When Should My Kids Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?

A Parents' Guide

teenager in dentist seat talking to dentist about wisdom teeth removal

As a parent, you want to ensure that your child's dental health is taken care of. One of the common dental issues that teenagers face is the eruption of wisdom teeth. Since many wisdom tooth removal procedures are preventative, deciding to get your child's wisdom teeth removed is a decision many parents take very seriously. Here's what you need to know to make an informed decision.

What are wisdom teeth and why do they need to be removed?

Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last set of molars that grow at the back of the mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 years of age. While this is a natural process, it can lead to several dental issues. To that end, many dental professionals recommend removing these teeth as a preventive measure.

Wisdom teeth are often problematic because they don't have enough space to grow. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth, which is when a tooth is stuck in the bone or gum tissue and cannot erupt properly.

Wisdom teeth can cause other issues as well, such as:

  • Crowding of other teeth
  • Tooth decay and gum disease
  • Infection and inflammation
  • Cysts or tumors
  • Damage to adjacent teeth and jawbone

Wisdom teeth extraction can prevent these potential dental issues and maintain optimal dental health.

What to expect during wisdom teeth removal recovery

The recovery process for any surgical procedure varies from patient to patient. In general, your child can expect the following:

  • Swelling and discomfort: Swelling and discomfort around the surgical site for a few days after the procedure is normal. This can be managed with pain medication and ice packs.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding from the surgical site can be controlled by biting down on gauze or using tea bags.
  • Limited diet: A diet of soft foods and cool liquids for the first few days after the procedure will help to avoid irritating the surgical site.
  • Limited physical activity: Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for the first few days after the procedure to allow for proper healing.

Tips for a smooth and successful wisdom teeth removal experience

Here are some tips for ensuring a smooth and successful wisdom teeth removal experience:

Choose a qualified oral surgeon

It's important to choose a qualified dentist or oral surgeon who has experience performing wisdom tooth extractions.

Follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions

Your child should follow all instructions given to you by your surgeon, such as avoiding food and drink before the procedure.

Arrange for transportation

Your child will need someone to drive them home after the procedure, as they may be groggy from the anesthesia.

Plan for recovery time

Your child will most likely need a few days off from school to recover. If IV anesthesia was administered, extra monitoring will be needed during the first 24 hours following the procedure.

Attend follow-up appointments

You and your child should attend all follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and prevent complications.

Making the decision for your child's wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that can prevent potential dental issues and maintain optimal dental health. We understand the decision to get your child's wisdom teeth removed takes a lot of consideration and trust in your oral surgeon.

As experienced oral surgeons, we are experts at removing wisdom teeth for patients of any age. We are happy to consult with you and your child to create a custom treatment plan for you. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.