It’s important to take very good care of our mouth after your wisdom teeth are removed. The better care you give it, the faster your mouth can heal and the less risk there is of infection. Before you head home, your oral surgeon should help prepare you for the next few weeks of care with prescribed painkillers and extra gauze. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed.
Once home however, it is up to you and a friend or loved one to help you keep your teeth on the path to healing. Here are our tips for taking care of your mouth at home after your wisdom teeth are removed.
First, make sure to have a large supply of gauze to help keep the sore area from bleeding. Gently remove gauze every 30 to 45 minutes, replacing it with a new piece of gauze until bleeding subsides. Although the blood should clot within the first 48 hours, sometimes the clot can break and you’ll need to re-apply gauze.
It is important to avoid infection and keep your mouth clean. The night after surgery, try brushing your teeth softly. Avoid the surgical sites with your brush.
Salt Water Rinse
To help clean out the surgical site, use a saltwater rinse (1 tbsp of salt for 1 cup of warm water). Do not spit out water, as it can break clots, rather let it drip into the sink slowly. Try to rinse two to three times a day, especially after meals.
Take Care of Bleeding
Be aware that bleeding will occur, on and off, for up to 48 hours. While it may look like a lot of blood, keep in mind that most of the blood is mixing with your saliva, making it look much more severe than it actually is. Use gauze to prevent bleeding, apply pressure with gauze, and readjust if bleeding persists.
Swelling will happen to help soften the pain. Your mouth will be most swollen around the two to three day mark. If you would like to minimize swelling, apply an ice pack on the outside of the cheek against the swollen area.
Use Prescribed Painkillers
With the removal of wisdom teeth, you should receive a prescription painkiller that will relieve most of the discomfort. It is advised to take the painkiller before the anesthetic wears off, this will help prevent pain before it starts.
Do your best to take in nutritional foods that are easy to eat. Soft foods such as yogurt, fruit smoothies, and mashed potatoes are best for the first few days. Do not use a straw the first few days as the suction can break blood clots. Slowly integrate simple solid foods into your diet, but avoid smaller foods such as rice, nuts, and popcorn, which can become lodged in the gum’s pockets.
It is important to eat three healthy meals a day after surgery. Your body needs the nourishment, and it will help you feel better and heal faster.
Communicate With Your Doctor
Stay in touch with your dentist if pain persists or you experience a high level of discomfort. Your doctor can either reassure you that this is the normal process, or help guide you to feeling better.
Getting your wisdom teeth removed is no walk in the park, but it can drastically help lower your risk of gum disease and infection. If you would like any more information on wisdom teeth removal, contact your dentist.