Life Experience: Removing Your Wisdom Teeth Out at 23

So 2 weeks ago, I finally got my wisdom teeth out. A week ago, I got the stitches out. And 2 weeks from now, I go back in for my last check up, to make sure that my gums are healed correctly. If you haven’t gone to get those suckers out, there’s 4-5 appointments total for them, depending on if you get dissovable stitches or not.

I had 5 total, from the x-ray at my dentist office, to see which wisdom teeth I had (you can not have all 4), to the surgery, to the check ups. For the record, in my experience, it’s not as bad as you want to hype yourself up for. Trust me, I went there before my surgery. Now you don’t have to!

The first thing you have to do, when you think/feel/see that you need to get your wisdom teeth removed, is get to your regular dentist (or find one, and make friends with them).

If you’re still a minor, and living with your parents, talk to them to get you that appointment (if you want to be on good terms with your parents, and want to build some “adult skills”: get your dentist’s number from them, look at your schedule [if you work, your school schedule, extra-curriculars, and other life events], ask your parents’ schedule over the next month, and what would be a good day or days to make an appointment).

In my case, I was having off and on “teething” pain for years, I figured that since my teeth weren’t moving, I wasn’t in blinding agony from the pain, and I didn’t see them coming in, when being that person while in my bathroom at home. Earlier this year, while being that person, I did see that my right bottom wisdom tooth was making herself known: I saw her *side* (haha).

I made an appointment with my dentist (okay, so this was the first time in forever I’ve been to the dentist, and my first time as an adult, so I had to do all of it on my own). They cleaned my teeth, looked at if I needed any other work done (which, thank god, I still have perfectly healthy teeth…still no work done to my “regular” teeth!), and they did the x-ray to see which wisdom teeth I had, and which ones they were. I had only the bottom 2.

After that, they gave me options of local surgeons that they (and other people) liked. I asked the receptionist which one she found was most popular/she liked. She mentioned the closest one, and I made my second good call. The first was going with my dentist. I rather like him, and my man even likes him (compared to the place he used to go to…that’s a half a story, not meant for here).

I made the call to the surgeon’s office, and went to the appointment. Before that, I dove into too much research, that I could. At the initial appointment, you go over what they’re looking at doing, and what might happen, and all those things that have a small percentage of happening. After that, it’s setting up the appointment for the surgery.

At this point, they should ask how far under you want to go. I personally went half under. Yes, you get an IV drip for it, but I didn’t get laughing gas.

Post that, it’s the waiting game until the surgery. I had to wait pretty much 2 months for my surgery. I’m assuming it’s not too much different wherever you’re at (at least here in the States). But when you get there, you might be somewhat anxious (which is OK!), but the drugs do work, and the risk of anesthesia awareness is small (1 in almost 20,000 people, or .01% of people).

For me, it was a matter of maybe 20-30 seconds from insertion of the IV, to them opening the drip, to where you’re “passed out”. Then a half hour or so later (depending on how many teeth you have coming out…even if they have to drill, like they did with one of mine), you wake up, and they’ll give you something to drink and ask how you feel.

After that, you (and your ride) will go to the pharmacy, and put in the script for your antibiotics (so you don’t get sick…your mouth is dirtier than you think), pain meds, and an oral rinse that you’re supposed to use for a week after surgery.

All I have to say is REST after surgery. When you feel the need to sleep, for the love that is is good and holy, SLEEP GIRL SLEEP.  Take it easier than you want to (or think, prior to surgery) for 24-36 hours post surgery, depending on how you feel. You’ll want all that rest, as it’s not so much the near 24 hours post surgery that suck, it’s the almost week after.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m no doctor or pharmacist, this is just from my personal experience, and being surrounded by people who had many oral surgeries.

When you get home from surgery, take some Motrin or an anti-inflammitory over the counter, when you’re able to drink something. Try to milk out those pain meds you were given, by taking Motrin a little before when your “next round” of pain meds are due, and offsetting the time that is on the bottle. Try to keep away from the pain meds for as long as possible right after surgery, and use that Motrin instead. Take 2 or 3 of them, and your future self will thank your post-surgery past self. It’ll come in handy when the real pain sets in, about 2-3 days after surgery.

The pain is more achey pain, and not a harsh pain. An odd tip: massage your jaw. It’ll help with getting that pain away, and getting that mobility back, so you can eat “real food” again.

For food, you don’t need as much applesauce and pudding as you think. Another FOR THE LOVE OF ALL GOOD AND HOLY tip: DON’T USE STRAWS for a at least 48-72 hours post surgery. Not from personal experience, but talking with friends, one in particular got a dry socket and was one of the worst experiences for her.

When you feel like you’re ready to start chewing stuff again, be mindful of what you eat. Try to stay away from chewing with your molars. They’re going to be sensitive, let alone you don’t want to bug the stitches too much. Try things like quesdillas or bean and cheese burritos, in bites small enough to give to a toddler trying new foods.

Make sure to do everything at your own pace. Don’t let anyone try to force you to do anything you don’t want to, food or even exercise. You know your body the best, and you know what you need and don’t need to do.

If you’ve had your wisdom teeth taken out, what was your experience? What tips did I miss?

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