Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Tips: Dos and Don’ts after Surgery

by | Feb 2, 2024 | General Orthodontics, Orthodontic Treatments, tooth sensitivity | 0 comments

Embarking on the journey of wisdom tooth removal? Brace (pun intended) yourself for the adventure that follows – the recovery process.

This article is your trusty companion, guiding you through the twists and turns of healing after your teeth have bid their final adieu.

We’ll journey together through the days post-surgery, unveiling what each day holds in store for your healing mouth.

From mastering the art of relaxation to gradually returning to your popcorn-munching, apple-crunching days, our guide is packed with practical tips and sage advice.

So, gear up for a recovery voyage that’s as smooth as your dentist’s handiwork, and let’s set sail towards a swift and comfortable healing journey!


Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Timeline

wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline

The First 24 Hours: Initial Recovery

  • Right after Surgery: Just after the wisdom teeth are removed, your mouth will be a bit groggy and sleepy from the anesthesia. Expect some bleeding at the extraction site.
  • Rest and Ice Pack: Take it easy and use an ice pack on your cheek to reduce swelling. This is like giving your face a mini-vacation while it heals.
  • Soft Foods: Enjoy some soft, comforting foods. Your mouth has just been through a big event, so treat it kindly with things like yogurt or applesauce.


Days 2-3: Overcoming the Hurdles

  • Swelling Peaks: The swelling might reach its peak during these days. Remember, it’s all part of the healing process.
  • Jaw Stiffness: You might feel like your jaw is on a tight schedule, not wanting to open or move much. This stiffness is normal.
  • Continue with Soft Foods: Keep up with soft foods. Think of it as a culinary adventure with a gentle twist.


Days 4-7: The Road to Recovery

  • Swelling and Bruising: Any swelling or bruising starts to say goodbye during this phase.
  • Gradually Resume Activities: You can slowly start doing more regular activities, but still, treat your mouth like it’s wearing a ‘Handle with Care’ sign.


Week 2: Almost There!

  • Extraction Site Healing: The extraction site where your wisdom teeth once lived is well on its way to healing.
  • Sore Jaw Becomes Less Sore: That sore jaw begins to feel less like an enemy and more like a friend.
  • Eating Becomes Easier: You can start reintroducing more familiar foods, but stay away from anything too crunchy or chewy.


Beyond Week 2: The New Normal

  • Encourage Healing: Continue to encourage healing by keeping the extraction site clean. Gentle rinsing with salt water can be like a soothing lullaby for your mouth.
  • Regular Check-ups: A follow-up visit with your dentist ensures everything is healing as it should be.


Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Tips

How to Manage Swelling after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

First and foremost, let’s talk about the power of cold. Applying an ice pack to the outside of your cheek can work wonders. Do this in intervals – about 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. 

This method is especially effective in the first 24 hours after surgery. Just picture the ice pack as a cool, soothing hug, keeping the swelling at bay.

Elevation is another key player in your anti-swelling strategy. When you sleep or rest, try to keep your head propped up with some comfy pillows. 

It’s a practical way to prevent blood from pooling in your face, which can increase swelling. Sleeping propped up creates a gentle slope, allowing fluids to flow away from the surgery site.

Then, there’s the magic of gentle movement. Once you’re feeling up to it, a bit of mild activity can help reduce swelling. This doesn’t mean hitting the gym or running a marathon. 

Rather, it’s about gentle walks or moving around your home. Moving helps your body do its natural work of healing and reduces the chance of swelling setting up camp for too long.

Nutrition plays a role, too. Foods rich in vitamins, particularly Vitamin C, can be your allies in the battle against swelling. Of course, remember to stick to soft foods that don’t require much chewing. Think of these foods as your little helpers, providing your body with the tools it needs to heal and keep swelling under control.

Finally, follow your dentist’s advice religiously. They might recommend specific medications or other techniques to help reduce swelling and keep your remaining teeth healthy


How to Manage Pain and Discomfort after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Taking pain medication as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon is one of your main tools in this journey. It’s important to follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider about when and how to take these medications. 

They’re designed to keep the throbbing pain at bay, making sure it doesn’t turn into an unwelcome guest that overstays its welcome.

Aside from medication, there are other helpful ways to manage pain. Applying a cold pack to your cheek can be a real game-changer in the first 24 hours; it reduces swelling and numbs the area, which in turn helps with pain.

Rest plays a starring role in your recovery. Taking it easy isn’t just about catching up on your favorite shows or reading. It’s about giving your body the time it needs to heal. 

Staying hydrated and eating soft foods is also crucial. This isn’t the time for crunchy snacks or chewy candies. Soft foods are gentle on your extraction sites and won’t irritate them, which could increase your pain. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is like giving your body the fuel it needs to focus on healing.

Lastly, keeping your head elevated, especially when sleeping, can help manage pain and discomfort. By elevating your head, you’re helping to reduce swelling, which can be the culprit behind increased pain.


What and What Not to Eat after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Foods to eat after wisdom tooth removal

Foods to Eat after Wisdom Tooth Removal

  • Soups and Broths: Liquid gold for your healing mouth. Stick to broths or creamy soups that don’t require chewing. Just remember, nothing too hot, as your mouth is quite sensitive right now.
  • Yogurt: Creamy and cool, yogurt is like a gentle hug for your sore gums. It’s also packed with protein and good bacteria to aid in healing.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Soft, comforting, and easy to eat, mashed potatoes are a great choice. They are like fluffy clouds of nourishment for your tender mouth.
  • Scrambled Eggs: Gentle on the mouth and rich in protein, scrambled eggs are like a soft pillow for your healing gums.
  • Applesauce: This is a great way to get some fruit into your diet without the need for chewing.
  • Smoothies: Packed with nutrients and easy to consume. Just avoid using a straw, as the sucking motion can disrupt the healing process.


Foods to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Foods to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

  • Crunchy Snacks: Chips, popcorn, and pretzels are a big no-no. Their sharp edges can be like little saboteurs to your healing gums.
  • Spicy Foods: These can irritate the extraction site. Think of spicy foods as the loud music at a library – not a good match.
  • Chewy Foods: Gum, candies, or tough meats require a lot of chewing, which can disturb the healing process.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and react negatively with any pain medication you might be taking.
  • Hot Beverages and Foods: Extremely hot foods can cause discomfort and may even harm the extraction site.
  • Hard Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, carrots, and the like should be avoided until your mouth has fully healed.


6 Oral Hygiene Tips

Oral Hygiene Tips

  • Gentle Brushing: Start by softly brushing your teeth, avoiding the extraction site. Think of it as tip-toeing around a sleeping cat – you don’t want to disturb it! Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep the rest of your mouth clean without irritating the healing area.
  • Saltwater Rinses: After the first 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. This is like a mild, soothing spa for your mouth. The saltwater helps keep the area clean and can reduce swelling and discomfort. Do this several times a day, especially after eating.
  • Avoid Certain Areas: When cleaning your mouth, be sure to avoid the extraction site directly for the first few days. This allows the area to heal without being disturbed. It’s like avoiding a freshly painted wall so you don’t leave any marks.
  • Use Antiseptic Mouthwash: If your dentist advises, use an antiseptic mouthwash. This helps to keep your mouth free from bacteria, which can prevent infection. It’s like having a gentle security guard for your mouth, keeping troublemakers away.
  • No Spitting or Rinsing Forcefully: For the first 24 hours, avoid spitting or rinsing forcefully. This might dislodge the blood clot that’s forming in the extraction site, which is crucial for healing. Think of it as not shaking a delicate snow globe.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps maintain oral health. It keeps your mouth moist and helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Just remember, no straws, as the sucking action can disturb the healing site.


4 Things to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Things to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

  • No Straws: Using a straw creates a suction that can dislodge the all-important blood clot at the extraction site. It’s like accidentally undoing a knot that’s holding everything together.
  • No Vigorous Exercise: High-intensity activities can increase blood pressure and may cause bleeding at the extraction site. It’s like running a race when you’re supposed to be taking a leisurely walk.
  • Don’t Poke at the Extraction Site: Resist the temptation to explore the area with your tongue or fingers. It’s like pressing a bruise – it doesn’t help and might just make things worse.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of complications. It’s like putting obstacles in the path of your recovery.


Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Hollywood, MD

Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if wisdom tooth removal is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat, call (240) 802-7217, or message us through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary consultation!

Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Hollywood, Wildewood, or Leonardtown and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Maryland, don’t hesitate to visit our office!

We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!

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