When Can I Brush My Teeth After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

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When can I brush my teeth after wisdom teeth removal?

If you have recently gotten a wisdom teeth removed, you are probably wondering how soon is too soon to start brushing the site of the wisdom tooth extraction. 

Brushing your teeth after a wisdom tooth extraction or other dental procedure is a balancing act between, on one hand, not interfering with the healing process, and on the other, staying on top of your oral hygiene. 

If you have recently had a wisdom tooth extraction and are unsure of when you can safely brush your teeth following the procedure, this article was written for you.

This is how soon you can brush your teeth following a wisdom tooth extraction

According to the American Dental Association, you shouldn’t brush near the extraction site on the same day as your wisdom teeth extraction procedure. You can still brush your surrounding teeth very carefully, as long as you steer clear of the extraction site. 

After tooth extraction procedures, blood clots form in the sockets where the teeth have been removed. This is an important part of the healing process, as the blood clot prevents harmful bacteria from getting into the wound.

You can start brushing your teeth again – including the area immediately around the surgical site – the very next day following your wisdom tooth removal. The key is to brush very gently and carefully so that your toothbrushing doesn’t interfere with or delay proper healing.

How to brush your teeth following wisdom tooth removal

So how should you brush your teeth following a wisdom teeth removal procedure? Here are a few tips. If you implement them, you’ll be able to keep your mouth clean and fresh even while your wisdom tooth extraction site is healing up. 

Brush gently

When you first start brushing your teeth again following a wisdom teeth removal procedure, you need to be extra careful. Avoid brushing too forecefully and instead be extra gentle.

The best way to brush your teeth following a procedure is to move your brush in slow circular motions without applying too much pressure.

Use a manual, soft-bristled toothbrush

Being able to brush your teeth gently has a lot to do with what kind of toothbrush you are using. 

While an electric toothbrush is usually better than a manual one, this is not the case immediately following a wisdom teeth removal procedure. With a manual, soft-bristled toothbrush you’ll be able to control and fine-tune the amount of pressure you put on your teeth, and most importantly on your extraction site.

Rinse with warm salt water

Warm water with a pinch of salt stirred in is a wonderful mouthwash that can really help you speed up the healing process following a wisdkom teeth extraction or any other dental care procedure you may have undergone. 

Salt water serves the dual function of cleaning the teeth removal area, while also promoting healing through a natural process called osmosis. Salt contains the important component sodium chloride, which forces liquid out of the cells it comes into contact with. This helps dry out any moist wounds and makes it easier for your body to heal quickly.

Other tips for the healing process

Brushing your teeth carefully yet throughly is key to a positive wisdom teeth removal healing process. But what are some other things you can do to alleviate your discomfort and ensure that your healing process is smooth and effortless?

Take pain medication

Pain can be extremely distracting and may keep you from sleeping or focusing at work.

Taking pain medication is the best way to manage any pain and discomfort you are experiencing as a result of your wisdom teeth removal procedure. You can usually get the pain medication you need over the counter, but if your pain is more severe you can ask your dentist to prescribe something stronger.

Place ice packs on your face 

If you place ice packs on the side of your face it will help to reduce swelling and alleviate any discomfort caused by it.

Usually any swelling that you get following a wisdom teeth extraction is going to go down all by itself, but using ice packs can speed this process along, particularly if you are able to get home and apply the ice packs immediately after the procedure.

Eat soft foods

If you can, stick to soft foods until the extraction site is completely healed. 

Eating soft foods – and, by the same token, avoiding or reducing your intake of chewy and harder foods, such as biscuits, hard candies and raw vegetables – help you get through the healing process with a minimum amount of discomfort.

A few of the best soft foods to eat while you are recovering from a dental procedure include yoghurt, banana slices, smoothies and soups (Just make sure they are not too hot).

Avoid hot drinks

Lay off the hot beverages for a few days, if you can. Not only can drinking hot beverages send shooting pains through your extraction sites, they can also cause the blood clots which are necessary for healing to become dislodged. If this happens, you are effectively slowing down your own healing process, as your body will have to form new blood clots. While the blood clots are gone, you will also be at increased risk of developing infection, as the protective blood clots will not be in place over the wound.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.