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According to the American Public Health Association, an estimated 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted from 5 million people in the U.S. annually. While your oral surgeon will provide detailed aftercare instructions, it’s often up to you to determine the pace of your recovery process and how quickly you can resume normal dental hygiene habits.

Flossing, for example, is an important habit that helps to remove hard-to-reach food and plaque from between your teeth but it’s not always clear when it’s safe to begin floss again after wisdom teeth removal surgery. Here’s what you should know about flossing after getting your wisdom teeth removed.

Post-Treatment Instructions

As mentioned, your oral surgeon will provide specific aftercare instructions but the key is to avoid causing irritation to the area. In the first 24 to 48 hours after getting your wisdom teeth removed, you should avoid any type of flossing, whether you’re using typical dental floss or a water flossing machine.

Ease Into Flossing

The key to easing back into your dental health routine after oral surgery is to take it slow and avoid irritating the surgery site(s). This means that you can floss your front teeth carefully after you’ve given your mouth at least two full days to heal. Again, be sure to avoid flossing directly around the surgery site and floss only the front teeth to avoid irritating the tissue toward the back of your mouth. Remember your other post-surgery care instructions as well, and always use your best judgment:

“The recovery period can take several days and in some cases there may still be swelling and discomfort for a week or more. Use ice packs, enjoy soft foods and keep your mouth clean with simple salt water [rinses]. If you notice any unusual symptoms like…severe pain or a fever, call your oral surgeon right away,” writes Brenna Stone on Colgate.

The American Public Health Association reports that wisdom tooth removal costs approximately $3 billion annually in the United States. Knowing how to take proper care of your teeth before and after surgery is the best way to minimize the risk of infection and other complications. For more information about proper recovery habits after oral surgery, contact Waco Surgical Arts.

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