When preparing for your wisdom teeth removal, keep in mind that you are getting ready to have surgery. Don’t underestimate the recovery process. Expect healing to take at least 2 weeks if everything goes well, and be prepared for it to take longer in some cases. Plan on missing work for at least 3-4 days while you may be drowsy from pain medication and dealing with post-surgery swelling.
Before your wisdom teeth removal, you can prepare for faster healing by having as clean a mouth as possible. Brushing and flossing habitually in the weeks before surgery will help your recovery. Also, make sure you take any antibiotics prescribed by your oral surgeon. This will help you avoid infections that could slow the healing process.
After your wisdom teeth removal, stay ahead of the pain by taking ibuprofen before the surgical anesthesia is completely gone. Continue to take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours for a minimum of 48 hours. Swelling is normal for the first 3-4 days, but can be minimized by using ice packs intermittently. Don’t keep ice on for more than 20 minutes at a time, and make sure you give yourself a break of at least 20 minutes between icings.
It is important to stick to soft foods like applesauce or yogurt during the recovery process. Don’t use a straw. Smoking or drinking alcohol can slow your recovery time tremendously. Resume gentle brushing 24 hours after your surgery, making sure to brush all your teeth. Using salt water or antibacterial mouthwash can also help you maintain good oral hygiene during recovery.
If you are still in pain after 5 days, check with your doctor about possible complications like dry sockets or nerve injuries that can add to your healing time.