There are plenty of reasons people need to have wisdom teeth removal, and it’s a really common surgery. So why are so many people still intimidated by it?
It’s understandable. A surgeon you’ve probably met twice is quite literally removing teeth from your mouth, and that doesn’t sound comfortable.
Your Guide to Wisdom Teeth Removal Care
However, getting your teeth removed is the easy part. The hard part comes after when it’s time to start caring for your wounds. There’s no need to worry, though. This guide will give you everything you need to know about wisdom teeth removal care.
1. Choose a Decent Oral Surgeon
The first step to your wisdom teeth removal care is choosing an oral surgeon.
For this step, you should consider their education, credentials, reviews, and whether or not your dentist personally recommends their care. Often, your dentist is the one that’s going to recommend having your wisdom teeth removed, and they’ll provide a recommendation too.
Know that you don’t have to go with their recommendation, though. You can always get second opinions about your options.
2. Follow Aftercare Instructions
No matter what oral surgeon you decide to go with, they’re going to provide you with a list of aftercare instructions. This list will go over symptoms to look out for, what to do in the case of an emergency, medication instructions, and even proper cleaning care.
What you do is going to depend on your surgeon’s overall recommendations.
3. Don’t Drink Through a Straw
This is one thing that is not going to vary depending on the doctor. Straws can cause severe complications and lead to dry socket.
When your body is bleeding, blood clots form around the wound to stop it. When you use a straw, your cheek and tongue muscles cause movement and suction, which could cause these blood clots to dislodge from the wound.
4. Soft Foods Only
You should only eat soft foods for the first few days after your surgery. This includes things like:
- Ice cream
- Mashed potatoes
It would be best if you avoided soup. Sipping broth of some kind should be fine, but any small food pieces need to be strained out to avoid anything getting caught in your incision wounds or stitches.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
The best thing you can do after your wisdom teeth removal to get rest.
You’re going to be sore for the first few days, and having plans is not going to sound fun. It’s all said and done. Sleep is also going to help with pain management.
This study has shown that sleep helps the body heal wounds faster.
6. Take Time off Work
This goes back to sleep and rest, but you should take a few days off work, or even a week if you’re able.
While you might feel like you’re ready to go back four days after your wisdom teeth removal, giving yourself plenty of time to recover is going to your body and mouth a world of good.
Your mouth and face are also going to be swollen for three to five days after your surgery.
If you cannot take more than a day or two off at a time, be sure to schedule any follow-up appointments accordingly. If stitches have to be removed or other precautions have to be taken, you want to make sure your body has the time it needs to recover.
7. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Both alcohol and smoking can cause a dry socket.
Alcohol can kill the “good” bacteria in your mouth but leave behind the bad stuff. Ideally, it would be best if you waited a week to consume any alcohol or until you’re fully healed.
The over 7,000 chemicals found in cigarettes can have severe effects on your wound, including irritation and infection.
If you can’t quit smoking altogether, you should stop for at least 48 hours after your surgery. Regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes both dry out your mouth and irritate the gums
Saliva is necessary for good bacteria to help heal your wounds.
8. Call Your Oral Surgeon if Things Start to Feel Weird
The biggest thing about wisdom teeth removal care is to call your doctor when symptoms of infection or other issues begin to arise.
Make sure you read your aftercare instructions and things to look out for after your surgery. Be sure to ask your oral surgeon any questions you might have before leaving the facility that day, and remember to get plenty of rest.
Having a family member or friend take you to and from your surgery is going to be mandatory. Asking them to stick around for a bit to help with your medications might not be a bad idea either, especially if you were put under anesthesia for the procedure.
Why Wisdom Teeth Removal Care Is Important
Wisdom teeth removal care is essential to your teeth’ overall health, especially after a surgery like that. While getting your wisdom teeth removed is a generally minor procedure, its aftercare matters just as much as any major surgery you can undergo.
Major complications are rare, but they can happen if you’re not equipped to handle them properly. Good communication with your doctor and listening to everything they tell you to do will be the key to your safe and fast recovery.