Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wisdom Teeth 101

How To Handle Your Wisdom-Teeth Removal Week

My Experience:
On August 15th, 2011 at 8am, my twin brother David and I got all four of our wisdom teeth removed.  I was so scared I was crying in the lobby while we waited for the assistant to call us back.  The actual interior of the lobby was beautiful, fancy, calming (that’s always helpful) and classic.  I was very impressed of the structure, colors and design.  Dr. Harris was phenomenal and the assistants were well trained.  They explained a couple things about the procedure and comforted me in the best way they could (even though I was still crying and tears were streaming down my face as I looked quietly at my mom-no joke.)  I’m always scared of unknown pain, surgery, etc… but this experience was interesting. 

I left my family as I followed a nurse to a different room where the teeth removal would take place.  I asked for cold-spray on my arm where they would give me an IV to fall asleep aka conk out.  I was grateful that I was asleep during the process and I HIGHLY recommend you have that happen to you as well. 

When I woke up, I actually remember sitting in the wheelchair, gauze was in my mouth (it was not overflowing), and the assistant was chatting with me while we waited for David to finish.  She asked me how I was, what I felt like, if I was hungry, if the gauze was alright, etc… I remember replying “I’m okay, I feel sleepy, yes I’m hungry, the gauze is fine…” and even though I was a little bit loopy, I held it together and was rather quiet, still, and as focused as I could be. 

I breathed in through my nose and exhaled from my mouth.  You may think this is funny but I brought my BIG black sunglasses to wear afterwards because I knew I’d still be a little tearful.  Dr. Harris explained that girls tend to be more tearful afterwards whereas boys are more talkative and upbeat.  When David was wheeled over to me, he was talking and looking around just like Dr. Harris had said. 

The assistant, and Dr. Harris slowly walked us to the car.  I chose the back seat and David chose shotgun.  Of course David brought his camera to videotape himself and a little bit of me afterwards to later show friends and family.  I rarely talked- gave a few thumbs up, some whimpering replies, some head-nods, and had placed my hand lightly over my swollen cheeks and chin.  When we got home, I picked the recliner chair that already had my favorite pillows and blanket on it. 

This is the third day of the recovery and I’m told it’s the hardest day with the most swelling.  I agree.  Plus, I feel loopy, and a tad bit dizzy.  But I have found some great tips in staying occupied, entertained, and relaxed during the long week of wisdom teeth recovery.

Shower the night before your appointment.  During the week, keep your hair sleeked back in a basic ponytail.  I would also tidy your room a little bit so that you’re more relaxed and at peace with yourself.  A clean space always makes me happy.   Buy a small toothbrush so that you only have to minimally open your mouth to clean it.  I’d also purchase some mini mouth wash.  Stock up on soft foods (which are listed under the Food section.)  Last but not least, have a positive view on things.  You’ll only be having this done ONCE and then it’s over. 
It’s good to keep gauze in your mouth until the amount of blood decreases.  Try not to talk while the gauze is in the sides/back of your mouth.  Keep your fully charged cell phone and your recovery kit from the doctor’s near you.  Keep cold sacks and later on hot sacks on your jaw/chin to lower the swelling and pain.  It’s a no-brainer to wear your pj’s, loose tees, and comfy sweatpants.  Soft pillows and wool blankets will obviously keep you relaxed, comfortable, and sleepy.  It’s always helpful (and in my case quicker) if you sleep during most of the recovery.

Your doctor, (and common sense) will tell you to only have the softest food possible.  Jello snacks, mashed potatoes with butter, pudding snacks, and go-gurts yogurt are great foods!  Just be sure to not eat a lot of them.  You don’t want to get yourself sick, bloated, or even gain weight.  Also, be sure to avoid soup etc… that has small ingredients/bits in it.  Be sure to use the flattest spoon you have so that you don’t have to open your mouth as much.  You will need to take ibuprofen and the pills your doctor gives you.  Keep track on a piece of paper of when you can take your next pills.  Be aware of having a little snack before taking your pills so that you don’t feel sick to your stomach (which can occasionally happen.)

During the first half of the week, you feel nauseated, loopy (from the constant medications), and even a little bit grumpy.  It’s best if you just keep your mouth shut and your body still.  So, I suggest having a Disney-a-thon or even your entire DVD-Collection-a-thon.  Cuddle with your pet, text your friends, listen to music, make lists of things you need to do later once you feel better, put up some blog posts (like I am!), do some facebook, read a girly magazine, like Seventeen!  Once you can handle being awake longer, try reading a few good books while still cozying up in your snuggie and favorite pillows.  I’ve recently read Hex Hall, Crazy, Busy, Beautiful, Frumpy To Foxy, For Teens Only, P.S. I Love You, and Beauty Confidential.  I enjoyed all these books so enjoy reading whatever you’d like!   Try to occupy yourself during this boring week of waiting and healing.  The week will seem to go faster if you’re enjoying yourself.  

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