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Dos and don'ts after a wisdom tooth extraction

So you’re about to undergo a wisdom tooth extraction. Congratulations! No more having to deal with the discomfort that comes with crooked, impacted, or decayed wisdom teeth! However, this isn’t like a regular dentist appointment, where you get treated and can immediately go back to doing whatever it is you do on a regular basis. Here’s a list of the dos and don’ts of post-wisdom-tooth-extraction.

Dos

A lot of these tasks are things you’d likely do almost instinctively after a wisdom tooth extraction, so your daily routine won’t be affected too muchand you probably have most of the items needed at home already. In order to quicken the healing process after your procedure, you should:

  • Keep yourself hydrated: Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water or fluids. Staying hydrated is always a good idea, but it’s even more important when your body is recovering from a surgical procedure.
  • Eat soft foods: Soup. Yay. Pasta. Yay. Ice cream. OH MY GOODNESS, ICE CREAM?! Yep! A big ol’ perk of getting wisdom tooth extractions is that they’re the perfect excuse to live off ice cream for the next three days.
  • Exercise your mouth by gently opening and closing it: This will prevent the jaws from stiffening up.
  • Bring out the ice pack: Placing the ice pack outside the mouth on your cheek will minimize the swelling, prevent skin discoloration, and sooth your wound.
  • Brush your teeth after the first day: Your wound is fresh on the day you undergo the procedure, so it’s best to avoid irritating it by brushing it with a toothbrush. The wound should be healed a little bit once day two rolls around, so you can start brushing your teeth then.
  • Take the prescribed drugs: If your doctor says “take this medicine because it’ll reduce the pain and swelling after the procedure,” you should definitely take it. The doctor is there to help you, after all.

Don’ts

Now, this is the list that will make you want to yell “booooo!” and throw a tomato. But before you fire up your torch, remember that this is only something that lasts a few days. Also, remember the ice cream (see above)!

  • No straws: Using a straw after your wisdom tooth extraction could loosen blood clots, making the healing process slower and more painful.
  • No hard or sticky foods: Put the pitchfork down! Do you want Doritos or gummy bears scratching or lodging into your fresh mouth wounds?! Stay calm and remember the ice cream!
  • No smoking: Smoking with those fresh wounds in your mouth will slow the healing process. This may seem like the perfect opportunity to stay home longer to heal, but you won’t be able to work, which means no money for ice cream!

So there you go. Remember that the healing process only lasts a few days if you follow these dos and don’ts. And remember, if you have any complications or questions, be sure to contact your dentist.

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