\I’m enthusiastically closing the door on another rite of passage in my parenting journey — a child getting wisdom teeth removed. I’m two for two in that category and now I can tag out.
Last week, my youngest had her wisdom teeth wrenched out of her mouth (and two additional back teeth that never obeyed the laws of mature tooth eruption and stoically remained at half-mast). My thrill of being done with that bloody, swelling mess is beyond measure.
Wisdom teeth should be renamed “teeth that will be yanked out at a cost of thousands of dollars and cause your teenager agony.”
So maybe, “trouble teeth” would be a more accurate moniker. I know that wisdom teeth got their name because they’re the last teeth to erupt in a human’s month and therefore you’re allegedly older and wiser when these four teeth make their appearance.
But modern dental practices usually make sure those bad boys are out before they have a chance to say howdy so. In an effort for truth in labeling “trouble teeth” would be a lot more accurate.
Just think about it. Being told that your wisdom teeth have to be eradicated makes you pause, but if your dentist tells you that it’s time for your trouble teeth to be removed, you’re going to be much more on board. Or maybe they should be called “all the money you paid for your child’s orthodontia is going down the drain unless these teeth come out.”
I realize that title is way too long so how about something like “straight teeth busters?”
I used to think wisdom teeth removal was a scam, mainly because at my advanced middle age I still had all four of my wisdom teeth and they were fabulous. Cavity free and living large in the back of my mouth in all their third molar glory.
But last year, one of them went rogue and I was dispatched to an oral surgeon. After seeing the expense of getting the tooth removed with and without going under, I opted for the $200 just numb the area and get it outta there plan. The removal took minutes and was no big deal. It was the aftermath that was horrendous.
I experienced first-hand why wisdom teeth removal is a young person’s game.
Apparently as you age the bones in your mouth get harder and the roots in the wisdom tooth grow downward toward the nerve that controls the feeling in your lower lip, resulting in a host of worries. I, a woman, who experienced child birth with no anesthesia, am here to tell you that the pain of recovering from having one, single, wisdom tooth removed from my aged mouth was worse than natural child birth.
The whole experience solidified why those trouble teeth are expunged when a mouth is still youthful and the roots have yet to hunker down with a vengeance thus making the teeth much more willing to be liberated.
Now, I’m a wisdom (or trouble teeth) removal evangelist. When moms say they want to wait until their kids are grown up and have their own dental insurance or share, like I used to, that they don’t see what the big deal is because they still have their wisdom teeth, I groan and do a dramatic one woman show of my tale of pain and agony from one, single, wisdom tooth going buh-bye.
Much like pulling off a smokey eye or wearing a cropped top with ripped jeans, wisdom teeth removal is for the young. If you wait until your face cream is labeled anti-aging and you need reading glasses to see the itemized receipt for your oral surgery chances are you’ll be questioning the wisdom of keeping them around for so long while double-fisting ice packs.
Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@ gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.