5 Questions Parents Should Ask Dentists About Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are back teeth that people sometimes have removed for a variety of reasons. They can grow in wrong, your child’s mouth may be too small to comfortably hold them, or your child may have cavities or gum disease. Your dentist will usually refer your child to an oral surgeon like us to have them removed for their safety and comfort. To understand just what to expect for your child’s wisdom tooth removal surgery, here are the top 5 questions to ask your dentist:
- How old should my child be to have their wisdom teeth removed? Wisdom teeth begin development around eight years old and start to emerge around 12-14. Children usually have them removed around 15-25 years old as a preventative measure. Wisdom teeth develop at different rates based on genetic and environmental factors, so your child’s age may vary. While some people choose to wait, depending on the position in the jaw, wisdom teeth usually never fully erupt which can create numerous problems as an adult including cavities.
- How long is the recovery time after wisdom teeth removal? While it can vary from person to person, recovery time is typically about 5-7 days. The first 24-72 hours will likely involve some swelling and some discomfort. Swelling will usually peak about two days after surgery then subside. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, a prescription may be given for pain medication and possibly an antibiotic. Your child can be expected to return to their regular activity about one week after surgery.
- Does my child need to go under for the procedure? IV sedation is a common and safe procedure used to reduce pain and anxiety during many surgeries. While IV sedation is optional, it will make your child immensely more comfortable during the procedure. All of our doctors have extensive training and certifications in sedation and anesthesia. It is also possible that, due to the complexity needed for the procedure, the surgeons will utilize medical anesthesiologists for the procedure. Our entire surgical team is also trained and certified meeting rigorous standards for patient safety.
- What can my child eat after the surgery? Your child is encouraged to eat. Staying nourished and hydrated is key to a full recovery. We recommend soft foods like scrambled eggs, baked fish, and mashed fruits and vegetables. Because your child will be numb for several hours after surgery, it’s best to avoid hot foods such as soup as it may burn them. Water is the best way to stay hydrated, but your child shouldn’t use a straw to drink after surgery as this can loosen the blood clots needed to heal.
- Can my child brush their teeth after the surgery? Oral hygiene is encouraged post-op. Brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush or even a child-sized one for the first few days may be a good idea. Avoid rigorous spitting or swishing for the first week, however, rinsing the mouth out with warm salt water is helpful in the healing process.
If wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to grow, known as impacted wisdom teeth, they can cause serious pain for your child. The best way to know if your child should have their wisdom teeth removed is to visit a professional. Your child will need an x-ray and an oral examination for the dentist to determine their needs. Call us today at (469) 264-8921 for a consultation.