Wisdom Teeth: How to Ensure an Effective Recovery
Never fear! Your wisdom teeth are here!
The idea of getting your wisdom teeth removed can be a little scary. Whether you’ve heard stories from your friends, or have never had a procedure done before, it can be hard to wrap your head around it. But never fear! It’s very common for a person to need their wisdom teeth removed! Your dentist will be able to help you through every step of the process and answer any questions you might have.
In the meantime, we’ve got a handy article on how to ensure an effective recovery after your wisdom teeth extraction.
What exactly are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth typically show up somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25. People typically think they were called “wisdom” teeth because they show up when you are “older and wiser.” Though, the fact that they are often removed because our jaws are truly too small for a third set of molars, seems as though they need a new name.
Not everyone has wisdom teeth anymore. Though genetically missing teeth are rare, that is not the case with wisdom teeth. If a parent managed to avoid this third set of molars, then their child is much more likely to do the same.
Even if you have wisdom teeth, it’s not a guarantee that they will need to come out. There are several reasons your wisdom teeth might need to be removed. Your dentist will look at your X-rays to help determine if the addition of these teeth will hinder your bite, or more.
You’ve probably heard horror stories about how people felt after having their wisdom teeth removed. Never fear! Any discomfort that comes from the procedure should be gone in around three days, but your dentist will be sure to send you home with pain management instructions and options just for you. Be sure to follow their instructions and take any medication as prescribed to stay on top of any discomfort that may occur.
To help with the swelling, ice packs may become your best friend. Grab one out of the freezer, wrap it in a kitchen towel, and hold it to your jaw. Be sure to only apply the ice for a maximum of 15 minutes, before giving your jaw a rest for the same period of time.
The Food Struggle
Food can be a struggle after any sort of oral procedure. It is recommended that you stick to soft foods right after your wisdom teeth are removed. It would be wise to also avoid hot or spicy foods for the first day or so. By the fourth day after surgery, you should be able to eat like you used to, but it’s a good idea to have some meal plans ready for those first few days.
Avoid These Things
As with every procedure, there are often things that need to be avoided for a little while.
- Try not to disturb the area where the teeth were removed. You don’t want to introduce any unwanted bacteria and end up causing an infection.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for at least five to seven days after the procedure.
- Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you might need to avoid driving for up to 48 hours post-op.
- Don’t drink from a straw for the first three days.
- Don’t eat hard foods, try to stick to soft things.
Don’t Rush the Recovery
It is incredibly important not to rush your recovery. Let your body rest! Take a few days off of work and catch up on those Netflix shows you’ve been eyeing. While you are recovering, be sure to keep those follow-up appointments with your dentist to ensure everything is healing properly.
After your wisdom teeth are removed, be sure to continue your dental hygiene routine as directed by your dentist. The last thing you need is to end up harming your teeth during the healing process. Be sure to ask the dentist how they suggest you adjust it while you are still healing. Don’t forget to ask any questions you might have! After all, “Dr. Google” can only tell you so much.
While you are discussing after-care with your dentist, you might also ask what to watch for, and when to contact them if there is a problem. Reasons to contact your doctor can include nausea and vomiting later after the 10-hour post-op mark, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
If you are preparing to have your wisdom teeth removed, it can be a bit of a daunting thought. Especially if you have never had a procedure like this before. There are many different places to help you prepare by telling you exactly what to expect and how to prepare.
King Dental has been operating in the area for over 50 years, with 38 years of clinical experience. Dentistry is a passion for us, not just a job. Whether you need to have a wisdom tooth extracted or just a regular cleaning, we are here for you every step of the way! An appointment is only a few clicks away.