They’re Called What?

large_2361445339 (1)According to a number of sources the third set of molars are called wisdom teeth because they erupt when people reach the age of wisdom-between 17 and 25 years old.

Now I ask you, did the person who called them wisdom teeth ever teach high school or raise teenagers? I have done both and trust me those third molars are misnamed!

I drove one of the hooligans to high school one day only to find he had forgotten to put on shoes.

Another hooligan had his tongue pierced at this age. I DO NOT want to ever know what type of object is used to do that.

There was the late night escape to Taco Bell through the window when I was awake and the gang of hooligans could have just as easily used the front door.

Fishing trips during school hours, grape cigar (and who know what else) smoking, Mohawk haircuts, skateboarding down steps and other flashes of brilliance are just a few of the reasons I think “age of wisdom” may not fit.

We’ve been through wisdom teeth extractions in this family.

One thing I must remind you of is that I am not a medical type person and not known for a kind bedside matter. Born and raised in the Midwest I believe I am the practical type.

If you have a headache, take an aspirin. Sore foot? Sit down and read a book.

I am not interested in your bowel movements, shoulder movements, eye movements or any other kind of movements. Perhaps it is a good thing I did not pursue any type of medical career.

Two of the darlings are rather close in age and their wisdom teeth came in around the same time and needed to be removed. I didn’t want one having the procedure and regaling the other one with horror stories so I decided to schedule them both for the same day. Knowing I only had it to be nice for one or two days solidified the decision.

My first hint that this may not have been the smartest move was at the pre-op consultation. We three were seated in a room and asked to view a short movie about the procedure.

The movie pointed out potential risks ranging from soreness, jaw paralysis and ended with the ultimate disaster-death. At first the hooligans were laughing and joking about the cheesy film but as risk after risk was listed the room got quieter and their complexions paler. To lighten the mood, male hooligan says to female hooligan, “I’m going to tell Dr. T. to use the rusty equipment on you.” To which female hooligan replies, “Be quiet. I’m going to ask him if you can bring your blankie.”

The day of the surgeries arrive. I have not only the 2 patients, but also the younger 2 hooligans with me. I had enlisted my Mom to meet me at the office to come get the younger 2 and take them to her house for a while so I could do my motherly thing and get the kids settled comfortably at home following the procedure.

The teeth extractions went well.

We were told that each person reacts differently to the anesthetic.

One child is a bit nauseous from the sedation and the other one is having way too much fun.

My mom shows up, sees her two grandchildren with gauze filled cheeks and dribbles of blood and starts to cry. Child number 1 is throwing up, Child number 2 is humming, 3 and 4 are scared. As I am trying to get 3 and 4 into their car seats in their grandmother’s car and send them on their way there is a small collision at the intersection. It is a small collision that makes a LARGE noise because it involves a car and a fire truck.

On the (mercifully) short ride home male hooligan is alternating between loudly humming the Mario Brothers theme song, trying to look in his sister’s mouth and pointing at the “beautiful trees”. Female counterpart is swatting at her brother or puking.

We arrive home. I decide to get female child safely in her bed and instruct Mario Man to stay put and tell him I will be right back. I get back outside only to see the van is empty and Mr. Personality is across the street visiting with the neighbors.

The healing is uneventful. We should have installed a revolving door as a bunch of teenagers showed up over the next few days to watch movies and commiserate with the patients.

The youngest of the hooligans had her wisdom teeth pulled today. She went by herself to the pre-op consultation. I’m happy the extractions are done and she is on the road to recovery. This is the same person who spent 9 years (NINE!) in braces and rarely complained.

It went great. The anesthesiologist assisted us to the car at which point the patient started laughing.and continued laughing. Next, we dropped off the Rx at the pharmacy. As we made our way home she was still laughing and then began to cry. Simultaneously. I did not know this was possible. We pulled up to a stop sign, she saw a car she recognized and the sound escalated to a low wail with laughter thrown in for good measure. I asked her if she was crying or laughing and she shrugged her shoulders, gave a small laugh and then we are home.

She is resting comfortably now. Hopefully, I won’t feel the need to eat a dish of ice cream every time she does. That would definitely not be wisdom!

photo credit: Sappymoosetree via photopin cc


  1. Jill Harrison says:

    This was hysterical and brought back the memories of my sons’ extractions! One had difficulty waking from anaesthesia and was terrified and crying. The other kept saying ” it was the most fun he had all summer” and ” that doctor is such a nice guy”! I must admit, I allowed his brother to video tape him, he was sooooo funny!
    Great post!

    • Cindi says:

      There were a few moments of videotaping today. It was so funny to see all the different reactions and how quickly they can go from one to another in an instant! “The most fun all summer” is really one of the best comments ever.

  2. Lynn says:

    I still remember the extraction of my four wisdom teeth over Easter break whilst in my freshman year in college. My major was dental hygiene. The surgery was accomplished during an overnight hospital stay. One would have thought that the post op care would have been excellent long before all the cuts in hospital staffing. Alas, not so much.

    When I returned to the dental school after my week respite I was sporting black and blue bruising on my cheeks. As I rode up to the clinic in the elevator, a fellow occupant, one male dental student, inquired as to whether my boyfriend had taken a hand to me. Amusing? Not so much. At least the swelling had receded.

    Please keep your youngest hooligan on ice. She’ll be so much better for it. Happy nursing;D

    • Cindi says:

      A hospital stay? Dang, all I got was a shot (that didn’t work very well).
      I would not have been amused by the fellow dental student’s comment either.
      She’s doing well. Iced continuously for first 24 hours.

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