If you’ve just had your wisdom teeth out, your mind may wander to some horror stories that are always floating up and down the grapevine.
But don’t panic: the reality is that, in the majority of cases, getting over your wisdom teeth removal is probably going to be no more complicated than getting over the extraction of any teeth.
In fact, if your dentist wanted to remove them in the first place it’s because they think your mouth will be better for it in the long run and it’s worth the short term discomfort.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be wise even though you no longer have your wisdom teeth!
And the best way to be wise in the aftermath of wisdom teeth extraction is to follow some simple aftercare tips.
With your wisdom teeth freshly out, there’s little doubt you will notice some limited bleeding, and probably some swelling, bruising, discomfort and – unfortunately – pain.
Rest assured, that’s all perfectly normal. What you really want avoid is something called dry socket.
It’s a nasty situation where the big blood clot dislodges, exposing nerves and bone. But while you’re recovering, the risk of infection is also higher, so here’s what to do to avoid trouble:
1. Control bleeding
If you’re concerned about the amount of bleeding, you can try to control it with gauze and heavy pressure.
2. Ease swelling
For the first few days, swelling – like bleeding – is normal. Use an ice pack against your cheek, and ibuprofen will help not only with the pain but also the inflammation.
3. Take care
At first, try to leave the old wisdom tooth site well alone. If you rinse, do it gently, and the same goes for brushing your teeth.
4. Keep clean
You must try to keep your mouth clean and hygienic. Don’t stop cleaning your teeth – just go easy, even if you do need to skip it on day one. Once you’re ready, try salt water mouth rinses, swishing gently. If you’re a smoker, take up to a week off.
5. Take it easy
If you can, stick to the couch. That means avoiding lifting heavy things and giving your usual fitness regimes a miss for a few days – and even try to limit your normal conversational habits!
6. Tweak your eating
Discomfort will naturally alter your diet, but try to avoid hot foods or things that require a lot of chewing. Foods that tend to get left behind in your mouth should also be avoided, but you can replace them with eggs, pudding and potatoes.
It may be tempting to use a straw, but please don’t! Sucking on a straw can cause a dry socket. Drink normally to give your body a hydrating boost.
7. Stay alert
If all goes to plan, you’ll be back to your old self before long. The bleeding, swelling, bruising and pain should get better each day, but if it doesn’t, you’re getting worried and perhaps you even have a temperature, it’s definitely worth checking back in with your dentist.
Pain Free Dental Clinic is committed to helping you recover quickly and as painlessly as possible after having your wisdom teeth out, so get in touch today to find out more.