Wisdom Teeth Aftercare & Diet San Francisco, CA
Wisdom Teeth Recovery Tips
Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental surgery that prevents problems such as impacted teeth and crowding of the other teeth. While it is a routine procedure, it is a minor surgery that requires recovery time. We advise most patients to take 2-3 days off work after wisdom teeth removal. However, some may need more time depending on the complexity of the surgery. Following our guidelines for aftercare and eating will ensure a quick and safe recovery.
Rest at home the first day after wisdom tooth removal. Try to get plenty of sleep and do not overdo your activities. Relaxing on the porch or the sofa is a great way to recover, as you may feel the lingering effects of anesthesia for as much as 24 hours. For the first few days, avoid any strenuous activities and minimize stress. Sleep on your back with your head elevated to reduce swelling and bleeding.
Blood clots form in the mouth over the extraction sites to protect the empty sockets. Bite on the gauze packing for a few hours to encourage proper clotting and prevent dry sockets. Once there is no more active bleeding, you can remove the gauze.
Wisdom Teeth Pain Management
We provide a prescription for pain medication after wisdom teeth removal. Take these as directed and, if necessary, supplement with Ibuprofen to reduce swelling. Applying ice packs during the first 36 hours after surgery can dramatically reduce swelling and help control pain. Wrap the ice packs in a towel or soft cloth and apply to the cheek for 20-30 minutes at a time throughout the day. Sleeping with your head elevated the first night or two helps reduce swelling.
Oral Hygiene After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Do not do any vigorous rinsing or brushing after your surgery. The day after surgery, gently swish salt water around your mouth several times daily, particularly after eating. Let this drain out of your mouth, so you do not dislodge the blood clots on the incision sites. You can gently brush your teeth but be careful not to brush on or around the surgery site and avoid the incisions.
Eating Guide After Wisdom Teeth Removal
You may not feel like eating a lot immediately after surgery, and you will be on a restricted diet. However, it is crucial to keep your strength up and consume plenty of protein and other nutrients to aid healing.
What You Can Eat After Wisdom Teeth Surgery
On the first day, you should stick with liquids. Soups, broths, tea, non-carbonated beverages, juices, smoothies, and milkshakes are all excellent options. You may also want to drink a few protein supplement drinks to ensure good nutrition. Just remember not to use a straw! Remember that your mouth will be sensitive, so keep whatever you eat or drink lukewarm rather than hot or cold. You can also eat foods that do not require any chewing, including pudding, yogurt, applesauce, and flavored gelatins.
After the first 24 hours, you can move on to a soft food diet with a bit more texture. A few suggestions are:
- Mashed potatoes
- Refried beans
- Mashed bananas
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft-cooked pasta
- Soft meats such as shredded chicken or ground beef
On day three or four, you can start to add steamed vegetables, breads, and other foods. After several days, you will be well on your way to enjoying your normal foods.
Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Removal
- Do not eat spicy, hot, or cold foods, as your mouth will be overly sensitive for the first several days.
- Do not eat anything hard or chewy (taffy, gum, brittle, jerky) as these could dislodge the blood clot on the surgery site, leading to painful dry sockets.
- Avoid crumbly or crunchy foods, like chips or popcorn, as they can become stuck in the incision site.
- Do not drink carbonated beverages to avoid dislodging the blood clots.
- Do not drink out of a straw or suck on candy. The suction can dislodge the blood clots or aggravate inflammation.
- Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits. The acids can cause stinging and pain.
- Also, avoid alcohol and smoking for at least the first few days. Both activities can slow recovery.
We recommend taking three days off after wisdom teeth removal, but how long you need to recover depends on many factors. Avoid exercising and strenuous activities for a week following wisdom tooth extraction. Take things slowly, and do not push yourself to return to normal activities until you feel up to it.
You will have pain, mild bruising, and swelling for the first several days. Swelling is generally worst on the third day, after which it begins to subside. For most patients, pain is controlled with over-the-counter medications or non-narcotic prescription pain relievers.
After the first week, you will probably be eating most of your usual foods and feeling like yourself again. If your pain becomes worse after the fourth day, call our office.
If you have any questions while recovering from wisdom teeth removal, contact our office at 888-270-0610. We can answer your questions and, if needed, arrange a time for you to be evaluated by your surgeon.