Getting your wisdom teeth removed is such a common procedure these days that it’s almost a rite of passage among teenagers. But why do some of us have to get them out anyway, and why do we even have them in the first place? Keep reading to learn how how your wisdom teeth can affect your smile from Washington Dental Associates — your premier dentist in Bergenfield!
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Many patients wonder why we even have wisdom teeth if they usually need to be removed anyway. The most widely accepted theory about wisdom teeth goes back to our early human ancestors. Because they had a very different diet — mainly roots, raw meat and fibrous plants — they needed extra molars to grind up tough food. These days, we eat much softer foods. We also have smaller jaws that don’t fit in those third molars quite as well.
Why Do People Need Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
While some people never get their wisdom teeth, these third molars will show up for most of us between the ages of 17 and 21. Unfortunately, they don’t always come in the way they should, which is why a lot of us have to get them removed.
Here are a few reasons why Dr. Tong may recommend getting your wisdom teeth out
- They are impacted. Impaction means that the wisdom teeth don’t come through and become trapped in the jaw, under the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can form cysts around them and do significant damage to nearby teeth and bone.
- There isn’t enough space for them. This can cause damage to nearby teeth, tooth crowding, and jaw pain.
- They don’t come in correctly. Wisdom teeth that come in partially or aren’t in the right position can make flossing more difficult, allowing food and bacteria to become trapped and cause problems.
If your wisdom teeth come in correctly and you are able to clean them properly, you will most likely not need to have them removed.
Remember These Tips If You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out
To facilitate healing after wisdom teeth removal, make sure you get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water and avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, and hot beverages for the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure. And of course, everyone’s favorite part of the healing process, eat soft foods such as ice cream, yogurt, and applesauce for the first day. You can add in broth-based soups one to two days after the procedure, but stay away from hard or chewy foods for one to two weeks.
When is the Best Time to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The summer! We know summer is for fun, but it is also time to do the things you may not have time for during the school year. With a lot of time to recover without the stress of exams or classes, it’s really the best time for a younger patient to have their wisdom teeth removed. It also gives them the excuse to up their summer ice cream intake!
Smile More Dentistry Wants Your Smile To Shine!
We treat wisdom teeth removal on a case-by-case basis. We will keep a close eye on the third molars as they come as they come in. Together, we will make the best decision for YOU! And remember, having your third molars come in may cause some discomfort, but if it causes pain, come and see us, your dentist in Bergenfield, immediately. Request an appointment if you need to today.