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Dentist checking girl's teeth
Your child has come to that point in her life when the dentist has said, “It’s time.” While that could mean many things, what your child’s dentist is referring to is it’s time to have her wisdom teeth removed. These pesky third molars don’t serve the same purpose they once did, so usually, they don’t need to stay; however, that’s not always the case. Whether your child is preparing to take on the look of a chipmunk for a few days or not, let us explain why there’s a need for this type of removal and what to expect.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

These third molars are often the last permanent teeth to erupt. As a result, there’s usually very little space left, which means they can become impacted or trapped beneath the gum line. This can lead to pain, swelling, tenderness, and even disease. Typically, when your child is between the age of 16 and 20, his or her dentist will suggest wisdom teeth extraction if it is deemed necessary. A few other reasons why they may need to be removed include:

  • They come in at the wrong angle
  • There’s no room for them because your mouth isn’t large enough
  • The development of cavities or gum disease

The Removal Process: What Can My Child Expect?

If your child’s family dentist in Valparaiso believes it is necessary for his or her wisdom to come out, a routine procedure is performed to remove the molars.

Taking Them Out

Before the dentist begins, your child will be administered anesthesia to prevent any pain during the removal. If the teeth are impacted, the dentist will make an incision in the gums to remove the tooth in sections. Stitches will be used to close the wound but will dissolve within days.

Time to Recover

Once the procedure is complete, there will be some swelling and tenderness, and maybe some bruising. Ice packs and prescribed pain medication can be used to alleviate any discomfort. In the days following the procedure, make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids, eating soft foods, and brushing his or her teeth starting on the second day.

How Would I Know if Wisdom Teeth Extraction Isn’t Necessary?

If there isn’t any pain from these third molars, then why should they be removed? The answer is that they may not need to be. However, it’s important to visit with your child’s dentist so a proper examination can be done to determine if removal is necessary. The dentist may determine to leave them in place if:

  • They’re healthy
  • They’ve fully erupted (have completely grown in)
  • They’re not affecting your child’s bite and are positioned correctly
  • They’re being cleaned (brushed and flossed) daily

Only your child’s dentist can determine if wisdom teeth should be removed. For most, this type of extraction will be likely but don’t always assume that’s the case. If it is necessary, tell the dentist about any medications your child may be taking, so he or she can ensure a smooth and easy procedure.