Those third molars, better known as wisdom teeth, often overcrowd and need to come out. That said, dental extraction doesn't have to be a pain. Removal of the wisdom teeth is a common dental procedure that can prevent future problems, according to the American Dental Association. What happens after the procedure? Home care is a must-do when it comes to your complete recovery. How can you care for your post-extraction mouth? Check out these tips for keeping your mouth healthy after having your third molars removed:
- Follow your dentist's instructions. Every situation is unique. Your wisdom tooth removal may not go the same way as someone else's. This makes it key for you to follow exactly what your dental professional tells you at the time of removal. This may include how to clean or dress your mouth, or taking pain medications.
- Eat soft foods. Chewing on a tough steak won't give your mouth the time it needs to heal. Opt for soft selections such as applesauce, yogurt, fruit smoothies or soup until the soreness subsides.
- Relax. If you don't have to go back to work or school, take a day or so off to relax. Keeping your activity low minimizes the bleeding risk and helps you to heal.
- Avoid putting pressure on your mouth. That milkshake your best friend brought you seems like the perfect way to soothe your sore mouth. But, is it? Yes, the softness of the shake is ideal. On the other hand, slurping it through a straw is not. The sucking motion puts added pressure on the extraction area and any stitches that you may have.
- Rinse and repeat. If your dentist gives you a mouthwash, follow the pro's directions. You may also want to rinse with a warm salt water solution a few times per day, starting the day after your surgery.
- Brush. Putting a toothbrush in your mouth may not sound comfortable, but you need to keep the rest of your teeth clean and healthy while you recover. Gently brush, avoiding the extraction area. If you use an electric or battery-powered brush, you may want to consider switching to a soft manual one for now.
Home care is key to your post-extraction recovery. Having your wisdom teeth removed doesn't have to be a pain if you follow your dentist's directions, take some time off and gently chew on soft foods. Keep in mind, your overall oral health is still important at this time. Continue to brush, rinse your mouth and go to your post-surgical check-up. For more information about wisdom teeth, visit Campus Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.