Top Tips to Adult Wisdom Teeth Removal

Top Tips to Adult Wisdom Teeth Removal

Did you have to get your wisdom teeth out as an adult?

I was told when I was young I would never have to get my wisdom teeth removed.


Fast forward to 27, sitting in a dentist chair due to headaches and a weird, persistent pain in my right upper gum. The time had come. I needed all four wisdom teeth removed. 

My gum had already been compromised around my right upper tooth and was trapping food. Gross. I had an infection. 

My other three wisdom teeth were impacted and growing in at the wrong angle, pushing my teeth out of alignment. With a packed work schedule, an upcoming friend’s wedding and health insurance switching over at the end of the month, timing was less than ideal. 

While this is a fairly common procedure, there's a massive recovery process that varies for everyone. Especially as an adult, it was something I didn't want to experience. But I do love Netflix and ice cream! 

Luckily, I went through the worst way to get my wisdom teeth out, so you don’t have to. 

Here are my top tips and regrets when getting my wisdom teeth removed from consultation to recovery.

wisdom teeth removal


  1. QUESTIONS Prepare a list of questions and any concerns!

  2. RESEARCH Make sure you do your research and read reviews on your surgeon.

  3. SECOND OPINION Get a second opinion if you can afford it (I personally could not but always advocate for yourself and get a second and even third opinion if you can do it.)

  4. DOLLA DOLLA BILL YALL Go over your pricing options and what your insurance will cover. Do NOT leave this in the hands of someone else. Be extremely involved in the payment process to avoid hidden charges and mystery fees. Keep in mind anesthesia is more expensive and can add anywhere between $400 and up to $1,000 to your initial cost. It is also more expensive if your teeth are impacted or in weird places. With my insurance, I paid about $1,450 out of pocket not including the consultation.

  5. TAKE TIME OFF Schedule your procedure on a Thursday or Friday so you can use the weekend to rest. As an adult, this surgery is going to be harder on you and more draining. But every person is different. Listen to your body! I recommend blocking out a full 7 days to fully recover if you’re going under and getting them all removed.

  6. LAND DOWN UNDER If you’re getting more than one tooth removed, get general anesthesia. I have a fairly high pain tolerance and have heard mixed opinions on whether or not to go under. But I personally wanted to be fully out since I had the issue with my right upper tooth and the other teeth were impacted.


  1. SMOKING Don’t smoke 12 hours before the surgery. In the spirit of total transparency, I did smoke cannabis the night before but I would absolutely never encourage someone else to do this. Ultimately, your body, your choice. Discuss with your doctor your habits, medications, alcohol use - especially if you’re getting general anesthesia.

  2. PRIOR PAIN MEDICATIONS Tylenol is one of the ONLY pain medications you can take before going under general anesthesia and my nurse recommended to not take it 12 hours before your procedure. DO NOT take Advil and always consult with your doctor. I personally was starting my period the night before I was going in for surgery. I was in an insane amount of pain.

  3. FOOD & DRINK GUIDELINES Follow the rules on no eating and drinking 12 hours before the procedure if you’re getting general anesthesia.

  4. SURGERY CLOTHING Wear a short sleeved shirt and loose, comfortable clothing. Also wear something you don’t mind getting dirty and drool-covered.

  5. TRAVEL Make sure you have a ride with a good sense of humor! You’ll want to capture all your goofy moments after the procedure is wrapped up.

  6. MEAL PLAN Plan your meals and go grocery shopping. Don’t leave this until the last minute!

  7. ICE, ICE BABY Get extra ice packs or ask if your surgeon will provide you with one. Ask for a jaw bra - it will save your life. I was greedy and asked for two so while I was using one, the other could be re-freezing.

  8. HEAT IT UP Get a heat pad, too. I really liked having the contrasting temperatures for different aches and pains.

  9. CLEAN + ORGANIZED I was OUT of it and really thanked past me for cleaning and organizing my room. Make your bed cozy and get any big tasks done before the surgery. It’ll be hard to function with the amount of pain you’ll be in and the pain medication you’ll be on.

  10. SIDE EFFECTS Talk to your doctor about the side effects of your pain medications and antibiotics! I cannot stress this enough!!! Pain medication and antibiotics MESS with my stomach. Ask for recommendations on pro-probiotics, supplements and stool softeners to make your recovery as smooth as possible.

  11. YOU NEED THIS Ask for the water dropper for easier rinsing. My nurse was trying to explain it to me when I just got out of surgery and I kept telling her I didn’t understand so she NEVER included it! I didn’t find out until much later that was even a thing! It would have made my life 1000 times easier to clean after meals.

  12. SMALL + SOFT Get a small, soft tooth brush. Harder, larger brushes and bristles will be too abrasive.

  13. POP THE PAIN AWAY Have your doctor prescribe your meds and pick them up BEFORE your surgery. My doctor didn’t prescribe it until after and luckily my amazing boyfriend figured it out but it’s not something you want to be waiting on.

wisdom teeth removal


  1. YOU’RE NOT OK You’ll THINK you feel good because of the anesthesia but make sure to start taking your pain medication right away to get ahead of the oncoming aches.

  2. SLEEP POSITION Position yourself and your pillows so you aren’t sleeping on either side of your face. You will wake up in so much pain!

  3. SLEEP AND SLEEP SOME MORE Get as much sleep as possible!

  4. FLUIDS Try to drink plenty of water, it will make you feel more full.

  5. EATING First day foods should be soft or liquid. I opted for cooler foods like ice cream, cool soup and applesauce.

  6. STIFF MOUTH You’ll have a really hard time opening your mouth so don’t force it but try to move it as much as you can so it doesn’t feel too stiff later in your jaw.

  7. NO RINSING Don’t rinse the day of but after begin rinsing and make sure you have the special prescription mouth rinse!


  1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY Be consistent with your medication to avoid heavy pain. Day 2, 3 and 4 were the worst for me pain and swelling-wise.

  2. SECOND SECOND OPINION Get a second opinion if you feel you need one on your recovery! I loved my surgeon but I know people who weren’t as lucky and found issues later in life from bad practices. If you think your surgeon botched it, find someone else ASAP to take a second look and make sure you’re healing properly.

  3. DO GO BACK Don’t hesitate to go back! I went back TWICE because I wanted to make sure I was ok to fly and I also felt pain for longer than I felt was acceptable. It turned out I did have a small infection! I got a pack of antibiotics and was cleared up at the end of the script. Don’t ignore your body!

  4. BE AWARE You’ll be on antibiotics so be aware if you plan on drinking alcohol, take birth control or plan on doing any beauty procedures. Typically you need to wait two weeks to be off antibiotics for some procedures and treatments! It also really affects your drinking tolerance and can make you black out so be aware!

  5. EAT YOUR GREENS I am a cannabis consumer and I waited two weeks to smoke again. Honestly, I wish I waited another week longer. I did still consume THC and CBD through tinctures, soft gels and sublingual strips. It really assisted with my eating and nausea from the pain meds! I also live in the legal state of California and reside in Los Angeles.



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