Let’s talk wisdom teeth!

Let’s talk wisdom teeth!

From babyhood to adolescence, teeth erupt in stages: first incisors, then canines, premolars and molars and, finally, wisdom teeth. The latter is often the most intriguing; what is a wisdom tooth? Dentists call them third molars, and they appear at the back of the mouth. Some people don’t experience a single problem with their wisdom teeth, but in others, they can cause pain, infection and other instances of discomfort.

Where and When Wisdom Teeth Come In

People usually develop four wisdom teeth, each emerging behind the molars on both sides of the upper and lower jaw. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site, they usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21. How they emerge differs with the individual. Nonetheless, Fred Quarnstrom, DDS from the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology, explains wisdom teeth may only partially erupt, or even stay buried within the gum tissue. Teeth that don’t appear and remain covered by this tissue or bone are called “impacted.”

Why They Come In

Because wisdom teeth cause so many problems and are not really needed for chewing, doctors speculate about their function. Wisdom teeth begin growing in the jaw around the age of seven, and not just before or at birth like other teeth, says Kamal Busaidy, BDS, FDSRCS of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Throughout most of human history, the typical diet was abrasive to teeth. Under the circumstances, wisdom teeth may have been useful in the past for replacing molars that had become worn out. Now that diets are softer, teeth don’t do this as quickly, and there are no gaps for wisdom teeth to fill. Dr. Quarnstrom states there is also some evidence modern jaws are smaller than those of prehistoric humans.

What Happens

Problems with wisdom teeth primarily include pain and discomfort, infections, gum disease and tooth decay. Some of these are due to the difficulty brushing so far back in the mouth. Brushing with a slim, long-handled toothbrush can help to prevent these problems. Other serious effects of impacted wisdom teeth occur when cysts form below the teeth. These cysts can cause loss of bone in the jaw, and put pressure on the jaw’s nerves.

Problems with wisdom teeth usually end with their removal. Dentists often prefer to remove wisdom teeth when patients are in their late teens or early 20s, before they cause problems. At this age, wisdom teeth’s roots have not solidified in the jaw bone, and are easier to remove than in older patients. Removing wisdom teeth later in life also carries a slightly higher risk of damage to a major nerve in the jaw, called the inferior alveolar nerve. Younger patients often recover from sedation faster, as well.

Adolescents wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances, according to Busaidy, often have their wisdom teeth removed at the end of their treatment. This is because emerging wisdom teeth can alter tooth alignment after they have been straightened.

So, what is a wisdom tooth? It has nothing to do with growing wiser – only growing older. If your wisdom teeth give you pain or discomfort, see your dentist. Early treatment greatly reduces your risk of bigger problems later.


If you are having discomfort or pain with your wisdom teeth give us a call today to schedule an appointment! We can refer you to some awesome oral surgeons! 704-933-2115


Start the School Year with a Smile!

It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health and scheduling your routine dental visits!

Here are some suggestions for maintaining healthy teeth during the school year for you and your little ones.

– Schedule everyone’s dental checkup appointments

We recommend that your child should visit the dentist twice a year. Professional dental assessments are important to ensure your child’s healthy teeth. Dentists can also advise your child on correct oral hygiene habits and encourage them to keep up the good work.

– Establish healthy oral hygiene routines

Are you and your children brushing twice a day and flossing once a day? It’s easy to skip brushing your teeth in the early morning rush to school, but a consistent, healthy routine that you start from the summer can prevent this from happening.

– Prepare healthy snack and lunches

Brainstorming healthy lunch ideas may already be on your to-do list, but have you thought of creating lunches that also are good for your child’s teeth? Snacks that are kind to teeth include fruit, string cheese, vegetables, and unsweetened applesauce. Try to avoid sticky snacks such as fruit roll-ups and granola bars that can stick to your child’s teeth surfaces and in-between teeth.

– Replace toothbrushes

The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or when the bristles are frayed. A new school year is a great time to check on your children’s toothbrushes!


Schedule your next appointment with First Impressions Family Dentistry today! We guarantee a relaxed, fun, friendly environment for you and your children!

You can call or text us at 704-933-2115 or email us at Office@FirstImpressionsDDS.com

Celebrate Watermelon Day!

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day!
Celebrate by making this watermelon slush – that is kid-friendly! But for us adults,
you can just add your favorite liquor or rum!
Here’s how to make it…
Watermelon Slush


  • 6 c. watermelon cubes, seeds removed*
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 7-Up or Sprite for serving
  1. Place watermelon cubes in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Place a strainer over a large bowl or 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Pour processed watermelon through the strainer to remove the pulp, reserving the strained juice.
  2. Stir granulated sugar and lemon juice into the watermelon juice until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Place the bowl or baking dish in the freezer and freeze the mixture for 2 to 3 hours, stirring with a fork every 45 minutes or so to break up ice crystals.
  4. When ready to serve, scrape the watermelon slush with a large spoon to create “shavings.” Spoon slush shavings into a glass, filling the glass about 3/4 full. Pour in a little 7-Up or Sprite and stir. Garnish as desired.

*  Six cups watermelon cubes, pureed and strained, yields about 4 cups watermelon juice.  You can use watermelon juice released and collected when cutting up a whole watermelon instead, for all or part of the pureed juice.