Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the late teenage years to early twenties. Many patients find that their mouth is too crowded to allow them to develop normally – causing pain, damage to nearby teeth and even the risk of tumors and tooth decay. That is why many dentists recommend removed wisdom teeth if they don’t fully emerge on their own.
The good news is that wisdom tooth removal is a routine procedure and complications are extremely rare. Many patients experience very little discomfort. Read what to expect before, during and after removal here.
The key to a faster recovery is making sure that you follow the post-procedure instructions within the first 24-72 hours after removal.
What to do After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Within the First 24 Hours
Directly after surgery, you will most likely still be under the influence of the pain medication used during the procedure. Make sure that you have a safe ride home as you won’t be able to drive. Your surgeon will likely have you bite down on gauze packs to help stop or prevent bleeding. Feel free to replace the gauze as needed.
- Apply an ice pack to your jaw to reduce swelling and pain
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Take over-the-counter pain medicine or the medicine prescribed by your surgeon
- Eat cold, soft foods like yoghurt, ice cream or pudding
- Brush your teeth
- Rinse your mouth
- Use a straw
- Consume hot/warm foods or beverages
- Drink carbonated beverages or alcohol
1 to 3 Days After Surgery
After the first 24 hours, you can safely brush your teeth and rinse your mouth to help prevent the chance of infection. Make sure that you continue consuming a soft diet for the first few days. You will still want to avoid using a straw, as that can lead to a dry socket.
- Begin to add semi-soft foods like eggs, soup, and oatmeal to your diet
- Continue to take pain medication as needed
- Prop your head up when you are sleeping to reduce pressure on your mouth
- Participate in strenuous exercise
- Consume crunchy, spicy or chewy foods that can cause damage to your wounds
- Drink hot beverages
What Foods You Can Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Fortunately, there are plenty of options that are perfectly acceptable to eat after your procedure. In the first 24 hours, we recommend sticking to liquids or very soft foods. But after the first day, you can begin to add semi-soft foods for more sustenance.
- Thin soups (should be served cold or lukewarm)
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Steamed mashed vegetables
- Cottage cheese
- Mashed soft fruits like bananas
- Cooked pasts or noodles
- Pudding or Jell-O
If you have any questions prior to your procedure or what to expect, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Gentle Dental Affiliated Practice near you. We have a team of expert oral surgeons who are committed to providing the best, most compassionate care possible.