With high school and college students on break in the weeks ahead, this is a popular time to schedule having their wisdom teeth out. They don’t have to rush back to school and can get some R&R at home. It’s generally an easy procedure with few complications and only moderate discomfort for a few days following the extraction.
Avoid Prescription Pain Medications
However, in an effort to completely alleviate pain, dentists and oral surgeons may prescribe Vicodin or another type of pain medication. These are opioids and are highly addictive, and should be monitored closely if not entirely avoided. Often an over-the-counter medication will be sufficient – a far better option than a highly additive prescription pain medication.
From time to time there are news stories about the dangers of pain meds following dental surgery. It’s important to pay attention to these and take precautions if your kid does end up with a prescription.
Take Precaution – Dispose or Lock Up Meds
When my daughter had her wisdom teeth out over spring break from college, she had a few Vicodin remaining that she didn’t need. She joked that on her campus these would sell for $5 per pill.
Fortunately she disposed of the pills, but the ease with which kids can get, sell and use opioids is horrifying, and can lead to addiction. Many counties now offer drop off days and times in a variety of convenient locations.
One of the other key prevention measures is to lock up medications so that there is not easy access and to “be the parent” by keeping track of the dose, timing and how your kid is feeling.
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