The length of the healing process after wisdom teeth removal depends on the type of extraction procedure performed and each person heals on a different timeline. After extraction, it is normal for swelling and soreness to occur during the first few days. Some people need a week’s rest after the procedure, and some are back at work the next day! Just remember, it is very important to avoid straining yourself too much, too soon because it can slow the healing process. Following these tips will put you on your way to a speedy recovery!
Tips to a Speedy Recovery
Get plenty of rest
The most important thing to do is to get plenty of rest, especially during the first three days after I.V. day. It’s natural to sleep all day the first day, but it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to continue sleeping for the next two days as well. When sleeping, it is important to sleep sitting up. Lying on a flat back may prolong bleeding. Also, laying on one’s side can cause more swelling on that side of the face. Propping pillows on both sides of the head while sleeping can help keep your head from lolling off to one side.
Use lots of ice on Day 1
For the first day, hold an ice pack to your face for 25 minutes, then take it off for the next twenty five, then put it back on. Ice packs will help reduce the swelling by constricting blood vessels which decrease the amount of blood flowing to the site. However, too much ice can slow the healing process if not enough blood cells reach the area, so you must alternate.
Follow up with warmth on Day 2 and Day 3
For the next few days, a towel soaked in warm water should be used to help speed up the healing process. We are no longer concerned with swelling and are more concerned about healing.
No strenuous activity
Exercise and strenuous movements can slow the healing process, so don’t exert yourself, suggestedly for a week after extraction! Even talking a lot requires jaw movement that can tire the muscles and prolong the healing time.
Avoid playing with your stitches with your tongue
Use the anti-bacterial rinse as directed starting Day 2
The antibacterial rinse prevents infection at the extraction site. As with brushing, be careful of swishing the rinse around too hard in the mouth. Think gentle! Just move your head side to side and let the rinse move around on its own.
Smokers, avoid smoking!
There must absolutely be no smoking in the first twenty four hours. The sucking motion can loosen forming blood clots which are necessary for the sites to heal. Also, the sites of extraction can be infected by contaminants that come with smoking.
Foods To Eat
Always go by the rule: Avoid anything hot! In fact, cold food and drinks are great! If you want to eat soup, make sure it’s at room temperature before eating. However, for the first three days, stay away from ramen, rice or oatmeal because small grains can get stuck in openings and create dry sockets. Also, avoid drinking through a straw, because the pressure can damage healing tissues and disrupt proper clot formation. If you’re going to “drink” a smoothie, use a spoon. Obviously, while soreness is still present, eat only soft foods that don’t require chewing.
- Fruit Smoothies
- Ice Cream
- Thin soup
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft fish
- Apple sauce
- Scrambled eggs