Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare: Dos and Don’ts for a Quick Recovery

A man holding his jaw in pain from his wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth removal, a common dental procedure, often marks a rite of passage for many individuals. However, the journey to recovery begins not at the end of the surgery, but rather, with the steps you take following it. Proper after care is not just a recommendation; it is crucial for ensuring a quick and successful recovery. The period following wisdom teeth extraction can be laden with discomfort and uncertainty without the proper preparation, but with the right knowledge and practices, these challenges can be effectively managed. We are here to help you with this!

In this comprehensive guide, we at Pathway Dental Group are committed to providing you with valuable information and guidance post-surgery. Our aim is to educate and empower you with the essential do’s and don’t’s of aftercare. From managing pain and swelling to navigating dietary changes and oral hygiene, we cover all the aspects to help you heal quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re a patient, a concerned parent, or a caregiver, this blog will serve as your go-to resource for facilitating a smooth and comfortable recovery journey. It is especially helpful if you can plan to have your wisdom teeth removed when it best works with your school and/or work schedule and before it becomes an emergency situation! Let’s embark on this path to healing, equipped with knowledge and confidence.

Do’s to Remember for Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

The day of your surgery, plan on this being a complete rest day. Most our surgeries are scheduled first thing in the morning so our patients have the opportunity to relax in the afternoon and take a nice long nap!

The second day, most patients are up and about with reduced activity levels. No vigorous exercise or major trips on this day please!

We call day three the “danger day” because patients are usually starting to feel more like themselves and sometimes push it too far. Remember your body is still recovering from surgery and it takes time internally for that process to be completed. You will want to plan on going easy at least for a week following your surgery to help aid in your recovery process.

Before Your Scheduled Surgery:

  • Pick up any needed prescriptions and foods for a soft diet so you will have them ready to go upon your arrival home

Do’s for Post-Operative Care (first 7-14 days after surgery):

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Diet of soft foods such as pastas, soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and smoothies
  • We recommend a liquid diet the first day until your numbness completely wears off so you do not risk biting yourself
  • Drink through a cup
  • After 24 hours, you can gently rinse with warm salt water. Allow the water to roll around in your mouth and let gravity take it out for you-no forceful spitting
  • When you are brushing your teeth, do so in the mirror so you can ensure you are keeping your tooth brush at least a tooth or two in front of your surgical site
  • If you would like to use ice to combat swelling, we recommend using a bag of frozen peas or corn as they are often much softer on your face than traditional ice packs or wraps
  • Take post op medications as instructed by your doctor

Don’t’s to Remember for Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

  • No vigorous exercises (i.e. anything that increases your heart rate significantly)
  • No foods that have sharp edges or anything with seeds that could travel to your surgery sites
  • No drinking through a straw, smoking or anything else that creates suction in your mouth
  • No forceful spitting
  • Do not stretch your mouth wide when opening or speaking
  • Please keep any fingers or tools away from your surgical sites
  • Do not discontinue use of medications unless directed by your doctor

If you are concerned about infection, definitely contact the office so your symptoms can be evaluated and a post operative visit scheduled as needed.  While you should expect some discomfort after your wisdom tooth removal, the following could be signs that something else is going on and needs attention:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Fever
  • Face feels hot to the touch
  • Excessive swelling
  • Excruciating pain that is affecting your ability to function after several days

While having your wisdom tooth removed is not something most patients are excited about doing, with the proper preparation and adherence to post op care instructions, the recovery process does not have to be protracted or take over your life.  The benefits of having your wisdom teeth removed, such as preventing infection, damage to the adjacent teeth and shifting, far out weigh the short term recover process for most of our patients.  If you or one of your family members has wisdom teeth in need of removal, contact us today to schedule for your consultation.

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