Wisdom Teeth Removal Daly City, San Francisco & Bay Area
Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back of your mouth, behind your second molars. Their development is usually completed between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and attainment of wisdom.
To read more about wisdom teeth view our informative pages below.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Tips
Appropriate aftercare following wisdom teeth removal is crucial. If you do not follow your post-operative instructions or neglect your oral care, you could develop a dry socket, infection, or other issues that could be serious. Even if you feel better sooner than expected, do not rush into activities that could compromise the healing process.
Knowing what to expect and how to care for yourself or your child after wisdom teeth removal makes the aftermath of wisdom teeth surgery more comfortable and less stressful. Our After Extraction page outlines what to expect in general, while the tips below provide more detailed guidance and helpful suggestions to make the process easier.
Comfort and Recovery:
Dr. Dela Rosa and his team strive to make wisdom tooth removal as stress-free and painless as possible. However, as with any invasive surgery, there will be some discomfort. This can range from mild to severe, depending on your level of pain sensitivity and the complexity of the surgery.
If you experience pain after your wisdom teeth surgery, Ibuprofen or Tylenol can help reduce pain and swelling. If your pain is not manageable with over-the-counter medications, Dr. Dela Rosa can prescribe a stronger, non-narcotic pain medicine.
Ice packs can help reduce swelling and bruising after wisdom teeth surgery. You can expect swelling around the mouth, cheeks, and eyes that peaks 2-3 days after the wisdom teeth are removed. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek continuously for the first 36 hours when awake. If the discomfort is too much, you can occasionally remove the ice packs for 20 minutes at a time.
Using ice packs as much as possible on the first day will reduce swelling and relieve pain. If you do not have an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables such as peas can be placed on the cheeks, then refrozen periodically to stay cold. After 36 hours, ice packs will not provide any benefit.
Moist heat should be used starting on the second or third day whenever you notice jaw stiffness or difficulty opening your mouth fully. Do not use heat on the first day, as this encourages swelling.
Rest is essential after wisdom teeth surgery. For the first few days, sleep with your head elevated to minimize pain and swelling. You may experience mild post-operative bleeding, so cover your pillow to protect it. Allow your body to heal by taking it easy for three or four days. Avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and other activities that can cause bleeding or swelling.
Eating and Drinking After Wisdom Teeth Removal
After general anesthetic or IV sedation, you will initially drink only liquids. Drink from a glass, and do not use straws. The sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot and potentially lead to a dry socket. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. A high calorie, high protein intake is very important. Nourishment should be taken regularly. Prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited to a soft diet for the first few days. Staying hydrated is particularly important during this time. Drink at least 5-6 glasses of liquid daily.
Eating soft foods for the first few days will encourage healing and minimize pain. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can harm the surgical site. Soft foods like soup, pasta, and mashed potatoes are good choices. Appropriate foods include:
1. Soft Foods
After wisdom teeth removal, it’s best to stick to soft foods that are easy to chew and don’t require much effort to eat. Some good options include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Refried beans
- Soft-cooked vegetables (you should be able to mash them with your fork)
2. Cold Foods
Cold foods can help to reduce swelling and numb the pain in your mouth. Some good options include:
- Ice cream
- Shaved ice
Do NOT drink smoothies or milkshakes through a straw. The suction can create a dry socket or delay healing. You can either slowly sip them or eat them with a spoon.
3. Nutritious Foods
Getting the nutrients your body needs to heal following wisdom teeth removal is vital. There are creative ways to ensure your foods are high in nutritional content, including:
- Make or buy protein shakes
- Drink Ensure or other supplemental nutrition drinks
- Fruit smoothies with added protein powder
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Soft-cooked vegetables like carrots and green beans
- Bone broth
4. Foods to Avoid
After wisdom teeth removal, there are some foods you should avoid for a few days. These include:
- Hard or crunchy foods like chips and nuts
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods like citrus and tomato-based products
- Carbonated drinks like soda
Following these guidelines and eating the right foods after wisdom teeth removal can help reduce your discomfort and promote healing.
Additional Wisdom Teeth Removal Tips
- Keep in mind that each person’s recovery time will be different. While most people feel like themselves after three days, some bounce back quickly, while others may need up to a week to feel like themselves again.
- Take 2-3 days off of work or school. Rest is key to a quick recovery. This is the time to watch movies, read, and relax.
- Don’t spit or drink out of straws. The suction impacts healing.
- Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for at least a week following wisdom teeth removal.
- Follow the post-operative care instructions we provide.
- If you have any questions, contact our office at Archstone Oral and Facial Surgery Phone Number (415) 963-4121.