Wise choices: Top 10 wisdom teeth removal aftercare tips
Much like prom or a first kiss, wisdom teeth removal is a common rite of passage for adolescents in North America. In fact, 5 million Americans have these challenging chompers removed every year. Referred to as third molars by dentists, four wisdom teeth grow in generally between the ages of 17 and 21 according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
So why do millions of people choose wisdom teeth extraction? While the eruption of third molars may not affect some people’s day-to-day lives, in others they can cause pain, discomfort, infection and gum disease — particularly if they do not erupt and are impacted. This may lead to cysts that can cause bone loss in the jaw. Also, if the new teeth grow in at an angle, they can chafe the inside of the mouth or gums or cause pain by pushing against other teeth.
If you don’t want this toothache to become a huge headache, sooner is always better for wisdom teeth removal in Montreal. Dentists or oral surgeons generally prefer taking them out when patients are in their late teens or early 20s as the teeth’s roots haven’t solidified into the jawbone as much and it’s easier at that age to recover from sedation. While the procedure is literally as fun as pulling teeth, there are aftercare tips to make healing as fast and painless as possible.
Seaforth Oral Surgery’s wisdom teeth removal aftercare tips
According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), wisdom teeth extraction recovery can take up to two weeks and may include: a swollen and tender mouth and cheeks; visible facial bruising; a stiff, sore jaw; pain and bleeding; an unpleasant taste in the mouth; and tingling or numbness of the face, lips or tongue. During healing, the key is avoiding harming your sensitive gum, infection and dislodging or dissolving the blood clot that forms in the extracted tooth’s socket. The latter can lead to dry socket, which is highly painful and requires treatment by an oral surgeon.
Want to get back to looking, feeling and eating like yourself? It would be wise to follow these wisdom teeth removal aftercare tips.
- No pain, all gain
Deal with the discomfort, swelling and bruising of your wisdom teeth extraction by applying an ice pack to your cheeks — 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for up to two days. Also, you can use prescription or over-the-counter painkillers as advised to you by the dental experts at Seaforth Oral Surgery.
- Easy tip: No hard food
While you are healing from your wisdom teeth removal, stick to cold, soft and liquid foods. Think: the blender, the better. Treat yourself to some jello, pudding and smoothies.
- Bad appetit
Hot food and drinks run the risk of breaking down the blood clot in the socket, which can lead to infection or dry socket. Additionally, avoid coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks and anything that can leave little bits in your teeth like poppy seeds or popcorn kernels.
- Ready, set, rinse!
Rinse the wisdom teeth extraction sites gently with antiseptic mouthwash 24 hours following the surgery, and periodically for the subsequent few days (though avoid excessive or unnecessary spitting). Also, always do this after you eat. A rinse with warm salt water or saline can also help with soreness and swelling.
- Thank you for not smoking
Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours following your wisdom teeth removal surgery in Montreal. Tempted to sneak in a cigarette? Puff on this: the toxins in tobacco can contaminate the surgical site and constrict blood vessels, decreasing the blood supply needed to form clots and heal. Plus, the suction of pulling in the smoke can dislodge your blood clot and cause dry socket.
- Chew on this
To stem bleeding, keep a gauze pad on the extraction site for half an hour after surgery. If it continues heavily, bite down on more gauze or a moistened tea bag for another 30 minutes. The tannin acid in your favourite cuppa contracts blood vessels, which helps clotting.
- The last straw
Avoid using straws to drink as the suction can also dislodge blood clots.
- Hold your head high
When sleeping or laying down, use an extra pillow to keep your head elevated.
- Skip the gym
For at least a few days following your extraction procedure, avoid strenuous activities and exercise.
- Communication is key
Stay in touch with your oral surgeon and be sure to attend all follow-up appointments. Also, call your dental expert if you experience a fever and/or find your swelling, bleeding and pain are getting worse instead of better during recovery.
After reading these aftercare tips, do you feel ready for your wisdom teeth removal in Montreal? You can trust the dental experts at Seaforth Oral Surgery to get you up and smiling again in no time. Book your consultation appointment today.
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