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Dos and don'ts after wisdom tooth extraction

Wisdom Tooth Removal Tooth Extraction
6th Sep 2023
Dos and don'ts after wisdom tooth extraction


If you're reading this, chances are you or someone you know is preparing for or recovering from wisdom tooth removal. As someone who has gone through this dental procedure myself and doing it perfectly for patients, I want to share my experience and offer some valuable dos and don'ts to make your journey smoother. In this enlightening journey, we will delve into the multitude of reasons why frequent visits to the dentist are essential, and why prioritizing a search for a 'dentist clinic near me' should be a top priority on your list when considering wisdom tooth removal. Wisdom tooth extraction can be daunting, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can minimize discomfort and ensure a swift recovery. This owes to the fact that wisdom teeth are notoriously placed in mouth and accessibility for the dentist is limited. Also there are various other factors such as angle of impaction, grade of impaction, etc., that complicate the procedure. Hence, it is important for the patient to be well versed with the common do’s and don’ts after wisdom tooth removal. We have categorised the precautions on the basis of instruction to be followed in first 24- 36 hours and instructions to be followed after 36 hours.


First 24 Hours:


Do: Follow Your Surgeon's Post-Operative Instructions

Immediately after your wisdom tooth extraction, adhere strictly to the post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon. These instructions may include keeping pressure on the surgical site with gauze, taking prescribed medications, and maintaining proper oral hygiene.


Don't: Engage in Strenuous Activities

In the first 24 hours, avoid any strenuous physical activities that could increase blood flow and potentially disrupt the clot forming at the surgical site. Rest is essential for a smooth recovery.


Do: Apply Cold Compress

To minimize swelling and discomfort, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek for 15- 20 minutes at a time during the first day. This can help reduce inflammation and pain.


Don't: Eat Hard or Spicy Foods

Stick to a soft-food diet for the initial 24 hours to prevent irritation and potential harm to the surgical area. Opt for easy-to-chew options like ice cream, yogurt, and smoothies.


Do: Keep Your Head Elevated

While resting, keep your head elevated with an extra pillow when lying down. This can help reduce swelling by allowing excess fluids to drain away from your surgical site.


Don’t: Avoid putting your finger or tongue in the area of surgery

This is very important for the normal healing. Sometimes, patient tend to disturb the surgical site by putting finger or by touching the tongue in the extraction wound. Tongue carries a lot of infection and also trying to feel the depth of wound will not help the patient in any way. So it is recommended to not to do it.


Do: Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

Despite the surgical area, it's crucial to maintain good oral hygiene. Gently brush your teeth, being careful around the surgical site, and rinse your mouth with a prescribed mouthwash as directed by your oral surgeon. Maintaining oral hygiene will help prevent infections and promote healing.


Don't: Smoke or Use Straws

Smoking and using straws create suction in the mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot that forms at the extraction site. This can lead to a painful condition called "dry socket." To avoid this, refrain from smoking and using straws for at least a week after the surgery.


Do: Take Pain Medication as Prescribed

Pain and discomfort are common after wisdom tooth removal. Your oral surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication to help manage this. Take the medication as directed to stay ahead of the pain and ensure a more comfortable recovery.


Don't: Skip Follow-up Appointments

Your oral surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress. These appointments are essential to catch any complications early and ensure your recovery is on track. Don't skip them, even if you feel like you're healing well.


Do: Rest and Take It Easy

Recovery takes time, so be patient with yourself. Rest and give your body the time it needs to heal properly. Avoid strenuous activities, and prioritize self-care during this period.


Don't: Panic About Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising are common side effects of wisdom tooth removal. They usually peak within 48 hours and gradually subside. Applying a cold compress to the swollen area and keeping your head elevated can help reduce these symptoms.


After 36 Hours:


Do: Continue with Good Oral Hygiene

After the initial 24 hours, resume gentle brushing and rinsing your mouth with the prescribed mouthwash to maintain oral hygiene. Be cautious around the surgical area but ensure that no food particles or debris accumulate.


Don't: Smoke or Use Straws

Avoid smoking or using straws for at least 48 hours post-surgery to prevent creating suction in your mouth. This suction can dislodge the blood clot, leading to a painful condition known as "dry socket."


Do: Gradually Introduce Solid Foods

Around the 48-hour mark, you can begin incorporating semi-solid and soft solid foods back into your diet. Start with small, easily chewed items like porridge, soup, daliya, scrambled eggs, pasta, or cooked vegetables. Be mindful of your comfort level and avoid hard or crunchy foods.


Don't: Skip Follow-Up Appointments

Scheduled follow-up appointments with your oral surgeon are crucial to ensure your healing is progressing as expected. Even if you feel well, attend these appointments to catch any potential issues early.


Do: Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is essential for healing. Drink plenty of water, but avoid using straws during this time to prevent any complications.


Do: Continue with Good Oral Hygiene

After the initial 24 hours, resume gentle brushing and rinsing your mouth with the prescribed mouthwash to maintain oral hygiene. Be cautious around the surgical area but ensure that no food particles or debris accumulate.


Do: Use a Warm Compress After 48 Hours

If you experience lingering discomfort or swelling after the initial 48 hours, you can switch from cold to warm compresses to promote healing and comfort. Use a warm, damp cloth for 15-20 minutes at a time. If you can not open your mouth, due to lock jaw, try to do simple mouth opening exercises. Also, warm compression will help in it.


Don't: Consume Alcohol or Spicy Foods

Avoid alcoholic beverages and spicy foods for at least a week following your wisdom tooth removal, as they can irritate the surgical site and hinder the healing process.


Do: Warm saline rinse/ Betadine rinse

It is mandatory to perform warm saline rinse for healthy recovery after surgery. Don’t agitate your wound while doing so.


Don’t: take your medicines

Once the wisdom tooth is out and pain is reduced, many times patient tend to start avoiding prescribed course of medicine. This should not be done in any case.



Navigating the first 24 hours and the subsequent 48 hours following wisdom tooth removal requires attention to detail and careful adherence to your surgeon's guidelines. By following these do's and don'ts for each timeframe, you can promote a more comfortable and successful recovery. Remember that patience and self-care are key to a smooth healing process. Wisdom tooth removal can be a challenging experience, but following these dos and don'ts from a patient's perspective can make it a smoother journey. Your oral health is essential, and with proper care, you'll be back to normal in no time.


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