Dentists say having your wisdom teeth removed is a smart idea, but if you’re not feeling particularly wise after the extraction, you’re not alone. It’s normal for you to be uncomfortable for the first few days after the procedure; expect some pain and swelling. But fear not! These tips can help you survive the ordeal and come out the other side smiling.
Talk to Your Surgeon Beforehand
No matter how common it may seem, wisdom tooth extraction is still a form of surgery. It’s very important to learn as much about the process as possible. Get to know your surgeon, especially if the procedure will be your first time meeting with them. No question is a dumb one so ask as many as you can think of. Your comfort before, during and after the operation is top priority.
Again, this is surgery we’re talking about. You’ll most likely be put under anesthesia for the procedure and will be in no condition to do basically anything when they discharge you afterwards. Make sure someone can pick you up and have a space set up at home to spend the next few days of recovery. Many people try to schedule their operation on a Thursday or Friday so they can be back to work or school by Monday. If you haven’t already, let your supervisors or professors know that you’ll be out of commission for a while.
Watch Your Diet
You probably won’t feel up to eating solid foods for at least the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Expect to drink a lot of liquids before moving up to softer things, like pudding and gelatin, and then consider returning to your normal diet. If nothing else, use this time as an excuse to eat as much ice cream as you can handle! It’s also best to avoid using straws; the suction required to get drinks into your mouth will be much more uncomfortable than you expect, and increases the risk of painful dry sockets.
Get Some Rest
No matter how quickly you want to jump back into school or work, getting rest is the only thing that will ensure you heal properly. Expect to spend at least the first few days in bed, or on your couch, sleeping and relaxing. Even if you’re not particularly tired, don’t overexert yourself. Take time to finish that show you’ve been watching, beat that level you were stuck on or finish that novel you’ve been meaning to get to.
Follow up with Aftercare
It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself after you’ve left the surgeon’s office. Follow whatever instructions the doctor has recommended. You might not feel like opening your mouth, but slowly stretching your jaw every once in a while will prevent it from stiffening up. The day after surgery, begin regularly rinsing your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water. This will reduce swelling and pain. You can also alternate between cold and heat packs to soothe any discomfort.
It might not be the most enjoyable process, but getting your wisdom teeth removed is a battle everyone can win. If you have any more questions about the procedure or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us.