Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

7 Aftercare Tips for When You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted

Getting your wisdom teeth extracted is a fairly routine dental procedure. Although not every patient has these molars removed, many people do. If you have an upcoming extraction scheduled, here are some essential tips to help with the aftercare process.

1. Ask Your Dentist If You Need a Ride Home

Depending on the pain relief you use during the extraction, you may not be able to drive home. In particular, if you're using general anesthesia or anti-anxiety medications, you need help getting home. Ask your dentist so you know what to expect.

2. Change Your Gauze Until a Clot Forms

Right after extracting your wisdom teeth, the dentist will put some gauze in your mouth. The gauze needs to stay in place until the clot forms, but if that doesn't happen within an hour or so, you should switch out the gauze for fresh gauze to prevent the build-up of germs.

3. Stay Upright

While you're waiting for your mouth to clot, you should keep your head over your heart. In other words, stay seated upright, and don't lie down for a while. That will help to keep any bleeding under control.

4. Stock Up on Healthy Soft Foods

Generally, you can't chew really hard foods for a while after the extraction — your dentist will let you know how long this period lasts. However, that doesn't mean that you should just live on ice cream. Instead, you should stock up on healthy and filling options such as mashed potatoes and soups.

5. Drink Fluids, But Don't Use Straws

Hydration can be key when you're trying to recover from a dental extraction or other surgical procedure, but while staying hydrated, you need to avoid using straws. In some cases, dentists put a small stitch in your gums after removing your wisdom teeth. The motion your mouth makes whilst sucking on a straw may dislodge your stitches.

6. Alternate Hot and Cold

You may experience some pain and swelling after your wisdom teeth extraction. To subdue the pain, consider rotating hot and cold. Simply put on an ice pack. Then, after the area is numb and cold, switch to a heating pad. If you don't have a heating pad, you may make one by filling a sock with rice and warming it in the microwave.

7. Alternate Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Some dentists may prescribe pain medications to you, but in most cases, you should be fine with over-the-counter remedies. To get as much relief as possible, alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Don't take aspirin. It's a blood thinner, so it's not ideal in cases where you're trying to heal from an oral surgery.

To get more tips on aftercare after a wisdom tooth extraction or to schedule an appointment, contact a dentist directly today.