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An open letter to wisdom teeth

Dear Wisdom Teeth,

For the past couple of years I have been told that you should be removed, that I should get you cut out, like how a florist would cut away unwanted petals from a rose.

I have been told that you don’t have much purpose and that in the long run you’ll be nothing but a pain (quite literally).

Now, I for one, thought that was a little harsh. Yes, you’re annoying now and again. But, for the most part, the two of us have lived in relative harmony.

Sure, every once in a while you would suddenly feel neglected and give a shout (e.g. a twinge of pain or a pang of discomfort), but I couldn’t really fault you for that. Everyone wants attention now and again.

And I could live with that because regardless, you were usually well-behaved. In fact, your existence was a win-win relationship for both of us. I haven’t had anyone poking and prodding in my mouth, and you’ve enjoyed a comfortable home.

But then you had to go and ruin it. You had to throw the proverbial wrench into our relationship – which meant that I had to throw in the proverbial towel and make an appointment with an oral surgeon.

And, really, you have no one to blame but yourself. I was content to leave you where you were. After all, eight years of braces left me more than willing to keep my mouth shut when it came to all things dentistry.

But thank goodness for oral surgeons who work you in at the last minute when, after a weekend of oral torture, you just can’t take it another second.

Which, I suppose, is bad news for you. And I wish I could say I was sorry, but the tantrum you’ve been throwing since Saturday makes it difficult for me to be empathetic.

Maybe I’m being a little cruel. With a name like “wisdom teeth,” perhaps you should be treated with a bit more respect.

But, according to, you’re really “just like all the other teeth in (my) mouth.” Unlike the rest, however, you just wait to emerge when I’m a bit older – you know, during the so-called “Age of Wisdom.”

So really, you’re not wise at all.

Which leads me to think that you’re probably pretty full of yourself, since you picked a name like “wisdom teeth,” when really a more accurate moniker would be “stubborn teeth,” or “tardy teeth,” or “just-get-out-of-my-mouth-already teeth.”

And while I might be frustrated with you, I can’t say that I’m particularly angry. After all, you’re just doing what you’re supposed to do. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim … teeth gotta erupt.

But I hope you also won’t blame me for what I, too, have to do – which is finally take the advice of my dentist, Dr. Lesia Langston-McKenna, and cut you away.

This decision will probably be best for both of us. I won’t have to deal with your occasional fits, and you’ll be able to stretch your legs (so to speak). I know my mouth has to be pretty cramped.

But don’t feel too bad. We’ll always have the memories … of pain and annoyance, I guess. But hey, those are memories nonetheless.

And I suppose I should say thank you, because I have learned a thing or two from our journey.

For one, I’ve learned to admit when I’m wrong (and that can be an even harder pill to swallow than the antibiotic I’m on until the surgery). I’ve had to admit it’s time to get these annoying late-bloomers out of my mouth.

And I’ve also learned that being fiscally responsible pays off – especially when it comes to unexpected expenses. (Nobody ever told me being an adult was going to have such a high tab.)

So, perhaps “wisdom teeth” is an accurate name for you – not because you’re wise, but because you help us step a little further into adulthood. You help us become a little more mature.

After all, life isn’t always fair, and I hope you remember that later this week when you’re lying on a silver tray rather than nestled comfortably in my gums.

And while I know that post-surgery will find me on the couch watching as many superhero movies as I can, I’m not quite sure where you will be. I’d like to think that you’ll be on your way to the Tooth Fairy’s Bicuspid Castle.

But if not, good luck all the same.

Best wishes,


Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.

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