As a common practice, most of the dental surgeons have standard post-surgery instructions printed which are handed over to the patient. One must follow these instructions given by the dentist. Following all the post-operative instructions after wisdom teeth removal reduces the incidence of infection and chances of dry socket. If aftercare instructions are not followed then it can cause complications, which can further lead to delayed healing. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts after wisdom teeth extraction.
Normally, it will take from two to four weeks for the socket (surgical site) to heal. To help this process along, here are some important things you can do:
Clean Your Mouth Regularly
It’s okay to carefully brush your teeth the night of your wisdom teeth removal surgery, but wait until the next day to rinse your mouth. From then on, use warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt to gently rinse your mouth at least 5 to 6 times a day and especially after meals.
Use any pain relievers prescribed by your dentist to control pain and keep you comfortable after the wisdom teeth removal. Also, if your dentist prescribed antibiotics, make sure to complete the dosages as outlined.
Use a Tea Bag
Tea has tannic acid, which helps to contract blood vessels and reduce bleeding. Put a moist tea bag on the surgical site and bite down tightly for about 20 to 30 minutes.
It’s important to refrain from any physical activity for the first 24 hours after wisdom teeth removal. Elevate your head with some comfy pillows while resting and avoid sleeping on the same side as your extraction.
Brushing and Flossing
After the first 24 hours, you can return to your normal brushing and flossing routine. Just remember to avoid the surgical area. At this time you can also resume wearing any orthodontic retainer you are using. If it causes discomfort, you can safely wait up to a week to begin your orthodontic treatment again.
Initially you can eat soft and somewhat cold foods like smoothies, ice cream, yogurt, and pudding. You can gradually change to semi-solids like warm soup and then to solids after the first few days.
Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol
Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours after surgery and preferably not for the first week.
Avoid Blowing Your Nose
This can be a hard one if you’re experiencing any nasal drainage or stuffiness. For the first 14 days, just gently wipe your nose without actually blowing.
Avoid Eating Hard-To-Chew Foods
Foods such as cereals, nuts, or popcorn can be very difficult to eat after an extraction and may wound sensitive tissues. Wait for a week or so before you add them back to your menu. Avoid using straw to drink liquids.
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