Wisdom Teeth

What is so wise about wisdom teeth, you don’t even need them, most of the time they do not fit in your mouth and have to be taken out by your dentist in a procedure most people would pay to be able to skip. I don’t have any of these answers I just have stories. This story is not even really about anything on my bucket list, I just like it.

In our house you have to get your wisdom teeth removed before you graduate from high school, if the dentist says they have to go they have to go. Why? Because I am the mom and I said so. You’ll understand why soon enough.

You see when I was a kid and my dentist said I had to get my wisdom teeth removed, he also said it would be best to do it now, but they can actually come out anytime you want. You could do it while you were in college if you really wanted to wait. “Wait? Wait for pain until a later date? Sign me up for the delayed pain plan-right now!” I enthusiastically replied.

For some unknown reason my mother agreed. I don’t think she ever had her wisdom teeth removed.

Joyous at my delayed teeth removal plan I gladly put it off and off and off. Every time I went to the dentist they would all say the same thing. “Gee, I see that you still have your wisdom teeth. You really should get them removed before they cause you any trouble” each serious dentist would explain the dire situation that could arise if I delayed any further. Guess what? I told them all the same thing, year after year. “Oh no, I will do that later.” I innocently smiled up at them, praying for another stay of execution.

This marvelous plan worked for a long time. That is until met Dr. B, by now I was in my early 30’s and a mother for several years. When he looked deep into my mouth that first time, I new my good luck had run out. “Oh dear” he seriously stated through wrinkled brow. “This will not do, not at all. You still have your wisdom teeth did you know that? He sternly stated.

“Oh ya, I guess I do” I badly tried to fake it.

“They simply must come out, right now young lady. We can’t have these things getting infected, now can we?” He led me along his sneaky path.
“Ummm, I guess not.” I managed to say, desperately trying to come up with an excuse –again.

“Well, let’s just see about that.” He then booked me to come back the next day to have them removed. Faster than I could spit out my mouth wash he had outmaneuvered me. At long last I had to have my wisdom teeth removed.

The only option I got was whether or not I wanted to do them all four at once or two at a time. Fearing that once I had two removed I would forever wimp out and not get the other two done I decided that if I had to do it, I just had to do it, big girl style. “Do all four at once” I heard myself declare.

“Oh God, what have I done” I prayed for mercy on the short walk home that day. Please get me through this nightmare.

Oh he got me through it all right, but just barely. The next day as I sat fearfully in the chair staring up at the tiled white ceiling in Dr. B’s back office room I prayed like I had never prayed before. Then I looked up just in time to see shaky old Dr. B coming at me with the biggest needle I had ever seen in my life.

“Now just relax” I heard him say. Ha, like I could really relax right now!

“Do you want the headphones?” he tried to sweeten me up by acting nice.

“Shall we try some laughing gas to help you relax?” was his next innocent ply.

“YES, YES and YES,” I shrieked. “Sign me up for whatever you have to get me through this” I cried some more like the true wimp I am.

I don’t know why they call it laughing gas. I did not feel like laughing during the entire procedure. I keep taking the biggest hits I could off the gas and every time the good ‘ol doctor looked away I’d sneak in a bit more hoping for some blissful relief. Ha, not a thing.

Soon the doctor was tugging away at my teeth, pushing and pulling like giant game of tug of war.

“Oh God, please help me” I prayed.

“Now young lady, you really have to relax,” he sternly said for the fiftieth time that morning.

Desperate by now to prove to him that I could relax I tried Lamaze breathing. I am not sure why I thought that might help; it sure hadn’t done a damn thing when I was delivering a baby why did I think it would help with teeth removal?

Finally, a couple hours later I sat trying to recover in the chair while Dr. B slipped away. Probably to go get a quick shot of whiskey, I wanted one too.

It took me four days to recover and then just when my poor mouth was starting to feel better I got my first ever case of flu. The real deal flu, the kind you think you are dying from. That put me down for another week before I finally started to rebound.

After this nightmare of an experience, I vowed right then and then that I would not let my kids make the same mistake I did. If the dentist ever told them in high school the wisdom teeth had to go than they were going. No one was going to leave my house after high school with unfinished business. No way -no how.

Flash forward about 12 years. One fateful day the kid’s dentist looked into Liz’s mouth and came out declaring “Hey, your wisdom teeth have come in. You should think about having them removed?” he professionally stated to her innocent little face.

“Oh yes, let’s get that scheduled this afternoon” I helpfully jumped in as the good mother that I am.

I didn’t give her an option either way. I scheduled the appointment but I scheduled it with a dental surgeon and I explicitly told him to put her to sleep and take all four out at once. He did. See picture.

About two years later the same dentist looked deep into Sam’s mouth and I had a flash of deja vu. I didn’t give him an option either way. I scheduled the appointment but I booked the same dental surgeon. I had this down to a routine by now. Job done. See picture.

I don’t suppose my kids will ever thank me properly for the wisdom it took to remove their wisdom teeth.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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  1. Cathie Genung says:

    This one was fun, too. Like others, I love the pics, too. This is a great short story-easy to visualize. So glad you were on line when I was. Cathie Genung

  2. vicki creigh says:

    I love this story. Too funny and the pictures are great.