What are Wisdom Teeth?
Okay, so here you were thinking the tooth fairy had come and gone from your life, collecting all the teeth you’d outgrown. We’re sorry to tell you, but there may be a few more that need accounting for. Wisdom teeth are flat molars that erupt in your late teens to early twenties. But here’s the thing: they’re not necessary for chewing and, well, they’re not really necessary enough to stay in your mouth. Here’s what we recommend:
Why Do We Remove Wisdom Teeth?
So how come these teeth are said to cramp your style? They can, quite literally, cramp the rest of your teeth, wreaking havoc in all corners of your mouth. That’s why some dentists recommend removing them, often at a younger age since the roots won’t have developed fully.
Prior to Wisdom Teeth Removal, You’ll Need a Dental Exam
Once you’ve decided that yes, you’re willing to kick those wise wisdom teeth to the curb, you’ll want to head to your dentist for a good old-fashioned dental exam. Here the dentist will determine how tricky of a job the removal will be and you’ll schedule a separate appointment. Not all dentists are specialized or trained in wisdom teeth removal so make sure you do your research!
What to Expect During the Procedure
It’s true, you won’t remember much… Unless your ride captures you looking like a chipmunk on the ride home. You’ll swell up and while it won’t be flattering, YouTube will show you that you’re not alone. During the procedure, you’ll also be under sedation. There are two kinds of sedation: local anesthesia and general anesthesia. With local anesthesia, you’ll be somewhat conscious but won’t feel any pain.
You’ll likely forget most of the experience anyways. Meanwhile, under general anesthesia, you won’t remember a thing. Determining which type of sedation is right for you generally comes down to how tricky the procedure will be and how nervous you’re feeling.
What About Recovery?
This experience can be mildly uncomfortable or painful. Luckily, there are tricks to help ease the pain.
Things to do:
- Immediately after the procedure, replace the gauze pads every fifteen minutes until the bleeding stops.
- Keep your mouth clean! One trick is to gently rinse your mouth using saltwater.
- Use pain relievers… you’ll be prescribed medication by your dentist and it’ll make a world of difference.
- Use a wet tea bag and place it on the surgical site. The tannic acid in the tea will help contract blood vessels and control any bleeding.
- Rest! This is your chance to binge-watch your favourite Netflix shows guilt-free.
- After 24 hours, you should return to your teeth-brushing/flossing routine.
- Eat all the ice cream, smoothies, jello and pudding you can get your hands on (or see below for our list of the best foods to eat after wisdom tooth removal)
Things NOT to do:
- First thing’s first, do not use straws! This can lead to a painful condition called dry socket, where the blood clot protecting the bone is dislodged.
- No drinking and no smoking… it’s not time to party, however good you may feel.
- Avoid blowing your nose and instead dab it if your nose is dripping.
- Avoid Double Baconator Burgers from Wendy’s (and all other foods that require excessive chewing.)
Best Foods to Eat During Recovery
For a little while, it’ll be like returning to your infant state. You’ll want to eat soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing and which can’t get stuck in the socket.
- Soups and broths
- Apple sauce
- Mashed potatoes
- Icecream – You’ve definitely got a good excuse to swing by Village Ice Cream!
- Typical recovery time is usually three to four days, but in some cases, it can be up to a week.
The healing process is more likely to occur quickly if you follow your dentist’s directives. Rinsing your mouth and eating the right foods will help you avoid any chances of infection and get you back to your usual routine in no time!
Want to learn more about the wisdom tooth procedure?