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The Detailed Do’s And Don’ts Of Wisdom Teeth Removal

With age comes wisdom, and in most cases, wisdom teeth. But sometimes those teeth (which grow in between the ages of 17 and 25) can bring more than brains with them. In fact, they can be a real pain. With the possibility of them becoming impacted at some point, it’s no wonder so many people choose to get them extracted. 

If you or someone you love is about to undergo wisdom teeth removal, you’re not alone. Believe it or not, an estimated 90 percent of American adults have their wisdom teeth removed. How wise of them! Having your wisdom teeth removed can be scary, but let us impart a little wisdom with the following tips for having your wisdom teeth removed.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Do’s

When it comes to getting your wisdom teeth removed, there are several things you should do to make the healing process go a lot more smoothly. The first recommendation is to get plenty of rest. Take your time returning to work or school after having your wisdom teeth removed, and consider taking at least a couple days off to recuperate. 

While you don’t need to sleep the day away, experts recommend you limit physical activity, as this will get your blood pumping and make your gums bleed more than if you had stayed sedentary.

Next, experts recommend you keep your head elevated, so sit upright or prop yourself up with pillows if you lie down. This will help alleviate some of the swelling in your gums.

For the pain associated with having teeth removed, we recommend treating the area with ice packs to both help with the pain and to reduce swelling.

Another pro tip? Use the gauze given to you at your appointment to both absorb any blood and to bite down on to stop some of the bleeding.

As for what to eat following your procedure, be sure to stock up in advance on plenty of soft foods. Many people like to eat ice cream, pudding, yogurt and smoothies, as they are both soft and provide some cool relief to the gums.

Finally, another major “do” is to brush your teeth – but gently. Brushing the teeth will help keep the teeth and gums clean, which is especially important with newly extracted teeth. That being said, be sure to brush gently so as to not upset the sutures in your mouth and cause any excess pain or bleeding.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Don’ts

If you’ve heard anything about wisdom tooth removal before, you’ve probably heard of something called dry socket. Dry socket occurs when you disrupt the clot that is forming where the tooth was. Sucking on a straw can dislodge this clot, causing you to bleed more and setting the healing process back.

Another common mistake that can interrupt the clotting process is using aspirin for pain. Aspirin thins the blood, so using it when you want the bleeding to slow is a bad idea. Use only what is prescribed by your dentist until your incisions have healed.

While it may be tempting to investigate your sutures with your tongue, finger or toothbrush, we recommend against doing this, as you can aggravate the wound and cause the clot to dislodge. This can also introduce new bacteria into the wound, which could cause infection of the gums.

Another common problem some people face is not knowing how vigorously to use mouthwash. While you may be sticking to just using mouthwash to clean your teeth in the day or so following your wisdom teeth extraction, you may think it’s a good idea to swish as hard as you can to get the most benefit from your mouthwash. Unfortunately, this is not the best idea, as it can once again remove the clot from your gums and cause them to start bleeding again.

How Do I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

While some people experience pain with impacted wisdom teeth, others may not, which is why it’s important to attend your twice-yearly dental appointments for cleaning and an exam. If your wisdom teeth become impacted, they can begin to degrade and take healthy neighboring teeth with them, so it’s very important to have impacted wisdom teeth removed.

To schedule an appointment for a consultation about your or your child’s wisdom teeth, please contact us today!