As many parents know, good oral hygiene is essential to your child’s overall health. After all, tooth decay is 20 times more common than diabetes and five times more common than childhood asthma — but preventing prevalent dental conditions can help to protect your child from a host of other health problems.
Ultimately, that extends far beyond routine teeth cleanings at your child’s dentist office. Brushing and flossing are paramount, of course. But even if your child never experiences a cavity, they may still need to undergo dental procedures. That’s often the case for the wisdom teeth removal kids and teens need to experience. In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at some frequently asked questions about wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom teeth are actually our third (and final) set of molars — the flatter teeth we typically use to grind down food. Most of us develop four wisdom teeth, but you can have more or less (or none at all).
If your child’s wisdom teeth are present and grow in with no complications, your dentist may not recommend their removal. But your dentist may recommend your child or teen have their wisdom teeth removed for any number of reasons, including:
While patients do reserve the right to refuse dental recommendations, it’s a good idea to chat in-depth with your child’s dentist to fully understand the issues that may be contributing to their recommendation surrounding wisdom tooth removal.
Provided there’s enough room in the patient’s mouth for wisdom teeth to grow in, these molars can usually be seen on X-rays by the time the patient turns 12. In most cases, wisdom teeth will start to erupt when the patient is anywhere between the ages of 15 and 25. Your dentist will likely recommend that your child have their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens or early 20s, but this can vary a lot depending on the specific case. Older people can still have their wisdom teeth removed, but complications become more likely as you age. That said, removing wisdom teeth too early can make the procedure more challenging for the oral surgeon or dentist.
Your dental specialist will give your teenager anesthesia or a sedative, which will numb the mouth. They’ll then make an incision in the gum tissue in order to expose the teeth. Those teeth will then be extracted, after which your oral surgeon will clean the site and stitch up the wound. Gauze will be placed over the wound to promote clotting. Patients will typically experience some minor swelling and pain after the procedure but will usually recover within a few days.
If you want to learn more about where your child is in the wisdom tooth eruption stage or how to plan ahead for wisdom tooth extraction, we’re here to help. Make an appointment with us today to get started.