Teenagers often have to have their wisdom teeth removed as they’re growing up. It’s a very common dental procedure, but it requires careful recovery time. If your teen needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, it’s a good idea to prepare for their surgery so you know what to expect. Here’s what you can do to care for your kids after their wisdom teeth removal.
Make Sure They Switch Their Gauze
During the first 24 hours after your child’s wisdom tooth surgery, you’ll want to make sure that their gauze pads are switched out every 25 minutes. The amount of bleeding will go down within three to four hours after surgery. Changing the gauze is essential because it helps absorb fluids around the incision area. Because up to 44% of Americans say they wish they took better care of their oral health (nearly half), it’s recommended to make sure your child is removing or replacing their gauze just to ensure their oral health is being taken care of.
Monitor Their Brushing
One of the most difficult parts of wisdom teeth removal is making sure that you’re brushing the rest of your teeth correctly during the healing process. It’s crucial not to jostle or scratch the incision areas, but it’s also important to brush your teeth at least two times a day. Make sure to monitor your teen’s brushing habits after their surgery. Dentists recommend holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to remove plaque from all sides of the teeth. Your teen may want to keep a close eye on how close their toothbrush gets to their back teeth to make sure they don’t accidentally touch the incision points.
Watch for Signs of Infection
Wisdom teeth removal is a type of oral surgery, and it’s important to make sure that both you and your teen are keeping an eye out for signs of infection. Potential signs of infection include fever (usually between 100.4 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit), persistent pain, swelling, and white or yellow discharge from the extraction site. Bleeding can also be a sign of infection.
A common side effect of wisdom teeth removal to watch out for is dry socket. Dry socket can occur approximately three to four days after your child’s wisdom teeth have been removed and is often caused by the dislodging or removal of the blood clot around the extraction site. The blood clots in the extraction sites are important because they help to protect your child’s jaw and nerves in that area. The blood clots can be dislodged due to pressure from drinking with straws, swishing with mouthwash too hard, or jostling the wounds with a toothbrush.
If your child shows signs of infection after their wisdom teeth removal, bring them back to their dentist’s office for a clinical exam. They most likely need to go on antibiotics to fight off the infection.
Make sure your teen is following their dentist’s recommendations so that they end up with the proper dental care that they need. The first few days after wisdom teeth surgery may be challenging, but it’s important to make sure they’re maintaining a dental care routine.