Most of us have heard about the wisdom teeth. Those are the last four teeth to come in, so called because they don’t usually appear until a person is fully adult. Most people will have four wisdom teeth total. One of the great things about living in the modern world is that our oral hygiene means our teeth don’t fall out like they did a few hundred years ago. One of the problems with that, though, is there’s just not enough room in the mouth for all those teeth!
Without enough room, a lot of wisdom teeth will become impacted, and about 5 million Americans have to get their wisdom teeth removed every year. If you’re headed in for oral surgery and wisdom teeth removal, read on for some tips on wisdom tooth extraction aftercare that will make the whole thing a lot easier for you.
- Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare tip #1: Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Your dentist and the oral surgery professionals are there to help you. Make sure you go over everything before you come in for your wisdom teeth removal procedure. Ask them what you should do before the procedure, what you should expect during, and what they recommend for after.
- Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare tip #2: Take some time off and stock up. Although some people will recover very quickly, others need a few days. Don’t try to rush back to work. Schedule some time off, get a friend to be with you, and make sure you’re stocked up with the foods, drinks, and entertainment you need to be comfortable for a few days on the couch.
- Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare tip #3: Eat right and rest up. Only drink liquids after your surgery; but never ever through a straw! Start adding solid foods that are soft after a day or two, and don’t eat too much spicy food or anything terribly hot. Plan to rest as much as you can. No exercise, lots of naps, and plenty of TV, audiobooks, or passive internet surfing.
- Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare tip #4: Use salt and tea bags to make everything better Make a nice rinse out of salt and warm water, and rinse with this whenever you can. Especially remember to rinse with it after you’ve eaten or drunk anything. It might seem scary to put salt in there, but it will actually feel great and reduce swelling. You can also bite down on gauze if you’ve got a lot of bleeding, and after 12 hours a damp tea bag is even better.
Having your wisdom teeth out isn’t the most fun thing you’ll ever do, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Ask questions, prepare well, and plan for some rest. That way you’ll get back to normal life as quickly and painlessly as possible.