Do’s and Don’ts After Wisdom Teeth Removal
The way you care for yourself after wisdom teeth removal can make all the difference in your recovery. Here’s a list of what to do (and what not to do) to get you back on your feet after you get your wisdom teeth out.
- Take it easy. You will need plenty of rest after your surgery, so plan on keeping your activity to a minimum. You will likely need someone to drive you home after the procedure, and it’s also a good idea to have a friend or relative stay with you for the first 24 hours.
- Eat soft foods. Your mouth will not be able to tolerate anything more than soft foods after surgery. Yogurt, applesauce, pudding and Jell-O are all good options for the first day.
- Manage your pain. Your doctor or oral surgeon will have your companion fill your prescription medication while you’re in surgery, so you can stay on top of the pain right away. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol and ibuprofen are also helpful for pain management. To reduce swelling and bruising, and relieve pain at the same time, hold an ice pack against your mouth.
- Drink certain beverages. Alcoholic, caffeinated or hot drinks are a no-no for the first 24 hours. Opt for plenty of water instead. And avoid using a straw, as the sucking motion may loosen a blood clot from the socket.
- Spit. You may have some bleeding for the first day, which is normal. It’s important that you try to avoid spitting, which can dislodge a blood clot in the socket. Your doctor or oral surgeon will supply you with gauze to absorb any excess blood. Wear it (and change it) often for the first 24 hours.
- Brush your teeth. You can disrupt your stitches if you brush your teeth, use mouthwash or rinse your mouth the first day. After 24 hours, you can gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water and brush your teeth, but take special care to avoid the stitched area.
- Use tobacco. Tobacco products can prohibit healing and increase the risk of complications. Avoid smoking for as long as possible, but at least for the first 24 hours. And chewing tobacco should be avoided for at least a week.
Want to learn more about wisdom teeth removal? Contact the Montefiore Department of Dentistry.
For more information about any of the services we offer, please contact Drs. Kraut, Rogoff, Newsome and Kakanantadilok. Our office is located in the Bronx and can be reached at 888-700-6623. We look forward to meeting you.