Having your wisdom teeth taken out has become a rite of passage in today's world. Whether you or your teenager are getting ready to have your wisdom teeth removed, wisdom teeth recovery is something that should be planned for.
While a good oral surgeon will give you a list of things to expect and watch out for during recovery, you may be surprised initially at the amount of swelling that occurs. It is important to remember that having your wisdom teeth removed is surgery, often requiring the patient to be put under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. Swelling and tenderness in the face and neck are common, as is bruising, such as in the picture shown below. Ice packs and the pain medications prescribed by the dentist or oral maxillofacial surgeon will help, but if you have any questions or are concerned about what you are experiencing, contact your surgeon.
While recovering from the surgery, it is important to keep your diet soft, if not liquid, until you have started healing. Cold foods are a plus or foods at room temperature like mashed potatoes; hot meals are not recommended because they can breakdown the blood clot in the socket and cause infection or dry socket to occur. Now is the time to enjoy those milkshakes, pudding cups and bowls of jello. Protein shakes also can help you get your daily nutrition requirements with minimal effort. But if you are drinking any shakes or liquids, be sure to drink directly from the cup, because straws should not be used post-surgery until you get the approval from the surgeon. Smoking is prohibited too.
As you heal from the removal of your wisdom teeth, recovery is your number one priority. Be sure to follow all your oral surgeon's directions, go to your follow-up appointments and be faithful about gently rinsing the surgical areas after every meal, as directed by your doctor, to avoid infection. Learn more about what wisdom teeth do and how they are taken out in the Colgate Oral Care resources.