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How to Help Your Teen if They Need Their Wisdom Teeth Removed

Although wisdom tooth removals are extremely common, it can still be nerve-wracking to think about, especially when it's your child who needs the oral surgery.  

Wisdom teeth are typically removed during adolescent years, which can present conflicts in your child's schedule. It means they'll need to take time off school to undergo the procedure. And since wisdom teeth removal is a necessary and delicate process requiring your active participation and guidance, you'll need to find a convenient time to book the procedure. 

Follow this guide to help your teen prepare for the surgical removal of their wisdom teeth if your family dentist recommends it. 

Why Wisdom Teeth Removal Is Important

The removal of wisdom teeth is often necessary for most teens and young adults and has in some ways become a rite of passage in the society. This procedure isn't always pleasant, whether your child is a teenager or a young adult. However, as a parent, you can offer guidance and support to help the child embrace the process positively and heal faster. 

Wisdom teeth are in the four corners of the top and bottom halves of the mouth. They often erupt after the permanent teeth have formed. Not everyone has enough room in their mouths to accommodate this new set of molars without affecting other existing teeth. 

The result is usually overcrowding, resulting in infection of the gum tissue. Consequently, gum disease may set in around nearby teeth. And when teeth are pushed so close together, it makes cleaning difficult, resulting in poor oral hygiene. 

Your family dentist or orthodontist may recommend that it's necessary to have your child's teeth removed. The best you can do is help your child to know what to expect at the oral surgery practice and after the procedure is done. This level of support helps reassure your child. Our dental experts at North Shore Smile Surgery put together these tips to help you prepare your child for the procedure. 

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What To Expect Before And During The Procedure

For most teens, a wisdom teeth removal could be their first major surgical procedure, so it's normal to feel apprehensive, nervous, and uncertain. As a parent, the best you can do to help calm them is to show them the benefits of the procedure, plus let them know what will happen at the dentist. That's the best approach to dispel apprehension. 

Remind your child that they will be unconscious or asleep during the procedure so they won't feel pain. At North Shore Smile Surgery, we use general anesthesia and always allow parents to stay in the recovery room when their child wakes up. It is good also to tell your child that you'll take care of them until they heal. 

We always provide a list of instructions to give you an idea of what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. You might want to go over them with your child to prepare and make them comfortable. The recovery period usually takes a week or two.

The instructions also include a list of recommended foods your child should take during the healing process. Stock up on your child's favorite foods before the surgery so you won't have to rush to the grocery store later on.

Since the process involves anesthesia, ensure that the child doesn't eat anything six hours before the surgery. This is to prevent complications with anesthesia. Here's an overview of the wisdom teeth procedure to help your child know what to expect. 

  1. Wisdom teeth are the third set of four molars that usually erupt last. They are located inside the jaw behind the molars
  2. Some people naturally have enough room in their mouths to accommodate those teeth. However, for the vast majority, removing them is the best solution. This is because overcrowding sometimes causes pain, discomfort, and infection.
  3. The surgical procedure can be completed on a single visit to the oral surgeon. The outcome of the process depends on the complexity of the patient's condition and existing dental issues. 
  4. Local or general anesthesia is used to make the process painless. The oral surgeon uses different procedures to affect the extractions, and these procedures will be shared with you. 
  5. We have highly qualified dental experts and use advanced technology for effective outcomes.

What To Expect After The Procedure

Once you get back home, the young person will spend the better part of the day sleeping. When they wake up, you should give them pain relievers and follow the instructions the dentist gave you. For the first two days, provide the teen ice packs to press on their jaws for the first two days. Also, give them warm salty water to rinse their mouth. 

They should take soft foods like broth for the first 24 hours, then gradually move to semi-soft foods like yogurt,  protein shake, and blueberries. Also, introduce pasta, oatmeal, and mashed potatoes and ensure the teen doesn't sip through straws but takes small sips from a spoon or glass. 

Your child will most likely experience swelling in the jaw on the third day. This is no cause for worry as it should disappear after a few days. Finally, the child should be completely healed after a week or two. 

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No doubt your child may be anxious about the experience and concerned about missing school or activities for the procedure. Help your young adult prepare and stay organized so that the procedure causes the least amount of disruption.

Try to avoid last minute consultations and surgery so that your child can choose the best time for the procedure. Many parents try to schedule during their child's holiday or summer breaks. You can get one of these coveted spots by calling us as soon as your dentist or orthodontist tells you that your child should have their wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon. 

Why Have Your Teen's Wisdom Teeth Removed At North Shore Smile Surgery? 

At North Shore Smile Surgery, we have the experience, expertise, and technology needed to perform a safe and effective dental procedure on your child. We also work with nearly every dental insurance coverage, so your child's wisdom teeth removal will likely be at least partially covered.

We can help you and your child navigate this process so it goes as smoothly and comfortably as possible. After all, we have been removing teeth every day for over 30 years!

If you're planning to have your child's wisdom teeth removed, contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team of professionals.


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