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Know Before You Go

Five Things to Know Before Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed


Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash


Each year, nearly five million wisdom teeth extractions happen in the United States, according to Healthline. This surgery happens when an impacted wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough room to grow and develop naturally. These teeth may grow at various angles and individuals experiencing this will feel a large amount of pain. Since many people are usually unprepared when it comes time to have their wisdom teeth pulled, this list is composed of five tips to help individuals prepare for getting this surgery. 


Taking time off

One essential detail that needs to be decided prior to getting wisdom teeth out is when to schedule the actual extraction. While this may sound self-explanatory, it is important to be mindful about when the appointment is made, knowing you will need time to fully recover. This is especially true for students, who should consider scheduling the surgery during summer or when they have time away from school.  It is important to note that after the procedure, patients will experience some level of swelling to the face, and to consider this when scheduling the appointment. 


Stocking up on medicine and other supplies

Upon completion of the surgery, a dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe the patient certain medication that should be picked up beforehand and taken up to several days after the surgery. This will help keep the patient comfortable throughout the process and can reduce the risk of infection. In addition, patients will leave the gauze that is put in place by the oral surgeon for at least 30 minutes and should be replaced with clean gauze regularly until the bleeding slows down. Usually, the gauze will be necessary for the first 24-48 hours after the removal. Doing this will promote proper healing and prevent any complications. Patients can also prepare themselves by making sure they have flossed, cleaned and brushed their teeth on the day of surgery. 


Researching foods and drinks that are and aren’t safe to ingest

After surgery, patients are limited to what foods they are allowed to eat and should be educated about what foods are safe and which are not recommended to eat. During the recovery period, patients must eat soft or liquid-based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and energy. This means that any food that requires minimal chewing is ideal for patients, such as yogurt, ice cream, applesauce, soups, pudding, smoothies and other similar foods. Avoiding spicy, acidic, chewy and crunchy foods is advised to prevent any pain from foods that could get stuck in the irritated area. Patients also have to be careful about what they are drinking during this time, and should not drink through a straw for up to a week after the surgery. Drinks to avoid immediately after the extraction are carbonated drinks, including any type of soda or sparkling water. 


Drinking pineapple juice 

While drinking pineapple juice may sound ridiculous, it has been proven to reduce pain and swelling when getting your wisdom teeth removed due to the enzyme, “bromelain.” This seemingly useless tip first came about through social media, with influencers on various apps stating that drinking 64 ounces of pineapple juice before the surgery is a sufficient way to eliminate ​​inflammation. Despite what the internet has to say, it is best to slowly incorporate this drink into your diet a few days before the procedure and can mix it with other juices to make the taste more suitable.


Keeping patients calm and relaxed

It is normal for patients to get anxious or feel nervous before having their wisdom teeth taken out. However, one of the key features of this surgery is trying to keep yourself as calm as possible. To do this, make sure patients wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing to the operation. Furthermore, patients will have discussed with their dentist whether anesthesia is going to be used in their surgery in advance. In most instances, patients will be unconscious during the procedure, and they will not feel a thing.

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Andy Poll

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