Every person develops wisdom teeth at a certain point in their life, usually in their late teenage years. These teeth are extra molars that grow in behind the molars you already have. Unfortunately, most mouths aren't big enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, which means they can cause crowding. In severe cases, impaction is possible, which means your wisdom teeth can damage your existing molars by growing into them. Wisdom teeth extraction is the answer to these problems. Here are four things you should do before and after your wisdom teeth extraction.
1. Schedule multiple extractions simultaneously.
It's rare that people need to have only one wisdom tooth removed. In many cases, dentists will recommend that people have all four wisdom teeth removed at once. This will save you time and money, since you won't need to repeat the procedure at a later date. If your dentist doesn't offer this option, ask them if you're a good candidate for multiple extractions. Your dentist should be happy to discuss the possibility with you.
2. Make sure someone can drive you home.
Wisdom teeth extractions are often performed under general anesthesia. This is especially true when you're having multiple teeth removed in the same session. You won't be able to drive after your wisdom tooth extraction if you've had general anesthesia. You'll still be groggy and tired, and you may have gaps in your memory later. Ask a trusted friend or family member to pick you up from your appointment and see you safely home.
3. Expect swelling in the first few days.
Directly following your wisdom teeth extraction, you may experience facial swelling. This is a natural and normal reaction to trauma in your mouth. While this is nothing to be alarmed about, some people find the appearance of facial swelling alarming. You may want to clear your schedule and stay home from school so you can rest during this time. If the swelling is painful or bothersome, you can combat it using cold compresses and anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.
4. Eat soft foods.
You'll have stitches in your gums right after your wisdom teeth extraction. These stitches will help the incisions made by your dentist heal properly. Unfortunately, the extraction sites can be tender and sore for a few weeks until they fully heal. Avoid foods that cause you pain. Try to eat soft foods that don't require much chewing. Pudding, applesauce, soft bread, and smoothies are all great options.