How To Brush Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom tooth removal is a significant dental procedure and one that requires care and attention to protect the extraction site and prevent dry sockets. Keeping the mouth clean is vital, especially immediately after wisdom teeth removal, as it will be exposed and may be painful. Brushing your teeth is an essential part of ensuring good oral hygiene. However, the question, can I brush my teeth after wisdom teeth removal is often asked as the surgical site may be sensitive to a toothbrush. In the following article, we explore the right ways to brush your teeth after your wisdom tooth extraction.
So can I brush my teeth after wisdom teeth removal?
Your dentist will guide you through the process of keeping your mouth clean during the healing process. However, the American Dental Association recommends not brushing your teeth next to the tooth extraction site for 24 hours after the operation.
By doing so, it will encourage blood clots to form, which protect the tooth socket and start the healing process. While it may feel wrong to not brush your teeth for so long, it is vital that you avoid doing so. You don’t want to extend the healing period any longer than it needs to be.
What to do immediately following surgery
Once you've had your surgery, you'll have a gauze pad placed over the socket. This should be kept in place for approximately an hour before being removed.
As the anesthetic wears off, you will experience some discomfort in this area. Take the pain medication administered after your extraction to reduce the soreness. Avoid doing any strenuous activity during the first 24 hours, as the body needs time to heal and rest. It is also a good idea to place ice packs on the side of your face where the wisdom tooth was removed to help reduce swelling.
Can I brush my teeth after wisdom teeth removal the following day?
Yes! In fact, it’s highly encouraged you do so. The day after surgery, you can start your daily routine of brushing and flossing again. Don't forget to brush your tongue as this harbors bacteria and can also leave an odd taste in your mouth.
In the days after the surgery, carefully brush your teeth before getting back into regular brushing. Some dentists recommend not using an electric toothbrush for approximately two weeks after surgery, as it is difficult to control the strength and speed of the brush near your extraction site.
Can I rinse my mouth after wisdom tooth removal?
Once you've gently brushed your teeth, many dentists recommend gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (but check with your Asheville dentist). This can be completed after meals, as it will help reduce food getting into the socket. However, avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously as this can dislodge the blood clot and cause issues and longer healing times. It's also advisable not to spit excess water from your mouth as this can also cause the blood clot to loosen.
Can I eat solid food after wisdom tooth removal?
The wisdom tooth extraction site is typically sore after the procedure. To avoid irritating the healing process, eat soft foods for at least the first 24 hours. It's also best to avoid any alcohol or hot drinks during this time. In the days after, try to keep eating softer foods and nothing too hot.
After a few days, you can start reintroducing harder foods, but try to avoid anything too hard or crumbly as this may get into the socket.
What to be aware of after your wisdom tooth removal in Asheville NC
With any surgery, you may experience discomfort and some pain after the procedure. However, there are a few things to look out for to make sure the healing process goes well. These include:
There will be some bleeding after the surgery, and you may see some oozing or redness around the extraction site. If the blood clot is dislodged, you may experience more excessive bleeding. To stop this, place gauze on the area and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat the process if required. Be aware not to chew the gauze as this can cause more saliva, which increases blood flow and the chance of more issues. If the flow has not decreased after several attempts, call your dentist to get advice. You may have to return to the office for a check-up.
Swelling is another common occurrence after having a tooth extracted. You may experience it in your mouth and cheeks, but also on the side of your face and eyes in some cases. It may take a few days for the swelling to reach its fullness, and then it should start to subside. Using ice packs in the first 24-36 hours may minimize swelling. If the swelling persists for several days, this is typically normal. However, if you are still experiencing it weeks later, go back to see your dentist.
Many patients will experience a slight rise in body temperature after the surgery, but this should go back to normal quickly. If you are experiencing a fever or persistent high temperature, this may be an infection. Be sure to call the dentist's office, who will advise on the best course of action. You may also need to take antibiotics after your treatment.
Get the best advice
If you're unsure what to do after your wisdom tooth extraction, it's best to seek professional advice to guide you through the best process. This extraction is quite straightforward and has a relatively fast healing time as long as the process is followed correctly. Our dental services in Asheville offer a wide range of treatment options and provide wisdom tooth extraction for patients of all ages.
If you're concerned about your wisdom teeth and want to find out the options available, contact us today.