Wisdom Teeth Recovery Tips
What to Do When You Go Home
Rest is the key to a smooth and speedy recovery. It is recommended to set up a comfortable place on the couch for your teen to relax after surgery, and have the TV cued to stream movies all day. It’s essential that your child refrain from exercising, going to school, and doing chores or homework the first several days (4-5 days, pending on the specifics of the surgical procedure).
How Long to Keep in Gauze?
Keep in mind blood clots are a good thing when it comes to healing after an extraction. So as your child rests, encourage them to bite on a gauze pad for 1-4 hours, to form a strong blood clot in the surgical site. Once the gauze is no longer collecting active bleeding, the process of clotting is complete.
What pain is normal?
We will send you home with a prescription for pain medications to help manage any discomfort during the recovery. However, our patients are pleasantly surprised as most experience mild soreness which is controlled well with prescribed pain medications & supplemented with over-the-counter ibuprofen as advised.
What medication you can take for wisdom teeth removal?
We prefer to limit the number of narcotics that are prescribed as recent studies show evidence that the combination of Motrin and Advil is a more effective pain reliever than narcotics. We administer pain and anti-inflammatory medications prior to your surgery in our office, so you do not have pain after your surgery.
Home Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Removal Pain
An ice pack will help tremendously with reducing swelling and post-operative discomfort. The application of ice 20-30 minutes on 20-30 minutes off for about 36 hours from the time of your surgery is recommended.
When should I call the office?
If your pain and/or swelling does not improve or if it worsens after postop day #4, call us immediately.
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Once your teen is home, they will be sore and hungry, so it’s important to have smooth, soft, and pureed foods on hand.
Ice cream, apple sauce, soup, Jell-O, yogurt, mashed potatoes, milkshakes, smoothies, and oatmeal are all excellent options that usually sound palatable to patients who have just had oral surgery.
We advise trying to advance your diet asap, as the movement of the lower jaw helps in the recovery process.
How long until I can eat normally?
Start with clear liquids and then slowly progress to soft foods as your child feels up to it. You’ll want to ease into normal eating slowly. By the second to third day, they should be able to begin enjoying some of their favorite foods.
Can you drink alcohol after wisdom teeth removal?
No. Refrain from drinking alcohol for the first 24 hours after surgery because it can cause post-operative bleeding and impair the forming of a blood clot over the wound.
Straws and smoking are two other things you want to make sure to avoid post-operatively during the healing process. They have the potential to dislodge the clot, resulting in a very painful condition called dry socket.
How should I sleep after?
When sleeping after your wisdom teeth removal, position yourself on your back, keep your head elevated a bit, and make sure that you’ve removed any gauze. Rest an ice pack on your face to minimize any pain and swelling.
Is it ok to exercise?
Refrain from any strenuous exercise the first five to seven days. Once your pain has decreased and you’re no longer using over-the-counter pain medications, you can return to your regular physical activity (typically postop day #7-8).
Q: How long does it take to recover?
The typical wisdom teeth removal recovery is about 3-5 days, but every patient is different. The best way to ensure your healing process is smooth is to follow the aftercare instructions that we provide for you.
Q: How many days should I expect to be out?
Since every wisdom tooth removal case unique, the number of days you’ll have to take off depends on how quickly you recover. We recommend giving yourself three days off before returning to school or work. Holidays and summer vacation are ideal times to schedule surgery.
Q: Why type of stiches do you use for wisdom teeth removal?
We use self-dissolving stitches to close the gum edges over the extraction site. They should disappear within a few weeks.
Q: How long will I be swollen?
It isn’t uncommon for patients to have swelling for a few days following surgery (typically is at it worst on postoperative day #3). Before surgery, we will discuss pain and swelling control methods so that you remain comfortable at home as you heal.
Q: What side effects should I watch for?
If your pain or swelling gets worse instead of better as time progresses (typically between postoperative day 5-10), you may have dry socket. This is a condition that develops when the blood clot over the extraction site is knocked loose, exposing nerves and bone. To avoid this happening, do not smoke, use a straw, or eat hard, chewy, or spicy foods.
Q. Can I brush my teeth after wisdom teeth removal?
On the first day, you should gently rinse with salt water to keep the extraction site clean. You can return to regular teeth brushing after the first 24 hours, taking extra care around the wound.
Q. How long until I can blow on a band instrument?
We recommend you wait a week before returning to any strenuous blowing.
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Dr. Boudreaux can provide you with exceptional services such as dental implant placement, wisdom teeth removal, jaw surgery, and more. Contact us today!