6 Thoughts for Wisdom Teeth Recovery

November 1, 2019 Lakeshore Dentistry

Wisdom Teeth Dentists in Holland MI

Do you have an appointment scheduled for wisdom teeth removal? If so, it’s important that you know what to expect during the healing process so you can set yourself up for success. Our dentists in Holland, MI, would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about wisdom teeth extraction. That way, you can feel informed and confident about your treatment plan.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our top six tips for wisdom teeth recovery.

1. Go to Sleep While Sitting Up

After surgery, you may find yourself tired or drowsy from your type of sedation. When you get home, your first reaction might be to sleep, but we want to caution you against lying down.

Rather than sleeping flat on your back or on your side, we strongly suggest resting in a reclining chair. As you lean back in a chair, there will be a lot less jaw pain.

Icing your jaws and taking pain medications as prescribed will also help you feel more comfortable. Just make sure that you have a towel between the ice pack and your skin to avoid frostbite.

2. Distract Yourself with a Movie

It may sound silly, but a good movie can help your recovery process because movies help us relax. Try watching a movie after oral surgery.

Maybe you have a long, ever-growing list on Netflix. Or maybe there’s that show everyone at the office talks about. Now is your time to sit back, relax, and recover from your wisdom tooth extraction!

3. Eat Soft Foods

Biting into a Honeycrisp apple will be the last thing you want to do after wisdom teeth surgery.

We recommend chewing on soft foods. Before your mouth surgery, be sure to go to the store and stock up on foods that require little to no chewing (or are at least soft).

Examples of soft foods include:

  • Bread
  • Jello
  • Pureed Soups
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Scrambled Eggs

Eating these in small doses is best.

PRO TIP: If you need to soften something up, let it soak in water. We recommend avoiding anything that’s spicy or contains chocolate or citrus flavor.

4. Avoid Straws and Smoking

Sucking down a strawberry shake might numb your mouth, but the straw can slow or even harm your oral healing process.

You might think that not having to chew your food is a benefit, and that’s true! But sucking on a straw will disturb the blood clot over the extraction site that’s protecting the underlying bone and nerve. This can lead to a painful condition called dry socket syndrome.

Avoid smoking after oral surgery. We recommend you avoid smoking at all times because it can cause things like gum disease, but especially avoid smoking after dental surgery! Not only is it bad for your health and teeth, but it also inhibits your body’s natural healing ability.

5. Clean with the Provided Irrigation Syringe

At your local dentist, we recommend using an irrigation syringe to help clean your mouth, but don’t overdo it.

We recommend 5 to 6 rinses for the first few days and always after a meal. Make sure to not aggressively rinse your mouth after a tooth extraction as this will cause agitation and can slow the healing process.

The syringe works great for getting out pesky particles of food without having to dig for them with your toothbrush. If a piece of food gets stuck in the spot your tooth used to be, don’t panic. Rinse it out slowly with the syringe. If you’re up for it, we recommend doing so with warm salt water.

You can brush your teeth the night of your surgery, but do so at a gentle pace.

6. Call Lakeshore Dentistry If You Need Help

After dental surgery, we recommend using gauze to help with the bleeding. Gently biting down on gauze for 30 minutes will help. If bleeding continues, rinse your mouth and repeat the process.

Do not keep gauze in for more than 30 minutes at a time, as it will absorb too much and become unusable. If excessive bleeding does not stop after a few hours, please call our office as soon as possible for instructions.

A high amount of saliva is expected, so don’t worry if you’re experiencing that! While in recovery, do not do anything that involves strain or excessive activity as this can increase the bleeding.

Schedule a Wisdom Teeth Consultation

Whether it’s you or a loved one going through wisdom teeth removal, we hope you feel a little more prepared now. To schedule an appointment with one of our dentists in Holland, MI, please call the Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center at (616) 399-3946. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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