Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

Union Oral Surgery offers these guidelines for wisdom teeth removal aftercare to our patients. If it’s your child who has had the procedure, please follow these recommendations to help keep him or her more comfortable after surgery.

Usually, recovery after wisdom tooth removal takes 5-7 days. If your child is in school, you may want to plan the procedure around “off days” since discomfort following surgery may make focusing on class activities more difficult.

Immediately after surgery, patients should go home and take the remainder of the day to rest. Plan for light activity over the two days that follow. Most of our patients resume their normal schedules by Day 4 or 5.

Managing Discomfort

Wisdom teeth removal at a young age usually presents fewer complications. The teeth haven’t had a chance to develop when you are in your teens, and even impacted teeth require a less involved approach. If you opt to have the procedure later in life, wisdom teeth removal aftercare can be more intensive, but our practice will take every measure we can to help you manage discomfort.

Patients receive two types of medication:

  • Strong pain medication for use immediately after surgery as well as the next day. Most patients don’t require this stronger medication after the second day.
  • A milder pain medication that also can help with swelling. Patients should take this medication for five days starting right after surgery.

Patients also go home with an ice pack, which they should apply for at least two hours to keep down swelling. Use the pack for 20-minute intervals with 20-minute breaks in between. Swelling usually peaks on the third day after surgery and improves in the days that follow.

Stitches and Bandages

With wisdom teeth removal aftercare, patients will not have a scheduled follow-up visit. Your doctor may use stitches to seal the surgical sites, but these are absorbable and will dissolve on their own in 3-5 days. If you or your child is experiencing significant discomfort or other concerning symptoms, please give us a call. We can either resolve these issues by telephone or see you back in our offices.

After surgery, your doctor will send you home with gauze sponges to manage bleeding. Here is some advice for their use:

  • You may want to dampen the gauze before biting it to prevent the gauze from sticking to the inside of your mouth.
  • Bite firmly to put pressure on the surgical sites.
  • Change out the gauze every 15 minutes for about two hours or until most of the bleeding has stopped.
  • If the gauze does not stop the bleeding, you may want to try a damp teabag instead. Tannins in tea can help with clotting.

To promote healing, take special care not to disturb the blood clots once they form.


For proper wisdom tooth removal aftercare, patients should stick to soft foods for about one week and avoid foods that are very hot. Parents should stress the importance of this diet to their children who have the procedure.

Plan ahead by stocking up on soft foods like spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. If your child is returning to school, you may want to get permission to send a special lunch so that he or she can get proper nutrition. Meals should not include anything that takes an effort to chew or anything that is crispy or crunchy. Chewing that requires a lot of effort can impede the healing process, and crispy foods can irritate the surgical sites.

Oral Hygiene Aftercare

With wisdom teeth removal, you may have to modify brushing and flossing while you are healing. For example, Union Oral Surgery asks that you do not do not rinse or spit for 24 hours. We will also provide you with the following to support your care:

  • Antibiotic mouth rinse and oral antibiotic. Use these throughout your recovery to prevent infection.
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush. On the night after surgery, brush your teeth with water only. You can use toothpaste on the brush the following morning and from then on.
  • On Day 5 following surgery, you can use this syringe to rinse away food trapped in the sockets where we have taken out the teeth.

These resources, along with the attention and support our staff provides, will help you have a healthier, more comfortable recovery.

Have questions? Contact Union Oral Surgery about your wisdom teeth removal and aftercare. Call (704) 291-7333.