For most, your teen's wisdom teeth must come out at some point. By that time, you need to know how to help him or her heal and cope with the after effects of wisdom teeth removal. Here are a few things you might need to know that will help you care for your teen and his or her slightly emptier mouth.
Antibiotics and pain medication
The dentist most likely gave you or the teen antibiotics before you left the clinic, so encourage your child to continuously take them until they are finished. They can make the difference between a smooth, relatively easy recovery and serious complications.
If the teen feels pain, you can buy him or her Tylenol, Advil or Motrin. The first contains acetaminophen, which suppresses pain and fevers. The next two are mostly ibuprofen, which has roughly the same effect as acetaminophen.
Bleeding after wisdom teeth removal is natural and will occur. Here are a few ways you can help mitigate it:
- Place gauze directly on the bleeding areas, and tell your teen to clamp down. When the gauze becomes soggy, replace it. Use your fingers to press the gauze down a bit harder.
- Use black tea bags in place of gauze. Black tea has tannin, which helps blood to clot. Boil the tea bags for five to ten minutes and leave them to cool. Then, place them on the bleeding areas. The immediate taste may not be pleasant, but the faster the blood clots, the quicker the treated areas will heal.
- Clove oil contains eugenol, which soothes pain. Pour some onto a strip of gauze or a cotton ball and give it to the teen. Tell him or her to press it against the wounds. Given that clove oil is apt to burn, he or she should not press for long. The pain may return, may be more severe this time.
- Slice garlic and mash it with water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your child's affected areas. This substance reduces the chance of infection, and because it is from garlic, the smell and taste will not be savory.
- Mix half a teaspoon of salt with warm water. Give this to the teen so that he or she can swish it in the mouth. Saltwater, like garlic paste, decreases the chances of infection.
Warn the teen about touching around the wounded spots after bleeding has stopped, because he or she may dislodge a blood clot, which helps these sites heal. This event will increase the amount of healing time needed, make the mouth smell bad, and make the mouth taste worse.
To stop swelling, wet a washcloth, wrap an ice pack in the washcloth, press it against the teen's cheek for twenty minutes, then take a twenty-minute break. Continue the twenty-minute cycle. Sometimes an infection begins before the removal. If so, soak the washcloth in warm water, and press it against the face. Alternate it as you would the cold washcloth.
Make liquid-like or semi-liquid foods for your child. If you eat chips other crumbly foods, you may allow crumbs to lodge in the wounded areas. These places will then become bacteria-breeding grounds.
Caring for your child after the operation may become difficult, but do not be frustrated. The process is slow, but if you take your time, you will eventually reach the finish line. Remember, if the healing process does not move slowly and steadily, infections may occur and the process will be prolonged. So bear the tedious hours to help your child recover after wisdom teeth removal.