If your dentist has told you that your wisdom teeth are going to have to come out, getting it done before they have a chance to cause problems – such as mouth or jaw pain, damage to existing teeth, gum inflammation or infection – is wise. However, if they haven’t begun to cause problems yet, you have the luxury of being able plan ahead, choosing a convenient time for wisdom teeth removal. Washington DC oral surgeons advise that patients schedule their procedures for times when they’ll have plenty of time to rest and recover. That’s why many patients choose to have summer surgery – taking advantage of the longest school break of the year.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Washington DC: Why Summer Can Be The Best Time

While wisdom teeth removal is a fairly routine procedure in most cases, it is still oral surgery and will require some recovery time. Making sure you have plenty of time to rest and take care of yourself after surgery can speed your recovery, helping to minimize swelling, pain and your risk of post-operative complications.

So just what does taking good care of yourself after surgery mean? Firstly, it means taking your oral surgeon’s after-care instructions seriously and following them carefully. Generally those will include recommendations to rest for the first 24 hours after surgery. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay in bed, but you should avoid lifting, bending and any sort of activity that can raise your blood pressure. Those restrictions are very important, since not following them can lead to increased bleeding, swelling and pain after surgery, as well as increasing your risk of dry socket – a painful condition that happens when blood clots that protect the sockets during healing are dislodged or aren’t able to form properly.

You’ll need to be careful about what you eat after surgery, as well as how you eat it. You’ll be restricted to a soft-food diet for a week or two, and you’ll need to avoid very hot foods and drinks for a few days after surgery. Don’t drink through straws, since the pressure in the mouth created by sucking can cause dry socket. You’ll want to keep food away from your extraction sites while chewing, since irritating them can promote infection, and make sure you’re rinsing your mouth according to your surgeon’s instructions.

While you’ll be able to do most things you normally do after about a week, you’ll need to take it easy for a while. As a rule, patients should avoid sports, heavy lifting, running and strenuous workouts for two or three weeks after wisdom teeth removal. Washington DC patients who overdo it often find that swelling and pain take longer to resolve, lengthening recovery time.

As you can see, there’s quite a bit that goes into making your recovery as quick and complication free as possible. That’s why summer surgery can be the best way to go. Summer break leaves plenty of time to rest and see to the important details that will help your recovery along – without the stress of worrying about academic or athletic obligations.

If you want to schedule a wisdom teeth removal consultation with Dr. Emery, contact our office in the Washington DC area at (202) 386-7100.