Self-care is essential after a wisdom teeth extraction.
Even though it is a minor surgery, your body will need time and energy to heal.
Here are a few things to remember during your recovery time.
Set up a “Recovery Station”
Before your wisdom teeth extraction, set up a recovery station at your home. You won’t want to be gathering all your favorite pillows and blankets with a mouthful of gauze. You’ll be thankful to just go home and begin recovery.
Your recovery station should include plenty of drinking water (no straws), pillows for elevation, entertainment, and anything else to make you comfy and stress-free.
Choose entertainment to help you relax during your rest — you don’t have to sleep the whole time.
What kind of entertainment do most patients appreciate during their recovery? This is not the time to study for a test or begin a documentary series on whether or not the HSBC is laundering money for the cartel.
Remember, you will be sleepy. Consider watching light-hearted movies from your childhood. Maybe listen to ambient music that was designed for relaxation.
Be proactive in managing swelling and pain.
Swelling is a very natural part of recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction. Ice packs are the best way to reduce swelling and ease any soreness.
The trick is getting them to stay on your cheeks while you rest. Some patients have had great success wrapping a scarf around their head to hold the ice packs in place. Some settle for just sleeping on their right or left side with the ice packs balanced on one cheek and the other tucked under their head.
We’ll send you home with proper medications to manage pain. Be sure to set timers and follow the instructions we give you for optimum pain management. Don’t forget, these medications often make patients sleepy.
You will need time away from your regular responsibilities.
You will need to limit activity and stress for about two days after the extraction. If possible, get time off work. You will need at least a day of rest.
Be careful with your mouth.
Your jaw and the back of your gums will be very tender. Don’t drink from a straw, spit out liquids, or smoke anything. These activities will increase your chances of developing dry sockets. Dry sockets are painful and may need additional surgery to fix.