5 Things to Know When Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out

Woman in dental chair smiling. Caption: Be prepared for your wisdom teeth procedure with these 5 tips

Wisdom teeth are a fact of life that we all have to deal with at one point. These five points will help you better understand wisdom tooth extraction, preparing you for what you should expect.

(1) Take someone with you

We cannot emphasize the importance of having a family member or a close friend with you during your wisdom tooth removal. After the procedure, you will be both tired and groggy due to the anesthesia. The person that comes with you to the procedure can:

  • Drive you home safely.
  • Go with you to the pharmacy to immediately purchase your medication.
  • Purchase soft food and bottled water to drink after the procedure.
  • Make sure that you are comfortable when they drop you off at home.

Also, have someone close by as you are going through the healing process. Your family and friends can pick up food for you at the store, as well as refill your pain medications as needed.

(2) Take at least two days off work

After you get your wisdom teeth out, plan for being out of action for at least two days. For some patients, this may take longer. During the days after surgery, you will experience:

  • Disorientation and nausea from your pain medications
  • Occasional pain from the tooth removal
  • Lack of appetite
  • Occasional bleeding

To deal with these symptoms, you will need plenty of rest, relaxation, and care. 

(3) Diet, hygiene, and more

After you get your wisdom teeth out, you want to avoid solid foods altogether. You can eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or soup. Try avoiding soups with pieces of solid food, as these can get caught in your wisdom teeth sockets. Within a few days, you can start adding solid foods back into your diet as your healing progresses.

Avoid brushing in the extraction area for the first few days after your surgery, as this can irritate your gums. You can rinse with lukewarm salt water for the first few days. Use 1 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass. This will help reduce swelling and pain after your extraction.

Dealing with pain will be of immediate importance. Make sure to take your pain medications as directed by your physician. Keep an ice compress near your cheek and replace your gauze pads every 4 to 8 hours. If you have any questions during this period, contact our office.

(4) Things not to do

After your wisdom tooth extraction, certain activities can cause your tooth socket to lose its blood clot. This can cause a painful condition known as a dry socket. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Do not smoke, as smoking can cause dry sockets and lead to infections.
  • Avoid drinking out of a straw, as this can loosen the clot and slow healing.
  • Do not lie flat, as this can increase bleeding. When resting, always use a pillow to prop up your head.

(5) Follow your doctor’s advice

The first twenty-four hours is critical after your wisdom teeth extraction. If you still have bleeding after the first day, call your doctor. You may need to have your stitches adjusted as the clot may not have perfectly formed. If you start getting a fever or illness, you may have an infection. This is not common but can be quickly treated with standard antibiotics.

After your jaw and gums have fully healed, go to the dentist for a checkup visit. Wisdom teeth extraction can occasionally cause damage to adjacent molars or preexisting dental work.

Most importantly, get on with life after your wisdom teeth procedure. Once it’s done, you’ll never have to worry about your wisdom teeth again. Call Dental Partners of Boston for a consultation.

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