Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? If you don’t know, “wisdom teeth” is another word for your farthest back molars. They usually will grow in during one’s teenage years, and many people do not have enough room in their mouth to accommodate their wisdom teeth. This is why the majority of young adults end up getting wisdom teeth removal surgery. Whether you still need to get your wisdom teeth removed or have someone close to you who is planning to do so, we are excited to share a few tips on optimizing your recovery process.
- 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 issues. Rinsing with salt water to keep the surgery wounds clean and free of bacteria is one of the most simple and effective things you can do regularly. 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 lead to a prolonged recovery process. Make sure to be gentle with yourself!
- Manage the pain carefully. There is a high chance that you will have some pain and swelling in the days immediately following your surgery. One of the best ways to manage this is by using an ice pack. Make sure to ask your dentist about how often you should be using an ice pack. In addition to this, it is 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.
- 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. Soft smoothies, apple sauce, soup, pudding, cottage cheese, and mashed potatoes are tasty and safe! You should also avoid foods that are too hot or could potentially get stuck in the surgery site. It is also essential to avoid drinking from a straw, as slurping too aggressively may compromise your stitches or the blood clot that protects the 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!
While getting your wisdom teeth extracted is a very common procedure, it still needs to be taken seriously. Keeping the surgery wounds clean, proactively managing your pain, and thinking about what you are eating are three ways to help make your recovery as smooth as possible! Make sure you follow the recommendations your dentist gives you regarding recovery. If you or someone you know has questions about wisdom teeth removal and recovery, feel free to call us today at (972) 349-1127.