Wisdom Teeth: The Tooth Fairy Did NOT Pay Me Enough For This
There’s a thousand books about “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”…but why does nobody ever tell you what to expect when you get your wisdom teeth pulled?!
Perhaps some of you have heard your friends talk about the ridiculous amounts of ice cream they consumed over a two week period, or maybe you’ve heard the lore about the instantaneous weight-loss that comes from it (What? Weight loss from eating only ice cream? SIGN. ME. UP.). Well, before you break out the Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs you swore you wouldn’t have all year because of your ‘diet,’ here’s some things to consider:
Do you NEED to take them out?
Though it seems tempting to just undergo the procedure and not have to go through any of the trouble later on, a lot of people don’t need to have them taken out. Consider the amount of days you have to take off from school (normally anywhere from 3-5 days), as well as the recuperation period without solid or chew-intensive food (about two weeks).
Are your teeth impacted?
Impacted wisdom teeth are those that remain stuck in the gum tissue or jaw bone for whatever reason, otherwise known as “Unerupted Teeth.” They make it significantly more difficult for your dentist to take them out, and are also the source of the slow, burning pain most people wish to avoid.
So…you ARE having them removed?
Here’s a few things to consider:
Dentists advise against “solid” foods (that is, anything that requires you to chew a lot) for approximately 2 weeks. Many people begin eating “soft” foods about a week after their surgery (bread, steamed vegetables, etc.), but keep in mind that chunks any larger than a nickel probably will not fit in your mouth. Straws are also a no-go. The sucking in of air will burst open the sutures (the holes and their stitches), and boom, blood…everywhere.
Another important note is the temperature. It is highly suggested that patients do not consume anything “hot” the first 3-5 days. Heat discourages blood clot formation and reopens closed ones.
A List of “Consumables”
- Soup (SMALL CHUNKS PEOPLE, SMALL CHUNKS!!)
- Ice Cream
- Small Pasta (Bowtie, Alphabet, etc.)
- Mac and Cheese
- Smoothies or Milkshakes (NO STRAWS!)
Rest Your Mouth (And Body)
Avoid intense physical activities the first 3-4 days. As it turns out, the mouth and jaw are involved in a lot more than you’d think…On everything from facial expressions, swallowing, turning your face, etc. Avoid talking as much as possible the first 2-4 days (chances are, you might not even be able to open your mouth), and…this one’s important…DO NOT LAUGH!!!! Your jaw is directly connected to where your sutures are, and boom, your mouth is gorier than 300 all over again. It’s not exactly fun, but it has to be done. No Tosh.0 or Anjelah Johnson for you!
It is also highly suggested that patients avoid bending over for 3-5 days following the surgery. This makes blood rush to your head and, you guessed it, boom, that iron-y taste is back!
Chances are, you’ll be given more medications with complicated names than you can keep track of— and most of them have different dosage times. As soon as you regain consciousness, make sure to input alarms into your phone. They make it easier to remember to take your medications, and aid you in not dying (okay, you’re not going to die, but a speedy recovery ain’t half bad).
The first few days, avoid store-bought alcohol mouthwash. The alcohol will sting and potentially reopen the sutures. Rise with a warm salt and water mixture (one tablespoon salt per cup of warm water). They will discourage bacterial growth, and encourage blood clots.