Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to fully develop. This makes them prone to long-term infections, dental abscesses, and other problems that can affect oral health. In some cases, wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they are impacted or fail to emerge. If you have had previous issues with wisdom teeth or are currently experiencing symptoms of an impacted tooth, it might be time for a consultation with your dentist about removing them.
Ensure you have a ride home.
It’s important to have a ride home. If you live alone, it’s crucial to have someone pick you up from the dentist or hospital. If you don’t have anyone to drive you home, call a friend or family member and enlist their help. You can also ask your dentist if they offer transportation services after an appointment.
If taking public transit isn’t an option for getting home safely after wisdom teeth surgery, then cab fare should be factored into your budgeting plan before scheduling your appointment with the dentist.
Plan for work or school.
When preparing for wisdom teeth removal, it’s important to take into consideration your work schedule. If you need to take time off of work or school, make sure that your employer or professor is aware of the situation and has enough leeway in their policy. If you have accumulated sick days, be sure to use them when needed. You should also allow yourself plenty of rest after surgery so that you feel comfortable listening in class or going back to work right away.
Plan for your post-op diet.
Following wisdom teeth removal, your oral health will be at its most vulnerable state. Your gums and tongue will be swollen, so you’ll need to take special care of them by eating soft foods that do not require much chewing. A good post-op diet consists mostly of soup, yogurt or ice cream as these foods are soft enough to eat without causing further damage to your gums.
Soft foods can also help reduce pain and swelling in the mouth by being easier on the stomach than solid foods. If you find yourself craving something crunchy, try having an apple or carrot stick instead of chips or crackers until your discomfort subsides. Acidic fruits like oranges and lemons should also be avoided during this time because they irritate open wounds and may cause bleeding when consumed excessively (which is difficult if you have stitches placed inside your mouth).
Prepare for pain and swelling.
You will experience some pain and swelling after the surgery, so do your best to prepare yourself by taking painkillers before the procedure. Your doctor may also recommend a week of rest and relaxation following surgery. To reduce swelling, use ice packs on the affected area for no more than 15 minutes at a time; do this every hour or so until the swelling begins to subside. Drinking plenty of water is also important because it helps remove toxins from your body and keeps mucous membranes moistened.
Stock up on ice cream and other cold treats.
While ice cream may be the obvious choice for coping with a sore or swollen mouth, there are other cold treats you can eat as well. Think frozen popsicles and popsicles made with real fruit juice. If necessary, you can use an ice pack wrapped in a towel to apply direct pressure to the area where your tooth was removed if it’s still bothering you after eating some of these sweets.
You’ll want to wait about two hours before eating anything hot (like soup) or hard (like chips). This is because part of what causes the discomfort post-extraction is inflammation from trauma from surgery done on your mouth—and eating something hot will only exacerbate this feeling.
While the teeth may not be necessary, they are there and need to be removed. It is best to be prepared for the process so that you can make the most of it. While it may seem scary at first, once you have gone through with your surgery, you will see that everything worked out fine in the end.