I dreaded getting my wisdom teeth out. I have had my fair share of surgeries and I was not ready to sign up for another one. I thought maybe I could sneak on a mission without getting them out, but the x-rays said otherwise. In fact, when the surgeon saw them, he said "These are bad. Your recovery is going to be quite a doozy." Not what I wanted to hear just minutes before being laid on the operating table. The surgeon was able to squeak me in just 2 days after calling for an appointment, meaning I didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare mentally. The night before, I googled and read up on what I needed to know to make the experience as uneventful as possible. Here's what I learned from my own experience:
Don't eat after midnight the night before. Because of the anesthetic used, it can be dangerous to eat any closer to surgery. Because I have had plenty of other surgeries, I figured this was the case, but I didn't find out for sure until it would have been too late.
Wait to eat until the numbing wears off. By then, it should be safe to be done chomping on gauze. Having all the feeling in your mouth also makes eating much easier.
Do not use a straw. I was glad I read about this the night before, because I was to loopy to read the doctor's instructions after surgery. I was fully planning on using straws because I thought it would help keep liquid away from the incision sites. Drinking from a straw creates a vacuum in your mouth that can disrupt the forming blood clots needed to heal properly.
My diet was really only heavily restricted for the first couple of days. I ate applesauce and pureed soup. After that, I could eat most things, I just had to be careful. I mostly chewed with my front teeth and made sure to rinse out my mouth. I stayed away from crunchy things that could get stuck in the incision sites. Cold foods are fine, but it is important to stay away from hot foods for the first couple of days.
Ice is your friend. Ice is only needed for 48 hours, but I used it much longer. I never got much swelling, but the ice was just comfortable.
Lortab. Lortab. Lortab. After a couple of days, I was okay if I didn't take medicine (but certainly more grumpy due to the pain I was experiencing), but if I did, I had virtually no pain.
Sleep with head elevated. In order to prevent dry sockets, sleep with your head elevated more than usual. The worst part of the surgery was that I could not sleep. I am a side sleeper, so to not be able to lay on my side made for a miserable few nights.
Stitches are nasty. My stitches were the kind that dissolved, but no one prepared me for the awful taste when they come out.
That's pretty much it. All in all, much better than I expected.