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How to make wisdom teeth extraction recovery as easy as possible

A man relaxing on the couch

One way to have a positive wisdom tooth extraction experience is to plan out your postop recovery in advance. Here are a few steps you can take to recover faster and stay as comfortable as possible along the way.

Prepare your house for relaxation

Knock out the chores on your to-do list and set your sofa up for a couple of days of relaxation. Get everything ready the day before your wisdom tooth extraction.

Follow your oral surgeon’s advice

Your doctor will provide specific advice for biting down on gauze to control postop bleeding and how to ice your jaw and face to prevent swelling. Follow the routine provided, including taking all medications as prescribed.

Keep your mouth clean

Carefully brush your teeth the night of your surgery but do not rinse your mouth or spit. Starting the next day, do gently rinse your mouth with a cup of warm water mixed with salt several times per day, including after every meal. When rinsing, do not spit as this could dislodge the blood clot in your socket. Instead, let the saltwater run out of your mouth into the sink.

Stay away from high-risk activities

Spitting isn’t the only way to dislodge your blood clot and can cause dry socket. You should also avoid using straws, blowing your nose, or creating suction with your mouth.

In addition:

  • Don’t drink alcohol or smoke/use tobacco as this slows the healing process
  • Avoid hard, chewy or sticky foods
  • Do not drink any carbonated beverage for the first day, or so
  • Avoid hot drinks and hot foods for the first few days

Be patient when introducing foods back into your diet

For the first couple of days after your wisdom tooth removal, stick to cold, soft, very easy-to-eat foods like pudding, applesauce, ice cream, and smoothies. Then, move on to semi-solid foods. Take it slowly when adding more challenging foods back into your diet. If you feel discomfort when eating, stop and go back to easier-to-eat foods.

Avoid rigorous physical activity for a few days

Healing from oral surgery is a full-body experience. You need to rest following wisdom tooth extraction and this means resting completely, not just your mouth.  The more time you give your body to rest and recuperate, the faster you’ll recover.

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