Good dental hygiene is important for every individual as it keeps the mouth healthy, fresh, and clean. However, when it comes to brushing teeth after wisdom tooth extraction, things can be a bit tricky. Whether you have had one or more wisdom teeth removed, it is essential to use the right techniques and tools to ensure proper healing and avoid unnecessary pain. In this ultimate guide, we will provide you with valuable tips on how to brush teeth after wisdom tooth extraction to make your post-operative care as seamless as possible.
When Can You Brush Your Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
After a wisdom tooth extraction, one of the most important things to remember is to be patient. As much as you may want to resume your dental hygiene routine straight away, it is recommended to wait for at least 24 hours before brushing your teeth. You need to give your mouth ample time to form a blood clot, which is essential for proper healing. If you brush your teeth too vigorously or too soon, the clot could dislodge, leading to dry socket.
What is Dry Socket?
Dry socket is a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot formed in the socket of the extracted tooth dislodges, exposing bone and nerves. It is a severe complication that can cause discomfort and delay healing. To avoid dry socket, be gentle when brushing your teeth, and wait for at least a day before resuming your oral hygiene routine.
How to Brush Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Use a Gentle Touch
As mentioned earlier, you need to be gentle when brushing your teeth after a wisdom tooth extraction. Use a soft-bristled brush to prevent irritating the delicate tissues in your mouth. Additionally, don’t put excessive pressure on your gums, especially around the extraction site. Instead, use back and forth, circular, and up-down motions to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly without causing any discomfort.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
When selecting a toothbrush for post-operative care, consider one with soft bristles and a small head. This type of brush is gentle on your gums and can reach tight spaces between your teeth. If you are unsure about which toothbrush to use, talk to your dental professional.
Use a Salt Water Rinse
A saltwater rinse can help speed up the healing process and prevent infection. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with warm water and rinse your mouth gently after brushing. Don’t swallow the mixture, and use it every morning and night or as recommended by your dentist.
Do Not Use Mouthwash
At least 24 hours after a wisdom tooth extraction, it is not recommended to use mouthwash. Mouthwash has strong chemicals that can irritate your gums and the extraction site, leading to complications. Be patient, and wait for your dentist’s green light before incorporating mouthwash into your dental routine.
If you need to dislodge any food particles stuck in your mouth, be careful when gargling. Use warm water and be gentle to avoid putting pressure on your gums.
Pay Attention to the Extraction Site
After a wisdom tooth extraction, you may notice the presence of blood clots or a dark-colored area in your mouth. Don’t worry; it is normal. However, you must be careful when brushing around the extraction site to avoid dislodging the clot. If the blood clot gets dislodged, it can lead to bleeding and infections.
Be Regular with Your Brushing
Brushing your teeth regularly is necessary for good dental hygiene, and post-operative care is no exception. To speed up the healing process and prevent infections, be consistent with your brushing routine. Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime, with a soft brush and a gentle touch.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind When Brushing Teeth After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Eat Soft Foods
After a wisdom tooth extraction, it is recommended to eat soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, pudding, and yogurt for the first few days to avoid putting pressure on the extraction site. Hard foods can irritate the area and cause discomfort.
Avoid Spitting and Straws
When brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth after a wisdom tooth extraction, avoid spitting and using straws. The suction created could dislodge the blood clot and delay healing. Instead, let the water flow out of your mouth naturally.
If you smoke, it is advisable to stop for a few days after a wisdom tooth extraction. Smoking delays healing and increases the risk of infection.
Contact Your Dentist for Concerns
If you experience intense pain or bleeding after a wisdom tooth extraction, contact your dentist immediately. Don’t wait for your next appointment.
Having your wisdom teeth removed can be quite painful and uncomfortable. But with proper post-operative care, you can speed up the healing process and prevent complications. When brushing teeth after wisdom tooth extraction, be gentle, use a soft-bristled brush, and pay attention to the extraction site. Incorporate saltwater rinses into your routine and avoid using mouthwash for at least 24 hours. Eat soft foods, avoid smoking, and seek dental attention if you have any concerns. Remember that by taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can heal quickly and get back to your daily routine in no time.
Common Questions and Answers
- Q: Can I brush my teeth the same day after wisdom tooth extraction?
- A: No, it is recommended to wait for at least 24 hours before brushing your teeth after a wisdom tooth extraction.
- Q: Can I use mouthwash after wisdom tooth extraction?
- A: It is not recommended to use mouthwash for at least 24 hours after a wisdom tooth extraction. Consult your dentist for further advice.
- Q: What should I eat after wisdom tooth extraction?
- A: It is recommended to eat soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, pudding, and yogurt for the first few days to avoid putting pressure on the extraction site. Hard foods can irritate the area and cause discomfort.
- Q: How long does it take for a wisdom tooth extraction to heal completely?
- A: It can take up to two weeks for the extraction site to heal completely. However, the healing process varies from person to person. Keep in mind that proper post-operative care is crucial for a speedy recovery.
- American Dental Association. (2021). Tooth extraction. Retrieved from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/tooth-extraction
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Wisdom teeth: Should they stay or go? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/wisdom-teeth-should-they-stay-or-go-2019121118436
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Wisdom tooth extraction. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/wisdom-tooth-extraction/about/pac-20395268