Wednesday Wisdom: Where Did the “Wisdom” in Wisdom Teeth Originate?

origin of wisdom teethThe third and last set of molars was known as “teeth of wisdom” from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century, when their name changed to “wisdom teeth”. Linguists suggest that they’re referred as wisdom teeth because they appear much later than the other teeth, when a person matures into adulthood, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 years. Basically, they appear at an age when the person is “wiser” compared to when the other teeth erupted.
Teenager Wisdom
Scientific studies have accentuated the idea that the third molars do, indeed, develop and erupt when the person is wiser. Recent studies revealed that the human brain continues to develop right through adolescence. In fact, many researchers believe that the brain reaches full maturity at the age of 25. This supports the assumption of the ancestors that the eruption of the third molars signified the end of the carefree attitude of childhood, as the individual welcomed the responsibilities of adulthood.
Role of Wisdom Teeth
Science suggests that wisdom teeth were extremely useful in the past, but as human diet changed, their relevance progressively subsided. Human evolution changed man’s eating habits. In the past, human beings’ diet comprised mainly course foods that caused teeth to wear down or abrade, so considerably that they occupied less jaw space over time.
The food consumed was so tough to chew that the jaw had to work harder, causing it to evolve into a larger bone. These factors, combined with the frequent loss of teeth at an early age, resulted in more oral space for wisdom teeth when they erupted.
Today, foods are easier to chew, and advances in dental care have significantly reduced the incidence of early tooth loss and tooth wear. A higher rate of tooth retention translated to inadequate space in the jaw to accommodate wisdom teeth. The result is impacted, abnormally positioned teeth that cannot fully erupt. In this regard, there are three categories of wisdom teeth:

  • Fully erupted – they are fully developed and properly aligned with the molars
  • Partially erupted – only a portion of the teeth is visible
  • Un-erupted – impacted teeth that remain trapped in the jawbone unable to erupt

The latter two categories have unusual positioning that may make them difficult to clean properly. Food particles left behind convert to plaque that can eventually lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and infections. In some cases, impacted wisdom tooth can form cysts that damage the roots of adjacent, healthy teeth, the nerves, and jawbone.
To avoid dental problems with your wisdom teeth, it is important to schedule regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can help spot possible problems early and treat them before they become a nuisance.
Mint Dentistry offers wisdom tooth removal in Woodland Hills as well as other oral surgery procedures. Please call our office @ (818) 716-0297 if you would like to learn more about wisdom tooth removal & tooth extraction.

There’s Still Time – Summertime Tasks for Children!

productive ways to spend summerSummer is coming to an end, but there’s still plenty of time for productivity. After your child has most likely spent a large majority of their time doing basically nothing, now would be a great time to put their hands and mind to use just before the start of school – it will keep them sharp.

Productive Ways for Children to Finish Summer

1. Selling Lemonade
Summertime provides a great opportunity to teach your children some entrepreneurship skills that will help them later in life. There are many business opportunities that are ideal for kids depending on your neighborhood or environment, and selling lemonade is one of the easiest ones.
Help them prepare the beverage, package it, set a price, choose a location, and set up the selling booth. Other business activities include yard sales, fund raising for a charity, lawn mowing, dog washing, bake sale, or car wash.
2. Summer Reading
Fun reading during summer is a great way to spend time with your children while helping them retain some vital skills they acquired in school. You could schedule weekly visits to the library, and allocate some time for daily reading. You could do something else while your children read.

3. Research Bargains on School Supplies

It is important to start shopping early and moderately for the upcoming year instead of waiting for the end of summer rush. Get the school supply lists for your children, conduct an inventory of any supplies left over from the previous year that can be reused, and then identify those that should be purchased. You and your children can then make shopping in ads a weekly activity, as well as doing other household purchases.

4. Schedule Essential Appointments

There is a lot of free time during summer, which makes this the best time to schedule important appointments, including: a visit to the pediatrician for a check-up or vaccination, a haircut, and an appointment to the dentist for a dental exam and professional teeth cleaning.
There are many other things that you can include in your summer calendar, depending on your children’s ages, like camping in the backyard, having a picnic, cycling, visiting the park, roasting marshmallows, and crafting, among others.