simple care that’s easy to avoid.
Create a salt water mixture with a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt. Rinse your mouth out several times a day. Make sure to do this before and after eating or drinking. Not only will this keep everything clean, it will reduce swelling and pain.
It’s important to not rinse until the day after the surgery.
Listen To Your Surgeon
No one knows whats better for your recovery than your dentist. They may give you specific instructions that differ from this list, and it’s important to remember that they have the final say in anything related to your health.
If you want to heal quickly and get back to your daily life, always listen to your oral surgeon’s instructions.
Wisdom teeth surgery is a simple and routine surgery. As long as you keep everything in mind that you’ve read here — rest, diet, cleanliness, and surgeon advice — you will see full recovery within 3-4 days.