We all appreciate the hilarious videos parents post of their children after the removal of their wisdom teeth. Innocent teenagers, with sleepy eyes and puffy cheeks, say ridiculous things while coming out of the anesthesia from surgery, and we love that their parents share this moment. But why is it necessary for young adults to have their wisdom teeth removed in the first place? It’s not to provide entertainment to the masses. Then what happens after the anesthesia wears off? We’re here to answer all your wisdom teeth questions, from pre-surgery to recovery.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third molars that emerge between the age of 17 and 21. They are known as wisdom teeth because they are the only teeth that come in at a more mature age. Because they do not grow until later in life, there is often less room for them to come in correctly.
Why Remove Them?
Wisdom teeth removal occurs because there is not enough space in the back of your mouth for them to come in fully and properly. Removal is necessary if your wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums. Wisdom teeth are also removed if they are coming in crooked, or if their presence causes too much crowding. Flossing is difficult if your teeth are too crowded, and you are at a higher risk for cavities and infection. Because of the risks, many dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth before they come in.
How Long is Recovery?
It may take up to two weeks to fully recover from wisdom teeth surgery; however, after the first seven days, you’ll begin to feel better, have noticeably less swelling, and be able to eat more normally. Still, your gums will be sensitive, and you must adjust your diet and avoid crunchy or chewy foods. Seven days after your surgery, you will need to rinse your extraction sites after you eat to avoid infection. Please wait the full seven days before rinsing your gums, as any rinsing earlier could remove the healing blood clot.
What Foods to Eat?
Eating soft, healthful foods will increase the speed of your recovery. Below is a suggested timeline of foods to include in your diet in the days after your wisdom teeth removal surgery.
- Blended soups
- Apple Sauce
- Ice Cream
- Pureed Seedless Fruits
- Pureed Vegetables
Days 3-7 (in addition to the previous list)
- Scrambled eggs
- Macaroni and cheese
- Instant oatmeal
Days 7-14 (in addition to the previous list)
- Soft sandwiches
- Pasta dishes
What Foods to Avoid?
To protect the extraction site from irritation or infection, avoid the following foods. Do not include snack items that are small, sharp, and crunchy until your gums have healed completely—even if it takes more than two weeks.
- Acidic, tough, or spicy foods (including citrus juice)
- Crumbly or crunchy foods
- Foods that are tough to chew
- Grains (rice or quinoa)
If you have more questions about wisdom teeth removal, contact us at Atkins and Anderson, DDS. Our team will assess your need for wisdom teeth removal and support you through the process.