When Can I Brush My Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Sep 18, 2023 | Dentist in Edmonton

Dentist in Edmonton | When Can I Brush My Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Getting a wisdom tooth extraction is something nobody wants to have done, but there are reasons for needing this procedure. There may be overcrowding, pain, infection, or the wisdom teeth can get impacted and can’t break through the gums. There is also the fact that the wisdom teeth are a third set of molars and if they do break through the gums, they are hard to reach to clean and can put the rest of your teeth at risk of being unhealthy. Cavities and decay not only affect the tooth infected but the ones surrounding it too.

Many adults think back to the anxiety they had knowing this event was coming up close to their 18th birthday, the age where this procedure is the most common to have done. The nightmares of having to eat soft foods and sport chipmunk cheeks, to only being soothed by icepacks and pain prescription meds for a few days was enough for anyone to feel dread. Then there were all the important things to remember and do in the after care.

How do you maintain proper oral hygiene so that your teeth and mouth remain healthy and fresh?

It’s no easy task to take care of your teeth when you’ve had multiple teeth extracted which essentially is surgery in the mouth. There are certain things you should and shouldn’t do in the time right after having this procedure done.

To help your mouth heal quickly here are some guidelines on important things to do following a wisdom tooth extraction. First off, always follow the recommended aftercare instructions from the dentist or surgeon who performed the surgery. You are unique and your aftercare is too. The advice given will be specific to your situation. At The Tooth Doctor we give you explicit instructions for aftercare so that your healing is as smooth and painless as possible.

Concerns to have after a wisdom tooth surgery

The first concern after any surgery is to control the bleeding. After wisdom teeth extraction there will be gauze pads provided, so use them as much as needed. Change them often to keep the mouth healthy and fresh. Once the bleeding has stopped these pads are no longer necessary.

You may not realize how hard your body is working to heal itself from the surgery in the first 24 hours after. It is the best time to take a break and just rest for those initial hours. Let your body do its thing. If you participate in strenuous activity, you could disrupt the healing flow and cause the bleeding to increase. Take a day to chill and relax. You have earned it.

Keep the inflammation in check

If chipmunk cheeks is not the look you are going for, then it’s important for you to ice the area directly over the extraction site. A cold compress will do the trick and can reduce the swelling not to mention the pain especially in that first 24 hours. If ice is not cutting it for pain, then consider fulfilling the pain script your dentist prescribes. Take them as directed. Once you no longer need the prescription, you can switch to over-the-counter pain meds to alleviate any soreness you may still have.

When can I brush my teeth after getting a wisdom tooth extraction?

That is one of the top questions asked of oral surgeons performing this procedure. Their advice is to avoid brushing the extraction site for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. Rinse your mouth with warm, salt water after every meal to maintain oral health.

Here is exactly what those first few days should look like. In the first 24 hours, only brush the parts of your mouth that are not at the extraction site. The empty sockets need their space to allow for a blood clot to form and stop the bleeding as well as facilitate smooth healing. Between 24 and 48 hours you may gently rinse the affected area with a warm saltwater solution. This keeps the area clean and free from risk of infection. After 48 hours and you’ve been given the go ahead from your dentist you may be allowed to brush your teeth as per usual.

The main thing that needs to happen is for the blood clot to be formed and the gums healed at the extraction site. A few extra days to a week will make the difference. Be sure you start very gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush when you do start to brush at the extraction site.

When it comes to what to eat after the surgery you will want to avoid hard, spicy, crunchy, and temperature hot foods. Cool and soft foods will allow for quicker healing. Alcohol and smoking are both off the list too in the first few days as they can also slow down the healing process. Not many people understand this, but it is best to avoid the use of straws after your surgery at least until you are fully healed.

The sucking motion can lead to complications with the blood clot becoming dislodged from the site before the gum is fully healed. This leads to dry socket which is painful and preventable. Although this condition eventually heals it can cause moderate to severe pain that requires an extra visit to your dentist to treat it.

Stay in touch with your dentist during the healing process

Following up with your dentist is imperative. They will attend to your specific needs and situation. Every person heals at different rates, plus every extraction procedure comes with its own unique factors. Some people have more complications than others and the dentist can guide you through the healing timeline expected for you. Always keep your eye out for any signs of complications and share your concerns with your dentist.

Infection could mean increasing pain, swelling and even fever. If you have pus at the extraction site contact the dentist immediately. One last thing after the surgery whether you have complications or not, is to resist the urge to touch the extraction site. It could irritate or lead to infection. Let your body do the work to get you back to normal as soon as possible.