Dentist in Edmonton | Can I Brush My Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
There are many reasons to remove your wisdom teeth. They include preventing tooth decay, overcrowding, and having the teeth impact one another. This third set of molars comes in around age 17 and although this procedure is quite common it still has risks to be made aware of.
Don’t do it!
The quick answer to whether you can brush your teeth after wisdom tooth extraction is no, do not on the same day you have surgery, brush near the wisdom tooth extraction site. You can brush the other parts of your teeth and mouth, but you should wait another three to four days and when the extraction site is further healed before brushing everywhere.
Even the teeth adjacent to where your wisdom teeth were is to be avoided for these first few days. After this point, even though you can resume all over the mouth brushing, you will need to be gentle and careful, so you don’t upset the area you had your teeth pulled. After around one week you will be able to return to brushing your teeth as before.
Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush when brushing all your other teeth and tongue. It is important to brush your teeth and tongue in small circular motions to keep your mouth as bacteria free as possible. Until day three do not touch the extraction site with the bristles of the toothbrush. You want to keep the wound closed and healing for a few more days.
Rinse only after surgery
The first 24 hours after having your wisdom teeth removed are the most challenging. You can’t brush the extraction site as it is too tender and needs time to recover. The day after your surgery it is safe to rinse your mouth with a saltwater rinse. You can make your own saltwater rinse to use in the remainder of the first 24 hours. Mix one tsp of salt in a glass of warm water. Allow the salt water to wash over the affected location and repeat at least 2 times a day. This will help keep the area clean and heal the socket without interrupting the healing process. Do not rinse too vigorously for the first few days.
Once another 24 hours is up, and still during recovery and healing it is safe to use a mouthwash to rinse and kill any bacteria that may be present. This is especially important in preventing infection in the affected area. You should only use a manual toothbrush and not an electric one for at least the next two weeks after wisdom teeth extractions. By 48 hours its imperative you resume proper oral hygiene to continue to prevent infection. All your other teeth need brushing and flossing and while you’re at it brush your tongue and sides of mouth as well.
You might not have wisdom teeth
Believe it or not, but not everyone has wisdom teeth. Out of the ones that do have them, some are fortunate enough to never need them removed. When you come in for your regular check up at The Tooth Doctor we will assess your unique needs and give you recommendations on what your course of action should be.
If you do need your wisdom teeth extracted you will receive specific instructions from the dentist or surgeon who performs the procedure. It is very important to follow these details as closely as possible to minimize any issues. The top two things to keep in mind are to avoid strenuous exercise as that can interrupt healing and if you smoke you will be advised to take a break as it can slow healing down too much.
After having your wisdom teeth extraction procedure, plan to fully rest and recover for the remainder of the day. This means no going to school or work if possible, so it’s best if you find an open spot in your schedule to give yourself ample time to recuperate. If you need general anesthetics for the procedure you will need to arrange for transportation. You may not drive after your appointment.
The extraction can be painful
Wisdom teeth extraction does have some discomfort and pain associated with it. Many patients have swelling in the lower jaw, and this can last for a few days. By day two the swelling will be the worst and after that it will start to fade. To help with swelling many of our patients at The Tooth Doctor use ice on the skin where the swelling is to help reduce it as well as soothe the pain.
Day one and two are the worst for pain and swelling, with day one being easier since there are still sedatives and painkillers in the system. Typically, most pain that comes with this surgery starts to dissipate noticeably by day 3 or 4. This is of course with a routine extraction procedure.
Eating will be a bit of a challenge
Eating after a procedure like wisdom teeth extraction can be challenging and a little bland. Choose soft and easy to chew foods such as apple sauce, yogurt and pudding. Vitamin C and A may help with healing. Find foods that take minimal chewing but also contain these vitamins. Some great foods of choice are stewed carrots, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and fish. Many patients enjoy smoothies and soups but be sure the temperature is not too hot. Also keep in mind chunks of foods are liable to get caught behind the last set of molars, where the holes are so blend well.
As the surgery site heals it is important to not only avoid overly strenuous activity so that there are no complications on the extraction location. Oral activities like sucking, spitting or smoking need to be omitted. Alcohol is also a hindrance to healing so it should also be avoided. Crunchy or hard foods such as carrots, nuts, and popcorn may be reintroduced only after around 2 months from surgery.
Healing fully can take a while
The more difficult the surgery, the longer it may take to heal and fully recover from. It is imperative you follow the instructions from the dentist as prescribed, which includes the medication protocol. This will help the healing process to go smoothly and quickly.