Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most unpleasant, but unfortunately necessary, experiences in life. So how do you begin to recover? There are a few pointers that will not completely remove the pain, but will make the process of recovering from having your teeth yanked out just a little bit easier:
Have a chauffeur
After your surgery, enlist a friend or family member to drive you home from the dentist’s office, because you will not be in any shape to do it yourself. Having wisdom teeth removal surgery usually involves strong pain medications and anesthesia, and patients should not drive after this procedure.
Take it easy
Wisdom teeth surgery is jarring. Think about it—your teeth are being removed from your head. How can that not hurt? Allow yourself plenty of time to recuperate, and don’t rush getting back into your daily routine. After having any surgery it is wise to relax and rest up. Sleep and relaxation can sometimes be the best medicine, and will aid in the proper healing of your mouth.
Follow doctor’s orders
Your doctor will most likely have you flush out your teeth with a plastic syringe after the wisdom teeth surgery, in order to keep the area clean and free of food. There will also be gauze in your mouth, and you should leave it in for at least thirty minutes after your surgery. Your doctor might also prescribe medications to deal with the pain, and will also have other post-operative recommendations after your wisdom teeth surgery. Listen to them carefully, and follow them to the T. He or she is the doctor, after all, and they know what is best for you and the healing of your mouth. Following the doctor’s orders closely will help you heal faster, and reduce pain as soon as possible.
Eat the right stuff
Go shopping the day before the wisdom teeth removal and stock up on soft, easy-to-eat foods that require little to no chewing. Eating will not be very enjoyable for the next few days, but try to make it as easy on your mouth as you can in order to avoid overworking or hurting the tender area. Applesauce, yogurt, pudding, soft cheeses, and canned fruit are all good food options to consider while recovering from surgery.
By elevating your head when you sleep, you will decrease the swelling of the wisdom teeth removal area. Try placing two or more pillows under your head when lying down. This will also help alleviate throbbing and pain.
Say no to straws!
Drinking with straws may seem tempting after wisdom teeth surgery, but it can be detrimental to your healing process. Drinking out of a straw could prolong the time it takes the surgery site to properly heal, because the action of sucking out of a straw may disturb the blood clots. The blood clots need to form over the removal site so that they can heal. Cigarettes and alcohol will also slow this process and are not good for your mouth during this time.
While no one enjoys this type of surgery, taking these steps can make it easier to get through. By listening to your doctor, keeping your mouth clean, elevating your head, and staying healthy and rested, your mouth will heal and you will soon be back to your normal routine.
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Becca is an avid health and nutrition blogger. She’s currently working with Dentists R Us to help educate the public about oral care and health.