Wisdom Tooth Extraction Aftercare: Dos and Don’ts

Dentist in San Juan Capistrano

wisdom tooth extraction aftercare
By Ortega Cottage Dentistry

After removing your wisdom teeth, following proper aftercare instructions is essential for a smooth recovery. Whether your wisdom teeth were causing pain, overcrowding, or were a potential issue for the future, these third molars typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. Problems like impaction, crowding, or infections can arise from these teeth, often requiring removal. This blog will outline essential guidelines to assist you in recovering effectively after your wisdom tooth extraction. Here is a detailed manual on the dos and don’ts of wisdom tooth extraction aftercare:

Dos After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

  • Rest & Relaxation: Your body needs time to heal. Take it easy for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity and prioritize sleep.
  • Control the Swelling: Swelling is a natural response to surgery. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your cheek for 10-minute intervals at a time. Use ice for the first 24-48 hours, then switch to warm compresses to promote healing.
  • Manage the Bleeding: Slight bleeding is normal after extraction. Bite gently on gauze pads provided by your dentist for about 30 minutes to control the bleeding. If excessive bleeding persists, contact your dentist immediately.
  • Maintain a Soft Food Diet: Stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, and smoothies for the first 3-5 days. This minimizes pressure on the extraction sites and promotes healing. Gradually reintroduce solid foods as your mouth heals.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean: Good oral hygiene is essential to prevent infection. Starting 24 hours after surgery, gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, avoiding the extraction sites. You can also use an antiseptic mouthwash (alcohol-free) as directed by your dentist.
  • Medication Management: Take all prescribed medications as instructed by your dentist in San Juan Capistrano, CA. This includes pain relievers and antibiotics (if prescribed) to manage discomfort and prevent infection.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and promote healing. Avoid hot beverages and straws for the first 48 hours, as the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot.
  • Elevate Your Head: While sleeping or resting, elevate your head with extra pillows to reduce swelling.
  • Gentle Jaw Exercises: After a few days, perform gentle jaw exercises by slowly opening and closing your mouth. This can help prevent stiffness and promote healing.

Don’ts After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

  • Strenuous Activity: Avoid strenuous activity, exercise, or heavy lifting for the first few days after surgery. This can increase bleeding and slow down healing.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Products: Smoking and tobacco products can significantly impede healing and increase the risk of infection. Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products for at least a week after surgery.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can interfere with medication and slow down healing. Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours after surgery.
  • Hot and Spicy Foods: For the first few days, stick to lukewarm or cool foods. Avoid hot and spicy foods, which can irritate the extraction sites and cause discomfort.
  • Straws: Using a straw creates suction in your mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot and lead to a painful complication called dry socket. Avoid using straws for at least the first 48 hours.
  • Poking or Probing: Don’t prod the extraction sites with your tongue, finger, or any object. This can disrupt the healing process and increase the risk of infection.
  • Strenuous Rinsing: Avoid forceful rinsing or spitting for the first few days. This can dislodge the blood clot. Instead, gently swish with warm salt water or an antiseptic mouthwash (as directed by your dentist) after a few days.
  • Carbonated Beverages: Fizzy drinks can irritate the extraction sites and cause discomfort. Avoid carbonated beverages for the first few days.

Proper postoperative care is essential for a successful recovery after wisdom tooth extraction. Adhering to the recommended guidelines can help reduce pain, avoid complications, and facilitate the healing process. It is essential to strictly follow the instructions provided by your dentist and seek their advice if you notice any unusual symptoms. It is crucial to find a reliable and professional dentist for wisdom tooth extraction aftercare to ensure a smooth recovery. With diligent care, you can soon resume your daily activities without any issues.