What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

By: Ana Gotter, Healthline

Most people heal quickly from wisdom teeth removal, as long as they follow the doctor’s instructions during recovery. Eating and drinking the right foods — and avoiding the wrong ones — is a crucial part of these instructions. You’ll be much more comfortable, and you’ll significantly decrease the chance of complications.

Overview

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located in the back of your mouth. They typically come in when you’re between 17 and 25 years of age. It’s common to have your wisdom teeth removed. They may need to be removed because they’re impacted and won’t come in normally. Or they may need to be removed because they’re coming in at a wrong angle.

During the removal procedure, you’ll be given anesthesia. Many surgeons will use some form of local, sedation, or general anesthesia. If your teeth haven’t come in yet, your surgeon will likely make incisions to remove them. They may need to remove bone if it’s blocking access to the root of the tooth. Once the teeth are removed, they’ll clean the site and add stitches to close the incision site if necessary. They’ll also place gauze over the extraction site.

What you eat following your wisdom teeth removal is important. Eating soft or liquid foods won’t irritate the extraction site, helping it to heal faster. Some foods and drinks can irritate or become trapped in the extraction sites, leading to infection. It’s important to follow your doctor’s orders about what to eat following surgery.

What to eat after wisdom teeth removal

Immediately following your wisdom teeth removal and during recovery, you’ll want to start with liquid and soft foods. You won’t have to chew these foods, saving you some pain. Avoid eating harder foods at this time, as these might damage, or get trapped in, the recovering area.

Examples of liquid and soft foods include:

  • apple sauce
  • yogurt
  • smoothies
  • broths and blended soups
  • mashed potatoes
  • Jell-O, pudding, and ice cream

Cold foods like Jell-O, smoothies, and ice cream may relieve some discomfort. Nutrient-rich soups and smoothies can help promote healing. Soups, in particular, can help balance out the other high-sugar options on the list.

As you start to heal, you can incorporate more normal foods. Start off easy with semisoft foods like scrambled eggs, instant oatmeal, and toast before moving to foods like chicken, fruits, and vegetables.

What not to eat after wisdom teeth removal

There are some foods that you should avoid following your wisdom teeth removal. Stick to the foods listed above for the first few days. Avoid the following foods for a week or more until the extraction site has healed.

  • Acidic and spicy foods (including citrus juice) may cause irritation and pain.
  • Alcoholic beverages can irritate the area and are likely to interact negatively with the pain medication prescribed by your doctor.
  • Grains (including rice and quinoa) and any types of seeds can easily become trapped in the extraction site.
  • Hard or difficult-to-chew foods (including nuts, chips, and jerky) can reopen the stitches and delay healing.

You should also avoid smoking or using any type of tobacco for a minimum of 72 hours after surgery as it can severely increase the risk of complications. Don’t use chewing tobacco for at least a week.

Recovery timeline

For the first 24 to 48 hours, eat only liquid and soft foods like yogurt, apple sauce, and ice cream. Cold foods may help with some of the discomforts.

As you start to feel better, you can try incorporating more solid foods. On the third day after surgery, try foods like eggs, toast, or oatmeal. Gradually continue to increase solid foods as chewing doesn’t cause any pain. If you experience pain when chewing, go back to soft and semisoft foods.

Many people are able to resume normal eating within a week.

Wisdom teeth removal complications

Wisdom teeth removal complications aren’t common but can occur. The most common complication is the reopening of the extraction site, which delays healing.

Dry sockets

Dry sockets are also common. They occur when the blood fails to clot in the tooth socket, or if the clot becomes dislodged. This typically happens between three and five days after tooth removal. Dry sockets can be treated by your surgeon. They will flush out debris and may cover the socket with a medicated dressing. Symptoms of dry sockets include:

  • an unpleasant taste or smell coming from the socket
  • aching or throbbing pain in the gum or jaw (it may be intense)
  • exposed bone

Infections

Infections can be caused by food particles or other bacteria becoming trapped in the socket where your wisdom teeth were removed. Bacteria can spread throughout the body and should be treated quickly. Symptoms of an infection include:

  • blood or pus from the extraction site
  • fever
  • spasms of the jaw muscles
  • chills
  • painful or swollen gums near the extraction area
  • bad taste or smell in the mouth

Nerve damage

Nerve damage from wisdom teeth removal is rare, but it can occur. During surgery, the trigeminal nerve may be injured. The injury is most often temporary, lasting several weeks or months. Nerve damage can be permanent if the injury is severe. Symptoms of nerve damage caused by wisdom tooth removal include:

  • pain
  • numbness or tingling in the gums, tongue, chin, surrounding teeth, and lower lips

Allergic reaction

If you show signs of an allergic reaction, seek emergency medical attention. You may be allergic to the medications your doctor prescribed, including your pain medication. Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing
  • feeling like your throat is closing or your tongue is swelling
  • lightheadedness
  • rapid heart rate
  • skin rash
  • fever

Source: www.healthline.com/health/what-to-eat-after-wisdom-teeth-removal

A Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

It can be shocking to many parents, if not perplexing: many dentists now recommend you schedule your child’s first visit before he or she turns one. Before you brush it off as a bit of overzealous advice, you should know it’s supported by the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry—and with good reason!

Besides setting your child on a lifelong path of smart dental habits, a lot about your child’s oral health can be revealed and addressed even before he or she has a full set of teeth. Asking a fussy toddler to sit still and open wide may not sound like a walk in the park, but by knowing what to expect and how you can prepare, both you and your child can emerge with a smile.

The Benefits of Starting Early

Introducing your child to the dentist sooner rather than later has numerous advantages, the biggest of which is instilling the importance of regular dental visits into him or her at a very early age. Getting your child accustomed to seeing the dentist can help quell feelings of fear and anxiety that can lead to avoidance of professional dental care later on in life.

A close examination of new and emerging teeth can also help identify and treat tooth decay. Even if your child is subsisting only on milk and baby food—improper brushing, as well as night-time breast/bottle-feeding, can put your toddler’s teeth at risk for cavities. By working closely with a pediatric dentist, the specific causes behind any tooth problems can be determined and corrected via a treatment plan tailored to your child’s dental situation.

Finally, a well-timed visit to the pediatric dentist can translate into cost savings. Staying on top of your child’s oral health and hygiene can keep expensive treatments like fillings, caps, space maintainers or even root canals at bay.

What to Expect

Your child’s first visit will certainly be thorough, but not overly invasive. The dentist will want to review the child’s oral history and understand his or her eating and teething behaviors, as well as daily dental routine.

Afterward, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth with your assistance. For better access and viewing, you may be asked to help position your child’s head to rest on the dentist’s lap while his or her feet are resting on you. Depending on your child’s dental situation, a sealant may be applied to the teeth for protection against cavities, followed by a demonstration of proper brushing techniques.

Once the checkup is complete, your dentist may share a treatment plan based on your child’s dental health and schedule you for a follow-up.

Getting Ready For Your Appointment

A little preparation goes a long way towards making your visit smooth and productive. Here are a few suggestions to make the most of your child’s first checkup:

  • Put your child to bed early the night before to ensure he or she is well-rested
  • Write down questions and observations to discuss with the dentist
  • Pack toys that can occupy and/or soothe your child
  • Bring your child’s dental care products in case your dentist has any questions
  • Gather your insurance information beforehand to avoid last minute rush

Exposing your child to stories or videos that paint dentist visits in a fun, positive light can also make the experience seem less scary.

Long Term Oral Health

As good as it will feel to achieve your child’s first major “smilestone”, the truth is that every subsequent checkup is just as critical to preserving his or her dental health — as is practicing good dental habits at home.

Stay one step ahead of important dental developments by scheduling frequent checkups, and don’t hesitate to call your child’s dentist for help should questions arise between visits.

Sources:

Your Child’s Age 1 Dental Visit. (2012, July 3). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Infants-and-Children/Toddler-Child-Transitional-Care/article/Your-Childs-First-Dental-Visit.cvsp

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist. (2014, May 25). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/childs-first-dental-visit

‘Inadequate’ health response leaves 3.5bn with poor dental care

By: Sarah Boseley, The Guardian

⚠️ Scientists are calling for radical reform of dental care, tighter regulation of the sugar industry and greater transparency around conflict of interests in dental research to tackle the high and rising toll of oral disease such as mouth cancers.

Will this approach help in the state of crisis in the global health community? The Oral Surgery DC Team

In a challenge to the global health community, a series in the Lancet medical journal argues that 3.5 billion people suffering from the oral disease have been let down.

The oral disease includes tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer and affects almost half of the global population. Untreated dental decay is the most common health condition worldwide. Lip and oral cavity cancers are among the top 15 most common cancers in the world, say researchers.

“Dentistry is in a state of crisis,” said Prof Richard Watt, chair and honorary consultant in dental public health at University College London and the lead author of the series. “Current dental care and public health responses have been largely inadequate, inequitable and costly, leaving billions of people without access to even basic oral health care.

“While this breakdown in the delivery of oral healthcare is not the fault of individual dental clinicians committed to caring for their patients, a fundamentally different approach is required to effectively tackle to the global burden of oral diseases.”

The high-tech treatment has taken priority over prevention in wealthy countries such as the UK, say the researchers. Around the world, the heavy marketing of sugary drinks is causing increasing damage to dental health, they argue.

By 2020 Coca-Cola intends to spend $12bn (£9.5bn) on marketing its products across Africa, in contrast to WHO’s total annual budget in 2017 of $4.4bn, they write.

Watt said: “Sugar consumption is the primary cause of tooth decay. The UK population is consuming far too much sugar – considerably higher than the Department of Health and WHO recommends.

“A particular concern is the high levels of sugar in processed commercial baby foods and drinks which encourage babies and toddlers to develop a preference for sweetness in early life. We need tighter regulation and legislation to restrict the marketing and promotion of sugary foods and drinks if we are to tackle the root causes of oral conditions.”

Cristin Kearns, of the University of California, San Francisco, and Prof Lisa Bero, of the University of Sydney, warn in a linked commentary of financial links between dental research organizations and the processed food and drink industries.

“Emerging evidence of industry influence on research agendas contributes to the plausibility that major food and beverage brands could view financial relationships with dental research organizations as an opportunity to ensure a focus on commercial applications for dental caries interventions – such as xylitol, oral hygiene instruction, fluoridated toothpaste, and sugar-free chewing gum – while deflecting attention from harm caused by their sugary products,” they write.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/18/inadequate-health-response-leaves-35bn-with-poor-dental-care

Dentist or Detective? Major Health Clues Your Mouth Provides

Chew on this for a minute: just by glancing inside your mouth, your dentist can tell you a number of things that may be news to you and your doctor! Surprising as it may sound, your oral health can speak volumes about the rest of your body, and something as simple as a routine dental checkup can benefit your health and wallet big time.

🔎 From harmful habits to life-threatening diseases, find out what clues your mouth can provide about your wellbeing. The Oral Surgery DC Team

The Presence of Disease

Many connections between your mouth and larger health issues have to do with bacteria. Studies have shown that heart disease and endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of your heart), in particular, are linked to gum disease – a bacterial infection of the mouth. Inflamed gums can also signal a vulnerable immune system, which can be due to diabetes or disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome. Furthermore, patients who are pregnant and are diagnosed with periodontitis may be at a heightened risk for birth-related issues, as studies have shown a connection between gum disease and both premature birth and low birth weight.

In addition to gum problems, other oral matters are also telling. Tooth loss, for instance, has commonly been linked with both osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. And lesions of the throat occur often in individuals suffering from HIV or AIDS. Last but not least, a dental exam can detect both oral and throat cancer, which typically present themselves via sores or patches that don’t go away. Suffice it to say, dental checkups can prove themselves invaluable when it comes to early detection of life-threatening health conditions.

Incompatibility With Certain Medications

While you may already be aware of and treating a health condition, a dentist can help identify whether or not the medicine you are taking is causing other complications. Dry mouth, a condition that causes oral issues such as halitosis, fungal infection, and tooth decay, is a known side effect of hundreds of commonly prescribed medications including:

PainkillersAntibioticsAntidepressants
AntihistaminesAsthma InhalersDiuretics
SedativesCorticosteroidsStatins

If you’re currently undergoing medical treatment and/or using prescription drugs, be sure to have your dentist examine your mouth for any harmful side effects.

Harmful Habits

It may not necessarily mean life or death, but some habits can cause a world of trouble–and costly mouth problems are proof of that. How you sleep, for example, has a direct impact on the health of your mouth. Constantly breathing with your mouth open can cause dry mouth, and grinding your teeth overnight is a leading cause of enamel damage.

Smoking, chewing and other forms of tobacco use pose serious threats, not just to your lungs, but also to the look and health of your teeth and gums. Red flags that alert your dentist that smoking is starting to do dental damage (and possibly much worse) are the telltale yellowing of teeth, white patches along the inside lining of the mouth, persistent bad breath, and lumps that can signal oral cancer.

Finally, your mouth can offer clues about the safety and healthfulness of your diet. Severe tooth erosion and swelling of the throat and salivary glands are typical problems seen in patients with eating disorders, due to constant vomiting. Tooth decay and sensitivity can also come with excessive acid in your diet, and many times, signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (“GERD” or simply, “acid reflux”) become apparent to your dentist even before your doctor. Even your breath can be telling of certain food choices, such as garlic or onions, which have long been known to cause halitosis.

Get Peace of Mind

Given everything a brief dental exam can uncover, there’s no denying the benefits of a routine checkup. More often than not, tooth, gum and other oral problems may simply be due to poor hygiene, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remain diligent about seeing your dentist regularly, and don’t hesitate to schedule a checkup in between your typical visits if you notice anything amiss.

Sources:

Your Mouth, Your Health. (2015, July 23). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-teeth-gums

What conditions may be linked to oral health? (2013, May 11). Retrieved July 14, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2

Dental Hygiene for Infants to Preteens

By: Bingham Healthcare, Post Register

👶 Your child’s well-being is your biggest concern and their oral hygiene is an important part of their overall health. The care of your child’s teeth and gums begins with you. You can set them on the right path for a lifetime of excellent oral hygiene by using these tips from Post Register! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Oral Hygiene for Infants

Babies are born with all their teeth but you can’t see them because they are hidden in the gums. Baby teeth start to break through the gums around 6 months but it is important to start good oral care for infants even before the first tooth comes in. From healthy gums come healthy teeth.

– Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth after feeding. This helps remove the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

– Once they begin to erupt, brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear the size of a grain of rice — use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

– Take the bottle away after your child finishes drinking to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay can happen when babies drink milk, formula, or juice from bottles over long periods of time or fall asleep with the bottle.

– Schedule your child’s first dental appointment before their first birthday or after his or her first baby tooth is visible, whichever comes first. This visit is like a well-baby visit with your pediatrician.

Oral Hygiene for Children

As kids grow up, their oral hygiene habits should grow with them.

Kids have all their baby teeth by the age of 3. These are called primary teeth. Baby teeth start falling out around age 6; that’s when the permanent, or adult, teeth start coming in. Gaps between baby teeth are normal. They make room for the permanent teeth. Most permanent teeth come in by age 13.

Here are some tips to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong starting at age 3:

– Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out after brushing.

– Be sure your child brushes for at least two minutes twice a day.

– Start flossing as soon as teeth touch, or even earlier to help build good habits.

– Help your child brush and floss, and remind him or her to pay attention to the back teeth.

– Visit the dentist every six months.

Oral Hygiene for Preteens

As children grow older and more of their permanent teeth come in, a rigorous daily dental hygiene routine is crucial to keeping teeth and gums healthy. However, it can be difficult to keep preteens interested in oral care.

Try these tips to keep your child on track:

– As preteens become more conscious of their appearance, it can be helpful to remind them that good oral care can help them look and feel better.

– Remind your child to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for a full two minutes, which not only fights cavities and strengthens teeth, but also gives older kids the confidence of having fresh breath. A power toothbrush might make brushing more fun for preteens.

– Flossing is extremely important at this point as most permanent teeth have erupted and cleaning between them will help prevent cavities and keep their mouth fresh.

– Encourage children who play sports to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injuries.

– Make sure kids who wear braces use a power brush and floss very thoroughly to avoid white spots on teeth when braces come off.

Source: https://www.postregister.com/chronicle/news/dental-hygiene-for-infants-to-preteens/article_c5919642-2274-527a-bcad-81b484d6330b.html