Friday, I had to miss all of our winter parties at school and “adult” (have my wisdom teeth pulled). This is something I have needed to do for years now, but I made excuses about time and money Finally, I couldn’t take the pain any longer and decided to schedule the surgery. After a consultation with my dentist, we scheduled my surgery for Friday December 16 to remove my five wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly, somehow I had a bonus tooth behind my regular that also needed to be removed.
How to prepare
In order to make the healing process go smoother, it is important to plan ahead. Here are some things to think about a day or two before your surgery.
Be sure to clean your bedroom, living room and kitchen before you go in for surgery. You will spend a lot of time at home, so it is much better to come home to a clean house. Don’t forget to wash your sheets! I believe a clean house helps people heal faster, but that is just me.
You will need to have a fridge stocked full of soft foods for the week following surgery. On your way home from surgery is not the time to think about what you need.
Here are some items you will want on hand:
- Ice cream/sorbet/ frozen yogurt
- Mashed potatoes
- Flavored water/sparkling water
- Fruit juices/ sports drinks
- Frozen fruit/smoothie mixes
- Macaroni & cheese
- Frozen peas (4 packages)
- A pair of socks/boot socks/basketball socks
Easy Potato Soup Recipe
Make any soups ahead of time that need to be prepped. Recently, I discovered an easy to make potato soup from Trader Joes.
Ingredients (all from Trader Joe’s):
- Frozen mashed potatoes (28 oz. package)
- Scalloped potatoes with quattro formaggio (16 oz. package)
- Hearty organic vegetable broth (32 oz. container)
- Smoke seasoning
Mix all ingredients together in a large pot on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until well combined. (Once it was ready, I poured it in to the Vitamix to make sure it was well combined and without chunks to make it easier to eat.
I divided this out into several different containers to eat throughout the first several days of healing.
In order to keep swelling down, it is important to keep an ice pack on hand. One of my friends suggested I put a package of frozen peas in 2 pairs of long socks, then tie them together. This freed up my hands and allowed me keep ice on my cheeks at all times. I used a set until the peas got mushy, then I traded them out for fresh packages. My doctor recommended I use ice 20 minutes on and 5 minutes off most of the two first days to reduce swelling.
What to expect
Unlike most people, I did not sleep at all when I got home from surgery. Typically, hydrocodone makes me feel nauseated, so I didn’t take any after leaving the office. Instead, I stayed awake, watched movies, and rested in my living room chair.
The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour. I had five wisdom teeth removed in under an hour. You will either be under anesthesia and completely asleep, or moderately to heavily sedated and fall asleep. I woke up during my procedure in time to feel the pressure of two teeth being pulled, but I wasn’t uncomfortable or in pain. Apparently, I was having difficulty breathing towards the end of the procedure, so they had to pull back on the sedatives.
You may or may not remember your drive home, but it is always fun to have family there to remind you (or record you like my husband did). Apparently I was disappointed I was “not funny” and more with it than all the YouTube people. Enjoy!
There are a lot of them! My doctor prescribed me 6 different medicines (a steroid pack, antibiotic, 2 different pain pills, nausea medicine, and a prescription mouthwash). Don’t forget to take the medicines as prescribed to prevent infection and manage pain.
Speaking of pain, it hurts, but it isn’t unbearable. In order to prevent nerve damage, they had to cut me pretty far up on my gums. My mouth, gums, teeth, jaw, ear and neck all hurt throughout the first several days. My jaw and mouth are still pretty sore. The ice pack and heat pack help with soreness and aches.
You will be numb for a while, which means use a bib when you eat. I couldn’t feel my chin and bottom jaw for several hours following the procedure, I I had ice cream and soup on my chin at all times.
You will need to eat soft foods for the first several days, so be sure you stocked up. My Wendy’s Frosty was my best friend the first day, and one of the only things that sounded good.
Beginning day 2, here is what I have been eating:
Meal 1: Scrambled eggs and fruit smoothie with protein powder
Meal 2: Applesauce/yogurt
Meal 3: Potato soup
Meal 4: Tomato soup/peanut butter shake
Meal 5: Ice cream
Honestly, restricting food has been the hardest part for me. Every day, I try more and more foods that I can suck on or chew with my front teeth. I even ate a chicken pot pie last night!
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for how to keep your holes clean. I rinse with warm salt water after brush after every meal, and I use my medicated wash 2 times a day. Beginning on day 7, I will be rinsing with a syringe too. Just a heads up, bad breath is not uncommon for a few days after having your wisdom teeth removed. This may be TMI, but it is something I was not prepared for at all.
I still have several more days of healing, and probably quite a while before I can eat anything I want. Overall, getting my wisdom teeth removed is uncomfortable, but it hurts less than I expected. As long as you are prepared and know what to expect, you will be great!
To read more about what to expect on day 1 of surgery, head over to my friend Ginger’s blog.
Leave me a comment below! I would love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so this is not medical advice. My tips are based on my experiences alone and should not be considered sound medical advice.