There are several good reasons to get your wisdom teeth removed. If you’ve had braces in the past to correct a crooked smile, getting your wisdom teeth removed will ensure that your smile stays straight. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, which occurs where there is not enough room for the teeth to grow, it will remain slightly sprouted outside the gumline, collecting bacteria and promoting gum disease and cavities.

Even though wisdom teeth removal is necessary, it can still be a challenge, especially when it comes to recovery. If your dentist has recently suggested removing your wisdom teeth, and you’re concerned about the recovery process, here are 5 tips to make the experience smoother.

Choose the Right Dentist

Not all dentists are the same when it comes to wisdom teeth removal. Some dentists have additional training in oral surgery. Some dentists also offer additional services that can improve the comfort of your procedure. One additional service is IV sedation, which allows for deeper sedation so you experience less discomfort. Less discomfort during your procedure may contribute to less discomfort after.

Research and Prepare

One the the scariest parts of enduring a procedure like wisdom teeth removal is simply feeling out of control. Making it a priority to ask questions about the procedure and about recovery can help you to feel better prepared by knowing what to expect. The general timeline for recovery is 3 to 5 days. If you live alone, asking a friend or family member to stay the night following the surgery could make the next day easier on you.

Get Enough Sleep

With the need for productivity rising among Millennials, sleep is often the first thing that gets sacrificed. During your recovery, however, this would be a mistake. Sleep will be your best tool to ensure that your body can heal quickly and effectively. Make sure to rest as much as possible, allowing your body to do its job. If you’re using prescription pain-relievers that contain opioids, it’s best to avoid using these before you go to bed, as it will minimize your quality of sleep. Instead, using a NSAIDs such as ibuprofen could be just as effective at relieving your pain without jeopardizing your sleep.

Watch What You Eat

After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you’ll want to be careful what you eat for the next 2-3 days after surgery. Not only will your jaw be sore, your teeth will be extra sensitive to hot and cold foods. Eating softer foods such as smoothies, mashed potatoes, and soup (not too hot!) could help minimize the pain of eating. If you do decide on a smoothie, remember to avoid using a straw, as it could increase the likelihood of developing a dry socket, which can be extremely painful.

Don’t Knock Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that, in many cases, over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be more effective than opioid-based medications at relieving dental pain. Using pain-relief with anti-inflammatory properties can help to relieve swelling and neutralize pain altogether, without the risk of addiction.

Wisdom teeth removal, though necessary, can be a scary procedure to undergo, but talking with your dentist can make the ordeal much more manageable.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of getting Wisdom tooth extraction at Excellence in Dentistry? Please call (907) 349-0022 today to schedule an appointment.