October 31, 2018

Wisdom tooth extraction isn’t just for older folks. Young people can have trouble with wisdom teeth. It’s not unheard of for a person as young as 15 or 16 to need pediatric dentistry for wisdom tooth extraction. Thanks to modern sedative dentistry, wisdom tooth extraction isn’t the painful ordeal it once was, but the absolute necessity of great oral care after extraction remains unchanged.

During the first 24 hours after wisdom tooth extraction, blood clots form inside the empty tooth sockets. Those clots protect the exposed nerves of the jaw and prevent infection of the inner jaw. Blood clots also prevent dry sockets. Dry sockets are extremely painful, and the best way to prevent them is to practice great oral care after surgery.

After an oral surgeon at Greenway Pediatric Dentistry removes your wisdom tooth (or teeth), you need to follow the following oral care tips.

Be gentle to your mouth

  • Keep your mouth clean but rinse carefully and gently. Use a salt-water solution after the first 24 hours post-surgery. Do not rinse vigorously.
  • Don’t eat hot foods and don’t suck fluids through straws! It’s easy to dislodge the critical blood clots through sucking motions.
  • Avoid all brittle or crunchy foods. Stay with liquids and very soft foods for at least 24 hours. Yogurt, pudding, and applesauce are fine.

Get Real Rest

Rest means rest. Stay still, relaxed and quiet. Your body needs to get its healing well under way before you can become more active. Get 12 full hours of bedrest, with a full day in bed being ideal. Even then, take it easy for a few more days.

Exercise Your Jaw

You need to open your mouth occasionally and see how stiff and sore your jaw is. A person’s instinct is to keep their jaws tightly shut, and that’s a good thing. However, it’s good practice to slowly stretch your mouth a little bit from time to time and slowly work out that stiffness over a period of several days. Easy does it.

Monitor Your Bleeding

If your oral surgeon sent you home with gauze, use it exactly as directed. Biting down gently on gauze will help control bleeding. You can switch to moist teabags to reduce swelling if you want after 12 hours.

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