Once your wisdom teeth have been removed, it’s important to take good care of your mouth during recovery to minimize pain and speed up healing time. Even though wisdom teeth removal is usually a pretty straightforward procedure, it can still cause some pain and discomfort as you heal from the surgery. To help you recover properly, your dentist in Chapel Hill is here to offer up some advice about what to do (and what not to do) after having your wisdom teeth taken out.
A Guide to Successful Healing
Following wisdom teeth surgery, it’s crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions to promote healing and minimize discomfort. Below are some common tips, but it’s still wise to talk with your dentist in Chapel Hill about your specific after-care instructions.
There will be some bleeding after having your wisdom teeth taken out. But don’t worry, this is completely normal. To help minimize the bleeding, apply pressure on your wound using clean gauze. The gauze may have to be replaced a few times daily, and it’s important that you wash your hands thoroughly beforehand to avoid introducing bacteria into your mouth.
You may not notice much or any immediate swelling after surgery, and that’s normal too. Sometimes you won’t swell up for a day or two. But it’s still important to get ahead of it by using ice packs. Apply ice to the outside of your cheeks for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes. Make sure to wrap the ice in a t-shirt or thin towel so the ice pack is never in direct contact with your skin.
Eat & Drink Wisely
Your dentist in Chapel Hill will recommend sticking with soft foods a few days following having your wisdom teeth removed. Food, such as oatmeal, warm (not hot!) soup, mashed potatoes, applesauce, or scrambled eggs are all good options. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, just avoid sipping from a straw as this can cause damage to the surgical site.
What Not to Do
When it comes to healing from wisdom teeth surgery, there are some things that you may normally do that you should avoid, at least for a little while.
While your dentist may recommend rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water a few times a day to reduce swelling, you should take it easy. Swishing too aggressively can cause more harm than good and may even cause you to start bleeding again.
Not only does smoking require a sucking motion similar to drinking out of a straw, but it can also slow your healing. Smoking is also one of the main causes of dry socket, an infection that can cause serious pain for several days.
This may be one of the few times you’ll hear a medical professional tell you not to exercise, but any type of strenuous activity such as exercise following wisdom teeth surgery can increase bleeding and swelling. You should do your best to limit exercise as well as heavy lifting for 3-4 days after surgery or until you’re cleared by your dentist in Chapel Hill.
Wisdom teeth removal is an incredibly common procedure, but we understand that you may feel nervous. Talking with your dentist about any questions you have, as well as following their post-operative instructions, can relieve some of your concerns and get you healed up in no time.