Are you anticipating an appointment for wisdom teeth surgery? If so, it’s important that you know what to expect so you can set yourself up for success during the healing process. While wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively common procedure, you’ll need to follow the aftercare instructions from our dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, to ensure you heal in a timely manner.
Here are some tips to get you started. Dr. Bandos will provide you with more detailed instructions on the day of your appointment.
Stock Your Pantry with Soft Foods
Go grocery shopping before your appointment. After wisdom teeth surgery, you’ll be in no mood to run errands. Make sure your pantry is stocked with safe foods you can eat so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of last-minute grocery shopping.
Soft foods that are safe to eat include:
- Pureed Soups
- Mashed Potatoes
- Scrambled Eggs
- Greek Yogurt
- Mashed Bananas
- Cottage Cheese
- Instant Oatmeal
Avoid foods that are difficult to chew or spicy foods that may irritate the wounds in your mouth. Also, keep in mind that you want to decrease your risk of accidentally biting your cheeks, lips, or tongue while you’re still numb. Foods that require little to no chewing are ideal during this time.
Know What to Expect and What’s Normal
For the first 30 minutes after wisdom teeth removal, you’ll need to gently bite down on the gauze pad that’s placed over the surgical site. Once 30 minutes have passed, remove and discard the gauze. If you are still bleeding, you may place fresh gauze over the site and gently bite down.
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, call our office immediately.
A high amount of saliva is expected after a wisdom tooth extraction, so don’t worry if you’re experiencing that! While in recovery, do not do anything that involves strain or excessive activity.
You might think that not having to chew your food is a benefit, and that’s true! But you should NOT use a straw for the first 24 hours after your procedure. Otherwise, you could dislodge the clot that your body formed in the tooth socket. This clot is important because it protects the underlying bone and nerves until the wound heals.
Do NOT Smoke
Do NOT smoke after. While we always recommend our patients stop smoking, you especially shouldn’t smoke after oral surgery. Not only is it bad for your health and teeth, but it also inhibits your body’s natural healing ability.
Avoid Lying Flat on Your Back
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 reclining on your bed, we strongly suggest resting in a chair or finding another way to sleep with your head elevated. Leaning back in a chair puts less pressure on your jaw, which saves you from a lot of pain.
Put On Your Favorite Sitcom
You’re going to feel tired after your appointment and adequate rest is crucial for your recovery. We recommend making a cozy nest of blankets and pillows on the couch and letting your favorite sitcom play on the TV.
Since you’ll most likely want to take a nap, we recommend choosing a beloved show you know by heart. That way, the TV can provide some much-needed distraction but you won’t feel the need to follow the plot too closely.
Use an Irrigation Syringe
While, you’ll need to use a syringe to clean your mouth. A small irrigation syringe will help flush out any food particles that may get stuck in your gums. You should continue using the irrigation syringe to rinse after each meal until the gums have completely closed and healed.
You may brush your teeth the night of your surgery, but do so at a gentle pace and avoid the extraction site.
Call Kalamazoo Smiles
Dr. Katherine Bandos is an experienced dentist in Kalamazoo, MI. She’s also accepting new patients and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about wisdom teeth surgery. To schedule an appointment, please call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700. 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.