We all anticipate that moment. Sitting in the dentist’s office, when he suggests doing an X-Ray to see how your wisdom teeth are doing. We all know someone who has already had them taken out, and they usually share the horror stories of chipmunk face, bleeding, scary pain medication, weeks of a liquid diet, and the dreaded syringe.
I decided to wait a little bit too long to have mine taken out, only because I was just terrified of undergoing the procedure. It wasn’t until I got pericoronitis (when the gums that cover part of your wisdom teeth get inflamed) for the second time that I decided to just get it over with and get all four removed at once.
I just got my wisdom teeth taken out a little over a week ago, and here is my experience. Please keep in mind that everyone has a different experience and some people will have better experiences than others. This article is simply a reflection of my experience. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.
Day 0: Surgery Day
The most important thing is to make sure that you see a dentist that you trust. My dental clinic, Sonrisas Dental Clinic in North Miami Beach is amazing! I’ve worked with them for my Invisalign, dental cleanings, fillings, and veneers. Now I’m not a millionaire and as a new college graduate trying to get my business off the ground, I try to save money when I can and luckily, Sonrisas offers incredibly affordable service with even better results. Dr. Viviana Waich and her team are like family to me so I felt right at home when I went to get my wisdom teeth taken out. The most important thing is to relax.
I did the entire procedure on local anesthesia and the extraction of all four teeth took about 30-45 minutes. I am not a fan of blood so they gave me a headset where I could watch a movie during the extraction. It’s meant for kids, but watching Minions while getting my wisdom teeth pulled was an amazing distraction. I didn’t feel anything except for a little bit of pressure.
After the extraction, they place gauze over the extraction site and they tell you to bite down to apply pressure on the area and keep it there for about an hour. I kept the gauze in for the rest of the day, changing it after I drank or ate. APPLY ICE IMMEDIATELY! This will help reduce swelling. You don’t see swelling until the second day, but icing the area will prevent it! The dentist recommends icing for 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.
Your mouth and tongue will be numb for about 4 hours. Take your first prescribed pain medication right after the surgery to make sure you don’t feel the pain once the anesthesia wears off. I didn’t talk for the rest of the day and used the notepad on my phone to communicate with people.
I love spicy foods and drinking fluids from a straw, but both things are prohibited for the first 3 days after surgery. This is to prevent dry socket, a condition where your blood clot gets dislodged. I was so scared of getting dry socket I didn’t use a straw for a whole week!
So on the day of the surgery I had smoothies, mashed potatoes, iced my face, and slept. I stopped using the gauze about 6 hours after my surgery and I think it helped with my overall healing. The pain medication prescribed to me made me feel very nauseous, but eating mashed potatoes to get something in my stomach helped a lot with the nausea. My advice would be to take the medication about 15 minutes after eating so that you don’t take it on an empty stomach. You are not allowed to sneeze or throw up (because this will cause dry socket!) after the surgery!
My mouth still felt weird on day 1, but all of my pain was gone. I stopped taking the pain medicine completely the next day, and experienced no pain. I still couldn’t open my mouth all the way, and I couldn’t chew. I had more mashed potatoes, smoothies, and protein shakes. For dinner, I had overcooked Mac N’ Cheese and it was amazing to have something close to real food. I stayed in bed the whole day and I really enjoyed not being able to do anything with a valid excuse! I didn’t try talking on day 1 and continued to communicate via text.
Day 2 was very similar to day 1. Tons of mashed potatoes, Mac N Cheese, smoothies, and bed rest. Not to be gross, but I didn’t try brushing my teeth until day 2. My fear of dry socket really made me be careful not to touch the extraction sites. I would still get dizzy when I stood up so I spent the day in bed. I started talking on day 2, and I had noticeable swelling on my cheeks. Yes, I had chipmunk face, but it was mild thanks to the icing! To bring down the swelling, I applied hot wet towels to my cheeks. One of my best friends from Virginia came to Miami to celebrate his birthday, so I went out that night. I contoured my cheekbones to hide the swelling, and I managed to have some donuts that evening as well. I don’t recommend going out on day 2 but this was a special case where my friend was only in town that evening!
I felt MUCH better on day 3. I committed to judging the Miss International Beautiful pageant this day, and I had planned for the swelling to be gone by day 3 (oops). I contoured to hide the swelling and I felt fine. I still couldn’t fully open my mouth, but other than that I felt great. I snacked on yogurt and then couldn’t resist eating cheetos, and luckily I was able to eat them with no problems at all. So, Day 3 was a good day other than the swelling 🙂
I was prescribed to antibiotics (amoxicillin) to prevent infection, and I started experiencing bad side effects. I stopped taking the antibiotics and decided to try White Oak Bark , Oil of Oregano, and salt water rinses to keep infection away and to naturally speed up healing. I didn’t get an infection so I think it helped! I spent the rest of the day in bed because I felt so sick from the antibiotics, but my teeth were great. My swelling was significantly reduced and it was barely noticeable.
I convinced my boyfriend to take me to Chipotle. This was the day I had been waiting for since I got my wisdom teeth taken out! I had a burrito bowl with sofritas and soft taco shells on the side, but I started stealing my boyfriend’s chips and guac because I couldn’t resist. Thankfully, I was able to chew the chips and everything was fine! My swelling was also gone 100%. I still had trouble opening my mouth all the way, but there was an improvement.
I had my checkup with my dentist. She told me everything was perfect, and gave me a syringe to use to clean out the extraction sites after eating. I think I had chipotle again afterwards. I could eat anything, and I was pretty much back to normal!
It takes a while for the holes in the extraction sites to close up, and the only thing I have to deal with is food getting stuck in the extraction sites. It’s easy to flush it out with the syringe but its still annoying! I went to Universal Studios on day 8, ate tons of food and screamed my head off on the roller coasters with noooooo issues.
In summary, it took about 4-5 days after my wisdom teeth extraction to be back to normal. The process for me was not bad at all and I think that my dentist had a lot to do with it! She did a great job, and I think that the experience is not as bad as people think!
I’m happy I got it over with!