Tooth extraction is already a scary idea for many people, and wisdom tooth extraction is no exception. Wisdom tooth removal is a daunting process that brings up a lot of questions for patients.
A common question that many patients have is, “When can I brush my teeth after wisdom tooth extraction?” The answer may not be as straightforward as you think, as you want to pay special attention to how your mouth feels.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re soon due for a wisdom tooth extraction. Keep reading to learn when you can brush your teeth after wisdom teeth extraction and other essential things to know about the procedure.
As the name suggests, wisdom tooth extraction is a procedure that involves removing your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are found in the back of your mouth and tend to grow during adolescence and early adulthood.
While not everyone has wisdom teeth, most people usually end up with at least one. Even if wisdom teeth do come in, not everyone needs them removed. Wisdom tooth removal typically only needs to happen if one of the following occurs:
- If you have impacted wisdom teeth
- If you have partially impacted wisdom teeth
- If your wisdom teeth will cause overcrowding
- If there’s excessive pain
- If there’s a risk of infection
Let’s walk through the process of wisdom tooth extraction.
Although the idea of getting your wisdom teeth removed is scary, it’s a standard procedure for the dentist. Wisdom tooth extraction is a very common procedure that many dental professionals do every day.
Because of the nature of wisdom tooth extraction, it involves oral surgery. You will first have a consultation with your dentist to confirm the state of your wisdom teeth and determine if you even need them removed at all. If it’s decided that you need a wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will schedule an appointment for the oral surgery at a later date.
On the date of your surgery, the oral surgeon will give you local anesthesia to minimize pain during the procedure, and you may need general anesthesia and to be put to sleep to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Your oral surgeon will then go in and extract your wisdom teeth. After the procedure, they ensure you are okay to go home and give you a prescription for additional pain medication while your gums and tissue heal.
That said, aftercare is a significant component of wisdom tooth extraction, so you want to ensure that you follow your dentist’s instructions once you get home. Let’s take a look at what those instructions are.
Proper oral hygiene after your wisdom tooth extraction procedure significantly affects the healing process.
So, when can you brush your teeth? In general, you can and typically should brush your teeth the same day as your surgery, depending on your dentist’s recommendations. In other words, brush your teeth the night of your wisdom tooth surgery before you go to bed, as you usually would.
However, considering how sensitive your mouth is during this time, it’s important to brush gently not to damage the extraction area. You should avoid brushing near the extraction area until you feel that it is adequately healed, which usually occurs after a few days.
As your mouth is increasingly sensitive during this time, you should also use an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent the buildup of bacteria in your mouth.
Beyond gently brushing your teeth after your wisdom tooth procedure, there are other steps that you should take to facilitate your healing and maintain good oral health post-surgery. Here are a few additional tips for wisdom tooth extraction care.
- Stick to a liquid and soft food diet for the first few days after your surgery. Your dentist will advise you to avoid certain foods that may irritate the extraction site or cause pain in your mouth.
- It’s normal for your gum tissue to bleed from the extraction site after wisdom teeth removal, but it should only last about 24 hours. Bite down on a gauze pad to control the bleeding.
- Rest as much as you can and avoid unnecessary stress. When your whole body is well rested, your mouth will be better able to heal.
- If you find that your pain persists beyond a few days or that it subsides but soon returns, you may have an infection. Contact your dentist immediately to get checked out.
Although the idea of wisdom tooth extraction is daunting, it will be over before you know it. Post-surgery, you should be prepared to take care of your mouth to enable it to heal so you can return to your usual self.
To keep up with your oral health and prevent infection, you should resume your regular brushing routine soon after your wisdom teeth extraction.
Check out our services page for more information on wisdom teeth removal surgery and other dental services offered by Shelburne Village Dental.