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  • Writer's pictureRobert Weinstock

Postoperative Care for Wisdom Teeth Removal: Your Recovery Guide:


Introduction

Congrats on getting through your wisdom teeth removal! While you might be feeling a bit sore (and maybe a bit less wise), don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here’s a guide to help you heal up and get back to your usual self.


Immediate Postoperative Care

1. Rest Like a Champ: It’s time to kick back and relax. Take the day off from anything strenuous. Your body needs to rest – think of it as mandatory relaxation time.


2. Gauze Pads: You’ll have gauze pads over the surgery sites. Bite down gently on them to help stop the bleeding and form clots. Remove the gauze after 30-45 minutes. If the surgical sites are dark red, congratulations, you are done with gauze. If you are seeing bright red bleeding still coming out from the extractions sites, take a wet tea bag (any kind will do), wet it, and bite on it for another 30 minutes.


3. Ice Packs: Use ice packs on your cheeks to keep the swelling down. Apply them for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. You'll be looking like a chipmunk, but don't worry, the swelling will go down soon.


Managing Pain and Swelling

1. Pain Medication: Dr. Weinstock recommends the combination of Naproxen (400-500 mg every 12 hours) in combination with Acetaminophen (500mg every 4 hours). TOGETHER,these two medications work better than either one alone and prevents most patients from needing narcotics. This isn’t the time to be a hero – stay on top of your pain. Avoid taking Naproxen with other anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprophen, Optalgin, or if you are taking blood thinners such as Xarelto (rivaroxiban), Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran), or Warfarin (coumadin).


2. Swelling: Swelling is normal and will peak around 2-3 days after surgery. Stick with the ice packs initially, then switch to warm compresses to help reduce it. Think of it as spa treatment for your cheeks.


Oral Hygiene and Care

1. Mouth Rinse: Avoid rinsing for the first 24 hours. After that, rinse gently with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) a few times a day, especially after meals. This is your mouth's version of a gentle ocean breeze. An irrigating syringe can be helpful in rinsing food material from the lower extraction sites until the sockets close up.


2. Brushing: Brush your teeth gently and avoid the surgical sites. You don’t want to disturb the blood clots that are forming—they’re busy healing you up.


Diet and Hydration

1. Soft Foods: Stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods like yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and smoothies for the first few days. Gradually reintroduce solid foods as you feel comfortable. It’s like a temporary VIP pass to the land of soft foods.


2. Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, but avoid using straws. The sucking motion can dislodge your blood clots and set you back. Sip from a cup like a hydration pro.


Avoiding Physical Activity

  1. Take It Easy: For at least the first 48 hours, avoid any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, running, or intense exercise. Your body needs all its energy to heal those extraction sites.

  2. Low-Key Activities: Light activities like walking around the house are fine, but save the gym sessions and vigorous workouts for later. Think of it as your doctor's note to binge-watch your favorite series guilt-free.

  3. Preventing Complications: Physical activity can increase blood pressure and may cause bleeding or other complications. Keeping things low-key helps ensure your recovery stays on track.


Things to Avoid

1. Smoking and Alcohol: Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for at least 48 hours. These can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications. Consider it a short health retreat for your mouth.


2. Spitting and Sucking: Avoid spitting forcefully or using straws, as these actions can disrupt the healing process. Be gentle with your mouth for a few days.


When to Call Your Dentist

Reach out to your dentist if you experience any of the following:


- Severe pain not relieved by medication

- Excessive bleeding or swelling

- Signs of infection (fever, pus discharge, foul taste in mouth)

- Difficulty breathing or swallowing


Conclusion

Following these postoperative care instructions will help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. If you have any concerns or questions during your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Weinstock.

Take care and heal well!

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