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Wisdom Teeth Removal: What Teens Should Expect

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In your mid-teens, wisdom teeth begin to show up on your dental X-rays. You may begin to feel this third set of molars as they push against your back gums.

Wisdom teeth sometimes cause pain, swelling, cavities, or gum disease. When they have to come out it’s usually because:

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  • They’re impacted. Because they sit so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth can get trapped in your jawbone or gums. This can be painful.
  • They come in at the wrong angle. They may press against your other teeth.
  • Your mouth isn’t big enough. Your jaw has no room for an extra set of molars.

Between the ages of 17 and 25, many people have their wisdom teeth removed. Often, they go to a special dentist called an oral surgeon, who removes the teeth in his office.

Wisdom teeth removal is usually an easy, short process. Your mouth should heal in a few days. You should be able to go back to school or work the next day.

Before Surgery

You’ll meet with an oral surgeon to talk about the removal. You can bring a parent or other caregiver with you to go over the procedure. Use this time to:

  • Discuss any health problems you have.
  • List medications you’re taking.
  • Ask questions.
  • Talk about anesthesia, drugs that numb you for the surgery.

During Surgery

Your surgery should take 45 minutes or less.  

Your doctor will use one of these types of anesthesia so you don’t feel anything during the surgery:

Local: Your doctor will numb your mouth with a shot of Novocaine in your gums.You may also breathe nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax or even doze during surgery. You should feel alert again shortly afterward.

IV sedation: The doctor will numb your mouth and also give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You might sleep the whole time.

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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