Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure for many of us. While it’s typically a routine surgery, knowing how to care for your mouth after extraction is crucial for a speedy and comfortable recovery.
Day of Surgery: Protecting the Blood Clot
Immediately following the procedure, a blood clot will form in the socket. This clot is a vital part of the healing process and protecting it is essential. Avoid activities that could dislodge it such as forceful rinsing or spitting, drinking through a straw, smoking, or engaging in vigorous exercise. You will be asked to bite down on a piece of gauze to aid in its formation.
Managing Pain and Swelling
Some discomfort and swelling are normal after surgery. Apply a cold pack to your cheek in 15-minute intervals to help reduce swelling. Over-the-counter or prescribed painkillers can be used to manage pain.
First Few Days: Gentle Oral Hygiene and Proper Nutrition
Continuing good oral hygiene is important but be gentle. Avoid brushing directly over the extraction site for the first few days. Rinsing with warm salt water after meals can help keep food particles out of the extraction site.
It’s also important to consume soft, nutritious foods. Opt for meals like smoothies, soup, or mashed potatoes which are easy on your mouth and give your body the nutrients it needs to heal.
One Week Later: Check-In with Your Oral Health Provider
One week after the extraction, your oral health provider will want to see you for a follow-up appointment. They’ll check the healing progress and remove any stitches if they didn’t dissolve on their own.
Beyond the First Week: Healing and Getting Back to Normal
Most discomfort should be gone after two weeks. If not, contact your oral health provider. By one month post-surgery, minor bruising or swelling should be gone and you can return to your normal dental routine.
Remember, everybody heals differently. This is just a general guide. Always follow the specific instructions given by your oral health provider, and don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have any questions or concerns. A wisdom tooth extraction might seem daunting, but with the right care, you’ll be on the path to recovery before you know it!