Having wisdom teeth removed is not uncommon, but everyone’s recovery differs to some degree. Some will claim it was easy, while others may share horror stories about their recovery. If you want to be numbered among the ones who had it easy, consider the following five tips for making the best of your wisdom teeth recovery time:
1. Schedule it on the right day.
One consideration that should be taken is WHEN you will have your surgery. You want to schedule it for a time when you will be able to recuperate after the surgery, giving you the best chance for a quick recovery. For example, if you have weekends off, you may want to schedule your surgery for a Friday so you have the whole weekend to recover, and can take fewer days off work. Arrange sitters for children, or extra help for things you may need, and don’t plan to be too active or busy during your recovery.
Eating is always a bit challenging after wisdom tooth removal, so plan ahead and buy soft, easy-to-eat foods. Avoid foods served too hot or too cold. And try not to eat things that require chewing. Examples of good food options include: yogurt, applesauce, chicken soup, cottage cheese, pudding, and anything soft and easy to eat.
3. Entertain yourself.
The recovery time may leave you in some discomfort, and unable to do much. Sitting around thinking about your mouth hurting is not going to make the time pass very quickly. Prepare in advance to have plenty of resources for entertainment. Buy books, rent movies, or get a Netflix account, learn some board games, etc. Entertaining yourself will help keep your mind off your mouth, and help recovery time pass faster.
4. Get some help.
Because sedation is used, you will need someone to drive you home after the operation, and pick up your prescription painkillers. It is helpful to have someone that can get you settled, make sure you have what you need, and take care of you while you are recovering.
5. Take care of yourself properly.
Recovery time is smoother if you take precautions and take care of yourself. Do not try to overdo it, or rush recovery. Instead, be sure to do the following:
- Elevate your head to decrease swelling.
- Keep supplies close by so you can rest.
- Rest as much as possible.
- Wait a day before doing any exercise, and a few days before anything strenuous.
- Open your mouth, despite stiffness, but do so slowly and gently.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to reduce swelling and pain.
- Follow instructions from your surgeon for controlling bleeding. This may involve biting gently on gauze to reduce bleeding.
Each situation is unique, and your oral surgeon will give you directions that best fit your needs. Follow those instructions. Consider writing them down, as you may be groggy after surgery, and may have trouble remembering everything.