Be On the Wise Side
Hey, Mom and Dad. It’s cool to be wise, especially when it helps your kiddos out in their teen and young adult years. Wisdom teeth, also known as the 3rd molars, certainly have a reputation that may cause nervous feelings because they often need removing. So, at what age do wisdom teeth come in? What can parents expect? Typically, the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in occurs between the ages of 17-21, but they can emerge outside of that range as well. If your child is in their teen years, it’s particularly important to keep an eye on these back molars. We’ll explain what you need to know so you can walk away as one smart cookie!
Wisdom Teeth that Need Removing Do Not Always Cause Discomfort
If you’re not feeling discomfort, then you should just keep going about your business, right? Well, not quite. Wisdom teeth are a bit tricky. We’ve got to take measures to outsmart them in order to prevent big complications later on. Impacted wisdom teeth are extremely common for those that have them coming in. This means that the wisdom tooth cannot emerge the way that it is supposed to. For example, the wisdom tooth could be angled incorrectly or there may not be enough room for the tooth to come above the gum’s surface. Wisdom teeth removal is highly recommended at this point in order to keep the mouth healthy and to prevent damage to the gums, bone, and surrounding teeth. There’s a lot at stake!
Wisdom Teeth and Cleanliness Obstacles
Let’s say your child’s teeth are coming in correctly. Yay! Here’s another factor to consider though. Since wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth and take up plenty of space, they can be especially challenging to keep clean. You need to be able to reach toothbrushes and floss pretty far back in the mouth and ensure that all surfaces of that tooth stay clean. If this doesn’t happen, the tooth becomes susceptible to cavities and even infections down the road. It’s always best to prevent these problems before they start and cause major complications.
Not All Dentists Remove Wisdom Teeth in their Office
Imagine that your child’s dentist determines that the wisdom teeth need to be removed. Can a general dentist remove wisdom teeth? You may be surprised to learn that many general dentists will refer you to a local oral surgeon. Oral surgeons have more training to do after dental school. With several extra years of training under their belt, an oral surgeon specialist can make the removal of wisdom teeth especially seamless even if complications occur. Oral surgery offices also have the means for deeper sedation if that is necessary for the individual. Of course, every office and individual is different. Be sure to check with your child’s dentist to see what they recommend.
Younger is Best
It’s crucial that troublesome wisdom teeth be taken out in our younger years. Even if you suspect that your child is someone that can keep their teeth, it’s still necessary to get x-rays of the teeth and consult your dentist about the best option. They’ll be able to tell you if the wisdom teeth can stay or need to get out of town for good. Doing so will also likely save your child considerable discomfort down the road.
The Wisdom Tooth Experience Varies for Everyone
We often hear that wisdom tooth removal is an extremely uncomfortable experience. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this and no one experience is exactly alike. During the procedure, your child shouldn’t be feeling anything at all. They will be either numbed at the sites or have sedation options to take advantage of. Once the procedure is over, you’ll be able to use medications and ice the area to help with any discomfort. Most will never be in love with their wisdom tooth removal experience, but a large majority of people feel much better within a two-week period and realize that it’s not so bad after all. To make the experience after removal as comfortable as possible, you’ll want to help your child prevent wisdom teeth dry sockets. We have an entire blog post on what they are and how to prevent these pesky nuisances. Find it here.
We know parents worry and want what’s best. We find that informed parents are able to put their minds at ease and are capable of making great decisions. Knowledge is power! If you have a question about your child’s wisdom teeth, it’s time to set up an appointment. We’ll walk you through the steps involved, and you’ll feel much better after speaking with us. Contact us today.