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What You Need To Know About Your Child's Wisdom Teeth

The last set of teeth to come in on most children are their wisdom teeth, also known as their third molars. There wisdom teeth come in behind the rest of the molars that are already in their mouth. Here are the basics of what you need to know about your child's wisdom teeth coming in.

When They Arrive

The age that one's wisdom teeth come in can vary greatly. For some individuals, their wisdom teeth appear when they are in their late teens. For other individuals, they arrive in their early to mid-twenties.

How To Tell If They Are On Their Way

The best way to determine if your child's wisdom teeth are starting to come in is to take them to the dentist every six months. Your dentist can then perform x-rays to determine if your child's wisdom teeth are starting to push through yet or not.

When your dentist performs these x-rays, they should also be able to make an educated guess on if your child is going to need to have their wisdom teeth removed or not. If your child has a small mouth, they may not have enough room for their wisdom teeth to come in without harming and pushing together the rest of the teeth in their mouth. If this is the case, your dentist should be able to tell you that early on so you are prepared for the possibility of extract once your child's molars start to come through.

If your child's mouth is large enough, and their wisdom teeth appear to be growing in straight, they may not need to have their wisdom teeth extracted at all.

When Extraction Makes Sense

One cannot always in advanced if your child's wisdom teeth may need to be removed. Instead, your child will exhibit symptoms that make it clear that their wisdom teeth need to be removed. Your child's wisdom teeth may become partially erupted, which means that they are in the process of pushing through your child's gum and into their mouth, but can't continue to push out because there is not enough room.

When this happens, your child may complain of pain in their mouth or they may complain that their gum feels sensitive and swollen in the back of their mouth. Their face may also swell in the check area as the tooth pushes forward. If your child exhibits these systems while in their late teens to early twenties, you should take them to the dentist right away and see if their wisdom teeth need extracted.

Sometimes, your child's wisdom teeth will not be break through at all, which is referred to as an impacted molar. Sometimes, this will cause your child no issues at all. However, sometimes an impacted wisdom tooth may push against other teeth, and cause your child discomfort in their mouth or gums. If your child complains of discomfort in their mouth, have x-rays done to determine if they have an impacted tooth that needs to be extracted.

The Extraction Process

In most circumstances, your child's wisdom teeth can be removed under local anesthesia at their regular dental office. However, in some circumstances, generally when the wisdom teeth are really deep or in an awkward position, they may need to go to an oral surgeon and be put under general anesthesia for the procedure. Your dentist should be able to tell you which type of procedure is best suited for your child's particular situation. Contact a dental office, such as the Family Medical Dental Center, for more information.