You're a smarty. Okay, so wisdom teeth don't actually have anything to do with your intellect. But, they do wait to make their grand debut until you're older (in other words, until you've gained some "wisdom"). The third molars typically start breaking through sometime between the ages of 17 and 21, according to the American Dental Association. Even though some young adults can keep these teeth, many others don't have the room to. If wisdom teeth removal is on the agenda, knowing what to do after the procedure can speed your recovery.
Follow Doctor's Orders
No one can replace your oral surgeon when it comes to post-op recovery advice. What will the expert tell you? It's likely that the dental pro from a clinic like Family Medical Dental Center will tell you to take it easy after wisdom teeth removal (especially if you've had anesthesia or twilight sleep during the procedure). They may also tell you to bite down on the gauze pads that your mouth is packed with. This can help to slow the bleeding. Your dentist or surgeon might write a prescription for pain pills or give you recommendations for over the counter pain relief.
Some types of strenuous movement may cause more bleeding or re-start bleeding that has already stopped. This doesn't mean that you have to quit the gym or sleep for the next week. Take at least the day of surgery off from any major type of physical activity. After that, it's on a case by case basis. Some people may slowly get back into the swing of things over the next few days. Others may need three to four days of no exercise at all before going back.
If you do have pain and swelling (some people do and some have very little), ice can help to calm things down. Use a zipper baggie to hold the ice. Chances are that will still be too chilly for your cheek. Wrap the bag in a paper towel or thin dish towel. The cold will still transfer through, but you won't freeze.
A thick steak might not be the best post wisdom teeth removal meal. Take it easy on your mouth, at least for the next few days. Stick to soft or mushy foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup (make sure it's cooled before eating), and gelatin. Never skip meals or stop eating just because you've had mouth surgery. A healthy diet is essential to your recovery.
Your wisdom teeth need to come out. That's okay. Plenty of people have this procedure. From following the doctor's orders to using ice and avoiding exercise or tough-to-chew foods, you can take steps that will speed the healing along and up your comfort level.