For those blessed with properly positioned wisdom teeth and a mouth large enough to accommodate them, wisdom teeth can be an asset. For many, however, wisdom teeth bring more problems than benefits and often must be removed.
Do you need your wisdom teeth removed?
That’s a question best suited for your dentist. As an oral hygienist, I have more to say about how to take care of your smile after the removal of some or all of your wisdom teeth.
1. Expect a little bleeding after the procedure, but don’t be alarmed. Just fold a fresh piece of gauze into a small square, place it over the empty tooth socket or incision, and bite down to apply pressure. The bleeding should subside in about 45 minutes.
2. As with any tooth removal or minor surgery, you can expect some level of pain. Most people find relief with ibuprofen or Tylenol, but your dentist may prescribe something heavier for the first few days. You can wean yourself off of these as the pain subsides.
3. Expect to be on a liquid diet for the first day or so, or at least until the anesthesia wears off. When you do resume normal eating, avoid hard or crunchy foods. Mash potatoes and pudding are your friends.
4. And I wouldn’t be a good oral hygienist if I didn’t reminding you to brush. Just be sure to wait until the bleeding subsides, and avoid the teeth directly adjacent to your former wisdom teeth for the first 24 hours. The next day, resume brushing these teeth as well, but be especially gentile.