Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Tips: Dos and Don’ts after Surgery

by | Feb 2, 2024 | General Orthodontics, Oral Health, Orthodontic Treatments | 0 comments

9 min reading time

Ready to dive into the world of wisdom tooth extraction? Get ready for the rollercoaster ride that is the recovery phase.

Consider this piece your reliable sidekick, navigating you through the twists and turns of the healing process after your toothy farewells.

Together, we’ll navigate the days following the surgery, unraveling the surprises each day brings to your on-the-mend mouth.

From honing the skill of unwinding to gradually reintroducing popcorn and apple munching into your routine, our manual is chock-full of practical tips and wise counsel.

So, buckle in for a recovery escapade as seamless as your dentist’s artistry, and let’s chart a course toward a swift and comfy journey to healing!


Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Timeline

Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Timeline

The First 24 Hours: Initial Recovery

  • Right after Surgery: Right after having your wisdom teeth removed, you might feel a bit drowsy from the anesthesia, and there could be some bleeding at the extraction sites.
  • Rest and Ice Pack: Take some time to relax and apply an ice pack to your cheek to help reduce swelling. Think of it as giving your face a soothing getaway while it recovers.
  • Soft Foods: Treat your mouth gently with soft, comforting foods like yogurt or applesauce. Your mouth has undergone a significant procedure, so be kind to it as it heals.


Days 2-3: Overcoming the Hurdles

  • Swelling Peaks: It’s normal for swelling to peak during these days as part of the healing process.
  • Jaw Stiffness: You may experience some tightness in your jaw, making it feel a bit resistant to opening or moving. This stiffness is typical after the surgery.
  • Continue with Soft Foods: Continue enjoying soft foods during this period. Consider it a culinary adventure with a gentle touch to support your recovery.


Days 4-7: The Road to Recovery

  • Swelling and Bruising: As you progress through this phase, swelling and bruising begin to bid farewell.
  • Gradually Resume Activities: You can gradually resume more regular activities, but continue treating your mouth with extra care as if it’s wearing a ‘Handle with Care’ sign.


Week 2: Almost There!

  • Extraction Site Healing: The extraction site, once the home of your wisdom teeth, is well on its way to healing.
  • Sore Jaw Becomes Less Sore: The once-sore jaw starts to feel less like an adversary and more like a friend.
  • Eating Becomes Easier: You can begin reintroducing more familiar foods, but avoid anything too crunchy or chewy.


Beyond Week 2: The New Normal

  • Encourage Healing: Keep the extraction site clean to encourage healing. Gentle rinsing with salt water can be like a soothing lullaby for your mouth.
  • Regular Check-ups: A follow-up visit with your dentist ensures everything is healing as it should be.


Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Tips

How to Manage Swelling after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Let’s kick things off by singing the praises of the cold side. Wrapping an ice pack on the outside of your cheek? That’s like a superhero move against swelling. Just rock it in intervals—20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off.

This ice pack trick? It’s like having a chilly, comforting buddy giving your cheek a bear hug, especially in those initial 24 hours post-surgery. Imagine it as the ultimate defense against unwanted puffiness.

Now, let’s talk about the elevation game. When it’s time to hit the hay or lounge around, prop your head up with some plush pillows. Why? Well, it’s like creating a VIP section for your face, preventing blood from pooling and causing a swell party. A slightly elevated snooze ensures fluids flow away from the surgery site – talk about strategic sleeping.

And here comes the charm of gentle moves. Once you’re up for it, a touch of light activity can be your swelling’s kryptonite. No, I’m not suggesting a gym marathon. Just think of casual strolls or roaming around the house. Movement kickstarts your body’s natural healing groove and puts a cap on swelling, overstaying its welcome.

Don’t forget the nutrition squad. Load up on vitamin-rich goodies, especially Vitamin C, to be your partners in the anti-swelling mission. Stick to soft bites that won’t put your jaw through a workout. These foods? They’re like your trusty sidekicks, giving your body the goods it needs to heal while keeping swelling on a tight leash.

Last but not least, be a disciple of your dentist’s wisdom. They’re the gurus with the plan. Follow their advice like it’s the gospel – whether it’s specific meds or other tactics to fight swelling and keep the rest of your teeth in tip-top shape.


How to Manage Pain and Discomfort after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Let’s talk about the pain game—and the prescription meds your dentist or oral surgeon handed you. Consider those your VIP tickets to this journey. Stick to the script they gave you on when and how to pop those pills; it’s like the roadmap to keeping the throbbing pain in check, ensuring it doesn’t become an unwelcome party crasher.


Beyond the meds, there’s a whole playbook for pain management. Drop a cold pack on your cheek in the first 24 hours, and boom – game-changer. It’s the secret sauce to reducing swelling and numbing the area, giving pain a swift kick.

Now, enter the world of rest – not just an excuse to binge-watch your favorite shows or dive into a good read. It’s your body’s golden time to heal. Soft foods are the unsung heroes here – no crunchy snacks or chewy candies. They’re like the soothing pals that won’t stir up trouble at your extraction sites, keeping pain at bay. And don’t forget the hydration hustle; water is the superhero fuel your body needs to focus on the healing gig.

And the grand finale? Elevating that head, especially while catching z’s. It’s not just a posture thing; it’s pain management 101. By giving your head a little lift, you’re putting the squeeze on swelling – the sneaky culprit behind escalated pain levels. Sweet dreams and swift healing, my friend.


What and What Not to Eat after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Foods to Eat after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Foods to Eat after Wisdom Tooth Removal

  • Soups and Broths: These liquid delights are perfect for your recovering mouth. Opt for broths or creamy soups that require minimal chewing. Be cautious with the temperature, ensuring it’s not too hot for your sensitive mouth.
  • Yogurt: Enjoy the soothing and cool texture of yogurt, offering a comforting embrace for your tender gums. It’s not only gentle but also rich in protein and beneficial bacteria to support the healing process.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Embrace the soft and comforting goodness of mashed potatoes. They’re like fluffy clouds of nourishment, providing ease for your delicate mouth.
  • Scrambled Eggs: Indulge in scrambled eggs—a gentle and protein-rich option that feels like a soft pillow for your healing gums.
  • Applesauce: Introduce some fruity goodness without the need for extensive chewing. Applesauce is a delightful way to include fruits in your diet during the recovery phase.
  • Smoothies: Enjoy nutrient-packed smoothies that are easy on your healing mouth. Avoid using a straw to prevent any disturbance to the healing process.


Foods to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Foods to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

  • Crunchy Snacks: Steer clear of chips, popcorn, and pretzels, as their sharp edges can act as little saboteurs to your healing gums.
  • Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can irritate the extraction site, so consider them as the loud music in a library—not a good match for now.
  • Chewy Foods: Gum, candies, or tough meats require extensive chewing, which can disrupt the healing process.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol may interfere with the healing process and negatively interact with any pain medication you might be taking.
  • Hot Beverages and Foods: Extremely hot foods can cause discomfort and may harm the extraction site.
  • Hard Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, carrots, and similar items should be avoided until your mouth has fully healed.


6 Oral Hygiene Tips

Oral Hygiene Tips

  • Gentle Brushing: Begin by brushing your teeth gently, steering clear of the extraction site. Consider it like tip-toeing around a sleeping cat – you don’t want to disturb it! Utilize a soft-bristled toothbrush to ensure the rest of your mouth stays clean without irritating the healing area.
  • Saltwater Rinses: After the initial 24 hours, softly rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Think of it as a mild, soothing spa experience for your mouth. The saltwater aids in keeping the area clean and can reduce swelling and discomfort. Repeat this process several times a day, particularly after meals.
  • Avoid Certain Areas: When tending to your oral hygiene, make sure to bypass the extraction site directly for the first few days. This allows the area to heal undisturbed, akin to avoiding a freshly painted wall to prevent leaving any marks.
  • Use Antiseptic Mouthwash: If recommended by your dentist, incorporate an antiseptic mouthwash. This helps keep your mouth bacteria-free, acting like a gentle security guard to ward off troublemakers.
  • No Spitting or Forceful Rinsing: In the initial 24 hours, steer clear of spitting or rinsing forcefully. This precaution prevents the dislodgment of the blood clot from forming in the extraction site, which is crucial for proper healing. Think of it as refraining from shaking a delicate snow globe.
  • Stay Hydrated: Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to maintain oral health. This helps keep your mouth moist and aids in washing away food particles and bacteria. Just remember, no straws, as the sucking action may disturb the healing site.


4 Things to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Things to Avoid after Wisdom Tooth Removal

  • No Straws: Opting for a straw creates a suction force that could dislodge the crucial blood clot at the extraction site. It’s akin to accidentally untying a knot that’s holding everything together.
  • No Vigorous Exercise: Engaging in high-intensity activities may elevate blood pressure and potentially lead to bleeding at the extraction site. It’s like running a race when you’re meant to be taking a leisurely walk.
  • Don’t Poke at the Extraction Site: Resist the urge to explore the area with your tongue or fingers. It’s similar to pressing on a bruise – it doesn’t aid and might exacerbate the situation.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking impedes the healing process and heightens the risk of complications. It’s like introducing obstacles in the path of your recovery.

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Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Northern Virginia!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if wisdom teeth extraction is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or message us through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary consultation!

Our office—located at 19465 Deerfield Ave. Suite 304 Lansdowne, VA 20176—proudly serves the Lansdowne, VA area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Sterling, or Leesburg and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! 

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