Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery: Aftercare Tips
Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure that millions of people undergo each year. Although the procedure itself is relatively straightforward, the recovery process can be lengthy and challenging if proper aftercare steps are not followed. At Handcrafted Smiles, we recommend following the aftercare tips listed below to help you heal comfortably and quickly after your wisdom tooth removal procedure.
Rest and Take It Easy
It’s essential to rest and avoid any strenuous activities after your procedure for at least the first 24-48 hours. Resting allows your body to recover more quickly. Physical exertion can also cause the blood clot that forms over the surgical site to dislodge, which can lead to dry socket.
Apply Ice Packs
After wisdom tooth removal, swelling is common and applying ice packs can help reduce inflammation. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to your cheek for 10 -15 minute intervals. Do not place the ice pack directly onto your skin. Repeat this every few hours for the first few hours after surgery or as needed.
Use Gauze to Control Bleeding
It is normal to experience bleeding after wisdom tooth removal. Bite down gently on a piece of gauze for 30-45 minutes to control bleeding. If the bleeding persists, contact us immediately.
Take Prescribed Medications
You may likely be prescribed pain relievers and/or antibiotics after your surgery. Take these medications as prescribed, and do not exceed the recommended dosage. Pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort, while antibiotics can help prevent infection.
Follow a Soft Foods Diet
After your wisdom tooth extraction, stick to soft, easy-to-eat foods that do not require excessive chewing. Foods like smoothies, soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and applesauce are ideal. Avoid hot, spicy, or crunchy foods that can irritate the surgical site and cause pain.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
While you should avoid brushing the surgical site, it’s essential to keep your mouth clean after your wisdom tooth extraction. Rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater several times a day to help prevent infection and promote healing.
Proper aftercare is critical for a smooth and speedy recovery after wisdom tooth removal. Following these essential aftercare tips can help ensure that you heal comfortably and successfully after your surgery. If you have any concerns or questions during the recovery process, be sure to contact us.
Knocked Out Teeth: Next Steps for the Most Common Dental Emergency
Contrary to what the movies might tell you, there are other ways to knock out a tooth than getting into a fist fight. It’s a common dental emergency caused by falls, face injuries, sports, etc. Surprisingly, only 9% of US adults know what to do. If it happens to you, don’t despair. Act quickly and ideally see your dentist within 30 minutes. Reimplantation has even been successful after an hour. Be prepared and increase your chances of saving your tooth!
- Locate and pick up the tooth by the crown.
- Under NO circumstances should you pick the tooth up by the roots. Hold the tooth at the crown (chewing surface). Be very gentle when handling the tooth and do your best not to damage the roots for greater chances of re-implantation.
- If the tooth is dirty, rinse gently with water.
- Rinse the tooth very briefly, no more than 10 seconds, only using lukewarm water. Do not use chemicals or soaps. Even too much tap water can kill the root cells that are needed for a successful reimplantation. Do not dry the tooth, wipe it off, or place it in a paper towel.
- Attempt to place the tooth back in the socket.
- Placing the tooth back in the socket is the most ideal next step until you can get to your dentist. If the lost tooth is wholly intact from root to crown, attempt to place the tooth back in the socket right away. Holding it by the crown, push the tooth into the socket gently. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or very gently bite down.
- Keep the tooth moist at all times.
- It is imperative that you do not let the tooth dry out, keeping it moist at all times. If the tooth will not go back in the socket, you have a couple of options. According to the Mayo Clinic, placing the tooth in your cheek is the best and most natural alternative to placing it back in the socket. You can also place the tooth in milk or an over-the-counter emergency tooth preservation kit.
- See your dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.
- After your tooth has been knocked completely out of the socket, the nerve is severed and the blood supply is lost, meaning you do not have much time before that nerve dies completely, hence the urgency. Call Handcrafted Smiles immediately to inquire about our emergency services. Though it’s unlikely, if the dentist cannot see you in time, go to the emergency room.
The time it takes for a tooth to reattach into the socket varies from one to eight weeks, depending on the extent of damage. Once healed, regular check-ups should suffice. If reimplantation isn’t possible, your dentist may discuss tooth replacement options like a dental bridge or implant after the socket has healed.
To prevent having to actually do any of this in the future, make sure you’re always taking precautions to protect your mouth. If you play a contact sport, be sure you are wearing a mouthguard not only in games but in practice as well. When life happens, however, you can now be prepared and potentially save yourself from a much more invasive and costly procedure. At Handcrafted Smiles, we want you fully equipped with the knowledge you need to take care of your oral health.
What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?
Invisalign® at Handcrafted Smiles
Invisalign® revolutionized the way people look at orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner system from Invisalign® made it possible for people to discreetly improve their smiles. While Invisalign® allows people to love the appearance of their smile and avoids many of the discomforts of braces throughout the process, there should be more to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should consider which treatment option will best treat your individual situation. While you should speak with one of our dentists before making your final decision, we have included issues that Invisalign® can effectively treat.
Invisalign® is very effective at treating crooked teeth. The clear aligners offer a great solution for people to align their teeth and love their smile.
Overbite & Underbite
Invisalign® can be used to treat both an overbite and an underbite. An overbite is when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom of your bottom front teeth. An underbite is when the lower jaw rests in front of the top jaw when the mouth is closed. Invisalign® can be used to move either the top or bottom teeth into the right place so that they align properly with the mouth closed.
A crossbite occurs when teeth don’t line up properly with the mouth closed. This could be the top teeth in the back of your mouth resting inside your bottom teeth or could be one or more of your top front teeth resting behind your bottom front teeth. Invisalign® can move teeth into the proper positions and treat a crossbite.
Gaps in Teeth & Crowded Teeth
These opposite issues can both be treated by Invisalign®. Gaps in teeth occur when there are large spaces between teeth. Crowded teeth happen when there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth, often causing them to overlap or twist. Crowded teeth can make it easy for food to get stuck or plaque to build up, and should be addressed to keep optimal oral health.
While Invisalign® is an excellent option for many orthodontic issues, it does have its limitations. There are times when it may be best to go with braces. For severe orthodontic issues and intrusion and extrusion, braces often offer the force that is needed. It’s also important to note that Invisalign® continues to get better and better. We can now treat more complex orthodontic situations than we could even a few years ago. If you are interested if Invisalign® is the right treatment option for you, contact Handcrafted Smiles using the button below.
4 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care
Damage to teeth and gums can’t be ignored. It’s always important to act quickly if something is wrong, but some dental issues are more pressing than others. How can you know the difference between a dental problem that needs to be solved soon and a problem that needs to be solved now?
We never want our patients to put off a dental procedure when it could lead to lasting harm, so we’ve compiled a list of important warning signs that mean you should get your teeth checked out as soon as possible. After all, you’ve only got so many teeth — it’s best to keep them all in good shape.
1. Dental abscesses
A dental abscess is a small collection of pus inside of a tooth or gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If your symptoms include shiny red swollen gums, a fever, or pain that spreads to your jaw or neck, you may have an abscess, even if you don’t see it. Try to see us as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, you can reduce the pain of the abscess by avoiding cold drinks. Use a soft toothbrush to very gently clean the area until we can get you into the office.
2. Broken or missing teeth
It goes without saying that obvious physical damage to your teeth is one of the most urgent dental emergencies you can experience. If your tooth has been damaged, rinse your mouth with warm water immediately and call us as soon as possible. If your tooth has come out, gently try to put it back into the socket (without touching the root!) or keep it in your mouth to protect it until we can see you.
3. Significant pain or swelling in the teeth, gums or jaw
Constant pain or swelling in your mouth is never normal! This symptom may seem vague or common, but it could be a sign of major damage or an infection that could have nasty results if left untreated. Don’t tough it out. Call us and we will decide together whether you need to come in for an appointment.
4. Lost filling or crown
A crown or filling can become loose or even fall out for a variety of reasons. If you lose a crown or filling, it’s important to try to save it — we may be able to reuse it. Rinse the area with warm salt water and continue to brush the damaged tooth (gently!) until we can see you.
Ignoring any of these four dental problems could result in the permanent loss of teeth. Infections can even spread to other parts of your body and cause serious general medical issues, so it’s extremely important to get your teeth examined if you experience any dental emergency on this list!
We want your tooth pain or mouth pain to stop.
First and foremost, if you are in pain, we want to help you get some relief. Then we can address any underlying causes to solve the problem using dental best practices. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, give one of our offices a call soon as possible. We’ll get you an appointment in the near future, so you can go back to your life and leave tooth pain behind.