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What I've Learned About Wisdom Teeth Removal

I've gotten a few emails asking me for advice regarding wisdom teeth removal since I had mine done last week. I, too, was freaked out and scared about getting four teeth pulled and I was looking for advice beforehand. Why not post about it and start a discussion?!

Here's the scoop: my teeth weren't really hurting me, however, I knew I needed them out before nursing school starts in September so I pulled the trigger in June. 

1) Go to an oral surgeon. Screw the dentist. Make sure you really like the guy/lady because they're going to be working on your mouth and all up in your business.
2) Eat as many crunchy things as you can the day before surgery. I am craving pretzels like none other... and it's still going to be awhile before I can have them.
3) Eat as late as you can the night before surgery. I couldn't eat past midnight but my surgery wasn't until 1pm the next day. I was in pain because I was so hungry {I hadn't eaten since an early dinner around 7pm the night before}.
4) Clean your house, do laundry, etc before your surgery because you won't want to afterwards!
5) Fill your prescriptions ahead of time and make sure you have enough soft foods to last a few days. I went grocery shopping a couple days earlier and loaded up on pudding, pasta, Naked smoothies without seeds, Gatorade, chocolate milk, ice cream, bananas, etc. I also recommend buying the Nestle Complete Breakfast drink packets. My body needed something besides sugary foods and the breakfast drink gave me more vitamins and protein.

6) Make sure you have more than enough ice on hand. You will want to ice your face for the first 36 hours {15 minutes on, 15 minutes off} and will be using more ice than you thought possible.
7) When they ask what kind of anesthesia you want, tell them you want it all. I had a little bit of laughing gas after I got in the chair which calmed me down enough not to care what they were doing. Then they gave me a nice mix of Versed, Propofol, and Ketamine through my IV that knocked me out within 30 seconds of the first IV push. Seriously, I remember nothing after the second dose until I woke up in the recovery area... and I like it that way. I don't want to hear noises or experience pressure! I just want to sleep!
8) Don't give yourself access to your phone for the first few hours after surgery... because you end up taking photos like the one above.
9) Take the pain meds they give you if needed. I had Lortab Elixir {think: liquid Vicodin} and never even needed to use it. Instead, I took 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours and managed just fine.
10) Unless you're super crazy nauseated or you know it works on you, DON'T ask for the motion sickness patch {scopolamine}. I had more side effects from the damn patch that was on for 30 hours than I did from the actual surgery. I was dizzy and couldn't see close up for FIVE DAYS. I had to lay around my house so I wasn't nauseated. Come to find out, they're both known side effects from the patch. If I would have known that, I wouldn't have asked for something! It's almost a week later and I am still not back to my normal self.

11) It's going to be weird swallowing for the first couple of hours. For me, it kind of felt like I had a lump in my throat. Try to swallow like normal and it'll go away soon enough.
12) Drink lots of fluids! And pass on using a straw to reduce your chance of dry socket.
13) Don't push it. I thought I would be OK to go grocery shopping and make a trip to Target with Trevor four days afterwards and I was wrong. I was tired just walking through the parking lot! Lay low, watch a bunch of crappy movies, and take naps.

If you've had your wisdom teeth out already, I'd love for you to comment below with any other tips you may have so others can be enlightened.
If you still need yours out, leave any questions and comments below and I'll do my best to help answer them.


  1. It's amazing to me that a surgery in your mouth knocks out your whole body!
    I'm keeping this post saved, I'm afraid I'll need it sooner than I wanted. :(

  2. I think you've covered everything I would suggest!! The only other thing I would add is don't try to eat food that you think is ok 3-4 weeks after surgery. When you think your almost healed and that it's ok to enjoy a thanksgiving dinner, don't, you'll get an infection. Wait another week or 2...then eat whatever you want. (If you can't tell, this was my experience) ;)

  3. You are so brave!! Thankfully I won't be blessed with wisdom teeth.

  4. oh my goodness. I nearly passed out from just my one tooth pulled. I can't image getting this done. You take liquids? That's my biggest thing is that I can't take pills well and I know they want to give some HUGE pill. I was wondering if they had

    1. Oh, good question!!

      Well, it depends - they gave me liquid pain killers that I didn't use, but I did take ibuprofen in tablet form. Of course, you could get a youth version so that it's chewable! I was also given an antibiotic that had to be taken in a capsule form. My surgeon said there was a liquid version of it but that it tasted so bad he wouldn't offer it as an option. He was so open to discussion my options that I'm sure he would have given me all liquid forms if I needed it.

      If the pills are what's stopping you from getting your wisdom teeth pulled, don't worry about it! Your surgeon will work out a plan for you if you let him/her know that you aren't good with pills.

  5. These are great tips!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I'm nervous about them putting me to sleep. How does my body know what to do and when to wake up? I get mine pulled tomorrow

  7. Abbie,
    the medicines they give you to relax and fall asleep work fairly quickly and effect your body on their own. When they wear off, you'll wake back up again. If I remember correctly, I woke up after I was in the recovery area for about 25 minutes. Anything between that time and when they gave me laughing gas was forgotten. It sounds odd if you've never experienced it before, but believe me when I say that you'll be nervous (and in my case, crying a little), they give you the medicine, and the next thing you know you're waking up! It's really a fantastic way to have your teeth pulled because you don't remember anything at all.

    If you can, make a playlist or a CD and take it with you tomorrow. Make sure to play your favorite songs, sit back, close your eyes, and try to relax. They'll take good care of you - after all, they pull wisdom teeth all the time! If you have any more questions, let me know. Otherwise, good luck and speedy recovery! You'll feel so much better when it's all over with :)

    Sara - You and Me are We

  8. Had my wisdom teeth out yesterday, ive been eating soup and drinking McDonals McCafe chocolate/vanilla shakes. Ive also taken steroids and some hydrocodon while icing each side every thirty minutes. The hydrocodon really helps. On a scale of one to ten, im at a two with the medicine.

  9. I also have an anxiety disorder and I got mine out today. If you ask for complete sedation, they'll knock you out completely and you won't remember a thing (I don't even remember the doctor coming in to give me the medicine!). Waking up is weird, but they'll bring you (with help!) to a recovery room until you're comfortable enough on your feet. The first few hours everything will be numb and it won't hurt much, but make sure to fill your prescriptions and start them as soon as possible. If you feel yourself getting too loopy or in too much pain, naps are your best friend. Also lots of ice. I promise that everything will be fine :]


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