How to Get Ready for Your Wisdom Teeth Removal

A group of happy diverse cheering teenagers

You’ve made the decision to get your wisdom teeth removed. Congratulations! That means you’re probably finishing high school or already have. Well done. As you move toward adulthood with the wisdom that only comes with the passage of time, your third and final set of molars have come in. Your dentist has recommended you have them removed, and you’ve got lots of friends who already have. What should you do ahead of time to make sure this whole experience goes as well as possible? Check out our answers to the following frequently asked questions. A few key steps will ensure a quick and successful recovery.

What’s okay to eat after my wisdom teeth removal?

First things first. No eating at all the morning of your surgery, or at least the eight hours leading up to it. If you take medications and we approve them ahead of time, those are allowed with just a little sip of water. We know fasting is no fun, especially for growing teens, but the reward on the other side is worth it.

The day before your wisdom teeth removal, help your family stock up on all your favorite soft foods, like ice cream, Jell-O, yogurt, smoothies, and milkshakes. Then, after surgery, once you’re feeling good about moving on from clear liquids, enjoy these delicious treats, but consume them slowly.

Resist the urge to drink with a straw, including the ones in your water bottles. That could dislodge the clot that will be covering your extraction site which can lead to lots of pain and a condition called “dry socket.” Also, if you smoke, which we highly recommend against anyway, refrain from that habit while you’re healing as it can also cause delay to your recovery.

I know this is an outpatient surgery. Can I drive myself?

No. Even the best of drivers should not drive after any type of sedation, even the mildest. So, make sure to bring an adult driver with you to your surgery. We will not begin the extraction unless you have one with you. And ask that companion of yours to hang out for the day. Your healing will most likely be very uneventful, but it’s wise to have someone around just in case.

Will I feel like going to work or school after my wisdom teeth removal?

No, you’ll be sleepy. And even if you do feel amazing, don’t go to school or work or any of your normal activities. In fact, don’t even do homework or housework. Kick back on the couch and watch Netflix. Or nap all day. The best thing you can do for a quick and complete recovery is rest.

What do I do if my mouth starts hurting?

You won’t feel any pain at all during your surgery because we will gently sedate you and make sure your experience with us is safe and comfortable. But later in the day, as you return home and the anesthesia wears off, you’ll want to use an ice pack on your face and take over-the-counter meds to manage any discomfort. We’ll also send you home with a prescription for stronger pain medication to have on hand.

How long will it take to feel normal again?

Not long. Most of our patients are back to their busy lives within 3 or 4 days. If your surgery is more involved and your teeth are impacted it could take a few extra days for a full recovery. It takes a few months for your wounds to heal. So, be careful with what you eat and how your brush during that time. Remember to avoid straws and tobacco. Dislodging the blood clot or the stitches would prolong the whole process.

Ready to tackle this?

If you’re still feeling hesitant about moving forward with this surgery, remember that our expert oral surgeon, Dr. Li, removes wisdom teeth every day in our Flushing NY office. The procedure is quick and easy, and if you are prepared and follow the simples steps we’ve mapped out for you, your wisdom teeth removal will be a complete success. Before surgery, we’ll provide you with all the pre-and post-op instructions you’ll need. There should be no surprises. You’re in excellent hands. You’ve got this!

To read more about wisdom teeth view our informative pages below.

Are you suffering from wisdom tooth pain?

Call our Flushing NY office (347) 943-1960 to schedule an a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan or

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