The Tooth Fairy Doesn't Want Them, So Why Should You?
Why you should have your wisdom teeth extracted (even though the tooth fairy won’t pay you for them)
Written by Allison Russell, Feature Image SourceAll twenty of our baby teeth grow in by the time we’re three years old, and they start falling out only a few years later. That’s twenty opportunities to leave a tooth under your pillow and find a treasure in its place the next morning. For some of us, it was a quarter. For others, it was as lucrative as a five dollar bill. But if we grew up in the US, we knew the Tooth Fairy was behind it.Believe it or not, a lot of cultures around the world don’t believe in our Tooth Fairy. They have their own myths and traditions, like throwing their teeth, burying them, or even feeding them to a dog. Children in many countries in Europe and South America have a tooth mouse, instead of a tooth fairy, who gives them gifts or money in exchange for leaving their teeth under their pillows. It seems like every culture has a way to celebrate lost baby teeth. And it’s no wonder! Losing our baby teeth makes room for our permanent teeth and symbolizes growing up.But we still have some growing up to do, even after our permanent teeth have erupted. Our wisdom teeth don’t come in until we’re in our late teens or early twenties, and for some people they don’t grow in at all. Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, cause problems because our mouths are only made to hold 28 teeth. When the wisdom teeth come in, that makes 32. Up to 90% of people with wisdom teeth experience problems with them, like gum infections, damage to the other teeth, and pain, so the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons has described wisdom teeth as “ticking time bombs.”This means that teenagers and adults will still have a few more teeth to lose, even though the tooth fairy won’t reimburse them this time. Schedule your wisdom tooth extraction now to help you avoid pain, infection, and impaction! And besides, who says you can’t leave extracted wisdom teeth under your pillow too?