wisdom teeth surgery recovery

Though it may sound intimidating, you don’t have to fear wisdom teeth surgery! At MI Smiles Dental, our West MI dentists are here to help make sure your surgery and wisdom teeth recovery remains stress-free.

Here are a few ways to make the healing process after oral surgery go as smoothly as possible.

Recover Successfully After Wisdom Tooth Extraction By:

1. Preparing Before Surgery

Not only do we want you to have a comfortable experience in the dental chair, but we want you to be comfortable at home as well. Before you come in for oral surgery, we recommend preparing yourself for the recovery from start to finish.

One of the most important things you can do is make sure the space where you intend to relax post-procedure is set up before you get home. Deciding to set everything up after your wisdom teeth surgery can be a major hassle. You’re going to want to sit down, rest, and not fuss with blankets, pillows, or your comfy armchair.

2. Queuing Up Your Favorite Movies or Shows

It may sound silly, but a good movie can help your recovery process because movies allow us the time to relax. Try picking out a beloved movie of yours after oral surgery, sit back, and relax.

Movies not really your thing? Give one of the many available streaming services a whirl. Maybe there’s a show everyone at the office talks about that you’ve never had the chance to watch. Well, now is the time to do just that while you recover from your wisdom tooth extraction!

3. Sticking to Soft Foods

For a few days after your procedure, our dentists recommend that you only eat soft foods. Things like chocolates, hard fruits, and salty nut snacks will be the last thing you want to try after a tooth extraction. Foods such as these are hard to chew and can get stuck where your teeth used to be.

We advise that you go to the store before your appointment and stock up on foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal that require little to no chewing. This way you can avoid a mouth cleaning hassle.

Here are a few good foods to pick up after oral surgery:

  • Soft bread
  • Jello or other pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Pureed soups (warm not hot)
  • Oatmeal or porridge
  • Steamed mashed fruits or vegetables
  • Apple sauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs

We recommend that when eating these foods, you do so in small doses. Don’t overdo it or you may risk irritating the affected areas. Try to only eat when you need to and limit snacking.

TIP: If you need to soften something up, let it soak in water! It may be less appetizing, but it’s much easier to eat.

4. Remembering to Treat Your Mouth

After surgery, our dentists recommend using soft gauze to help control the bleeding.

Apply gauze to the swollen area and gently bite down. If bleeding continues, rinse your mouth, and repeat the process.

Do not keep gauze in for more than 30 minutes at a time. If excessive bleeding does not stop after a few hours, call one of our West Michigan dental offices.

A high amount of saliva is normal after dental surgery. Don’t worry if you’re experiencing that! While in recovery, do not do anything that involves strain or excessive activity as this can increase the bleeding.

5. Not Using Straws

Not only are they bad for the environment but sucking on a straw after your wisdom teeth extraction will slow the healing process.

You might think that not having to chew your food is a benefit, and that’s true! But sucking on a straw will prevent your sutures from healthy oral healing after your tooth extraction surgery.

TIP: Avoid smoking after oral surgery. We recommend you always avoid smoking anyway, but especially avoid smoking after oral surgery. Not only is the habit bad for your health and teeth, but it also keeps your sutures from healing as they should.

6. Sitting Up and Not Lying Down

After your wisdom teeth surgery, you may find yourself feeling tired or drowsy from the dental sedation that was provided. When you get home, your first reaction might be to sleep, but we want to caution you against lying down.

Rather than lying on your bed, our dentists strongly suggest resting in a reclining chair. After wisdom teeth surgery, leaning back in a chair puts less pressure on your jaw, which saves you from a lot of pain.

7. Cleaning Out Food With an Irrigation Syringe

Our dentists also recommend you use an irrigation syringe to help clean out your mouth throughout the day and after you’re done eating. A small syringe filled with lukewarm water will help flush out the gunk that may get stuck in your gums.

We recommend 5-6 rinses for the first few days, always after a meal. Be sure not to over-rinse your mouth as this can cause agitation after oral surgery. If you choose not to use a syringe, avoid aggressively rinsing your mouth as this can also slow the healing process.

If a piece of food gets stuck in the spot your tooth used to be, don’t panic. Rinse it out slowly with the syringe. If you’re up for it, we recommend doing so with warm salt water as this will help your mouth heal after oral surgery.

TIP: It is okay to brush your teeth the night of your surgery but do so at a gentle pace and avoid the affected areas.

Ready to Plan Your Visit?

Whether you or a loved one has an upcoming wisdom teeth removal, we hope you feel a little more prepared now. As your family dentists in West MI, we arehere to make sure all your dental needs get addressed with the best care. To schedule an appointment, call one of our MI Smiles Dental locations today.

This blog post has been updated.