Watching your child experience an uncomfortable toothache can be tough, especially when you can’t identify the cause. Is the pain coming from a pesky food particle lodged between two teeth? If your child is a teenager, the pain could be from a cavity or the eruption of their wisdom teeth. The two issues are easily confused. Manhasset, NY pediatric dentist Dr. Kimmy recommends that teens’ wisdom teeth be removed when they emerge. When left in your child’s mouth, they can become painful and lead to overcrowding or infection. If it’s a cavity, it can be corrected with a dental crown, which will cap the sensitive tooth and protect it from food and bacteria.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Your child begins to develop teeth when they’re born. Tooth buds sit under the gums and continue to mature until they break the skin, hence those terrible twos you always hear about. However, wisdom teeth begin to develop when your child is approximately seven. Wisdom teeth are the last two adult teeth to come in, found in the back of your mouth, on both the upper and lower jaw.
Eruption of teen wisdom teeth can create an uncomfortable toothache. After breaking through the skin, they can crowd the other teeth, which can cause your child to feel pain when they chew.
Dr. Kimmy recommends wisdom teeth extractions because your teenager can function normally without them. These molars are not really necessary for chewing; therefore, removing them won’t impact your child’s ability to eat properly. Furthermore, their position makes them harder to keep clean as you get older, which makes them more of a risk of developing cavities. The American Dental Association suggests that teenagers have their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 16 and 19. At that age, the teeth haven’t fully developed roots, meaning there will be a lower risk of complications during this procedure.
Teens and Cavities
If your child’s tooth pain is the result of a cavity, Kimmy will treat it with a dental filling or root canal therapy and a dental crown, depending on the extent of the decay. Helping teens keep their teeth clean is a far different story from helping younger children—as teens’ growing independence makes them far less inclined to agree to parents monitoring their brushing and flossing every night!
If your teen develops a serious cavity in a molar, help him or her take it as a learning experience and discuss ways to be more efficient with their oral hygiene in the future. If he or she is adamant that their daily hygiene routine is already perfect, encourage your child to reduce the intake of sugary sodas and sweets that may have led to the cavity.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
At your teenager’s wisdom teeth extraction, you can expect high quality care. Dr. Kimmy will begin the process with x-rays. These images show her the exact position of the molars. In some cases, these teeth can grow crooked, which could impact nerves. She will determine the best anesthetic for your child; this will help him feel relaxed and comfortable during the procedure and ensure he won’t remember the extraction when the anesthetic wears off.
While your teen is under oral sedation, Dr. Kimmy will carefully remove the four molars. She will clean the area and place gauze over the affected area. Help your child follow post-surgical instructions especially in the first 24 hours after the procedure. Your child should not spit, suck through a straw, or otherwise use the mouth vigorously in the time immediately following surgery, to encourage the extraction sites to heal properly.
Dr. Kimmy will prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort your child feels after his procedure. Along with pain management, she will instruct you on how to care for the gums. We recommend stocking up on soft foods, such as ice cream, yogurt, and mashed potatoes for your child to eat afterwards.
Our friendly staff is happy to answer any additional questions you may have about tooth pain, cavities, or wisdom teeth. Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Kimmy. Call 516-365-4Kid to contact our Manhasset, NY office.Leave a reply →