Before “Back to School” Wisdom

Summer is in full swing! Between all those trips to the pool, BBQs with friends, and family vacations don’t forget to get your kids in to see their dentist before they head back to school next month!shutterstock_smart teen

Before “Back to School” 

Do you suspect that your teen needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, or have you been told by your dentist that removing them would be the best option, but have put it off? Summer is a great time to get some of those bigger procedures done without working around missed tests and schoolwork. While most normal activity may resume after the first day, it is best to take it easy for a good 3-5 days and it is smart to have the procedure done when your teen isn’t pushed to return to normal school year activities too soon.

Does your child need their wisdom teeth removed?

Some joke that wisdom teeth make a person wiser and therefore should be kept, but truth be told, most of the time it’s better to take wisdom teeth out! Generally, wisdom teeth start to appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Whether they erupt or not, is another story. Sometimes wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to come in properly and lie horizontally instead of being positioned as they should be.  If this happens, they can cause further dental problems.

  • Wisdom teeth usually cause crowding and can even be extremely painful if an impacted wisdom tooth pushes against the roots of a second molar.
  • Crowded wisdom teeth that come in at an angle because of the lack of space in the mouth can rub and wear down adjacent teeth.
  • A partially erupted or impacted wisdom tooth often collects plaque and bacteria because they hard to clean with a toothbrush. This can lead to gum disease.

When is the best time to get them removed?

In most cases, the younger a person is, the easier it is to take wisdom teeth out because roots may not have developed all the way and gums tend to heal more quickly at a younger age. In order for us to properly advise you on the right course of action for your teen, panoramic (or full mouth) x-rays are taken to view the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if they are growing properly. This may need to be monitored over the course of a few years.

What is the procedure like and how can I help with the recovery process?

If your teen does need to have their wisdom teeth removed, we will do our best to make the process smooth and as comfortable as possible. We offer general or local anesthesia to help with the procedure. Encourage your teen to take it easy for the first five days. We don’t want to do anything that could dislodge the blood clot from the extraction site because that blood clot helps it to heal properly. It is normal to experience some pain and swelling, so a painkiller and an ice pack are usually recommended.  Also, rinse your mouth with salt water to keep it clean and eat soft foods for a couple of days. Shakes and smoothies are great, not only for the blazing hot days of summer but for letting your teen’s mouth heal. They’ll be back to the summer fun in no time!

To get your teen scheduled, call our office today at (208) 402-1040!