After wisdom teeth removal, it’s crucial to keep your mouth clean and cared for in order to prevent oral health problems. Improper post-operative care can lead to painful dry sockets, which occur in 20% of lower wisdom teeth extractions.
Below are some tips for brushing your teeth and preventing dry sockets after wisdom teeth removal. Though this article will help get you started, it’s important to consult with a trusted dentist and follow their specific instructions.
An Introduction to Brushing Your Teeth After Wisdom Teeth Removal
After your wisdom teeth operation, your dentist will give you instructions on dealing with bleeding, swelling and bruising, managing pain, food and drink choices, tobacco use, stitches, activity and properly cleaning your mouth.
Generally speaking, you’ll be instructed to resume brushing all your teeth after the first 24 hours after the surgery. You should be careful cleaning near the surgical wound and rinse your mouth regularly to heal and avoid post-operative issues.
Dos and Don’ts After Tooth Extraction
More specifically, according to the American Dental Association, you should not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day after your operation. This gives the extraction site time to form protective blood clots and begin the healing process.
You should begin to brush and floss your teeth the following day. The tongue should also be brushed, which can help prevent bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth that are common after wisdom tooth removal. You should brush cautiously for the first couple of days following the procedure, and then resume normal brushing. It is recommended that you do not use an electric toothbrush for at least two weeks after the surgery.
Beyond brushing, you should gently rinse your mouth (usually with a warm salt water solution, but check with your dentist) after every meal in order to keep food particles out of the healing sockets. Be careful not to rinse too vigorously, because this can dislodge the blood clot from the socket and cause problems. You should avoid spitting toothpaste or mouth rinse too aggressively, as this can also disrupt the blood clot and delay the healing process.
When Can I Eat Solid Food After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
You will likely be told to consume only soft foods or liquids for a minimum of 24 hours after a tooth extraction. You should avoid consuming hot drinks and alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours as well. In the following days, it’s best to consume easy-to-chew, soft and cool foods, such as yogurt or applesauce. Solid food is usually okay after a few days, but steer clear from chewy, crumbly or hard foods such as popcorn, chips or nuts for at least a week or so.
Important Tooth Extraction Aftercare
In addition to proper mouth cleansing and a careful diet, you should get plenty of rest and manage your pain in accordance with your dentist’s specific instructions. You should avoid spitting, rinsing too aggressively and tobacco use, all of which can disrupt the healing process and lead to complications. Lastly, keep an eye out for excessive pain and other dry socket symptoms and consult with a dentist if you suspect any problems.
A Recap of Brushing Your Teeth After Wisdom Teeth Removal
In summary, keeping your teeth and mouth clean after wisdom teeth removal is extremely important. When done properly, brushing your teeth will help you heal and prevent bad breath and more serious complications such as dry sockets or an infection. Although we hope these tips are helpful, please remember to talk them over with your dentist, as specific instructions and recommendations vary from case to case.
If you are looking for an Albany, OR dentist or oral surgeon, contact us at Nicholson Family Dental and request an appointment today!