There are many words, phrases and sayings that we all happily recite, but few of us know where they came from and what caused them to be created. Wisdom teeth are a great example of this. We will know that the large teeth that emerge later in life at the back of our mouths are called wisdom teeth, but I expect very few of us know why they were given that name. Well, let CK Dental here is Bristol expand your knowledge in this area (and at the very least, give you a good answer to a pub quiz question).

These teeth are technically our ‘third molars’ and their nickname has been around for centuries. Back in the seventeenth century there are records of them being labelled ‘teeth of wisdom’ and this morphed into ‘wisdom teeth’ at some point during the nineteenth century. And what gave them this name?

“It is generally thought among linguists that they are called wisdom teeth because they appear so late, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and is “wiser” than when other teeth have erupted.”

Throw some science into the equation

The interesting thing is that there is now some science which sits behind this label. Tests carried out on the brain over many years of research have concluded that many people do not research emotional maturity during their adolescence, and that their brain continues developing well into our mid-twenties. This, coincidentally, is when a lot of us will start to see wisdom teeth arriving (although occasionally these can come through as early as the late teens), so maybe it really is true that as we begin to reach a more emotionally stable (and wise…?) time of our lies, this is when our wisdom teeth also join the party.

Wisdom teeth are actually pretty pointless

Despite their colloquial link to wisdom, there are actually few benefits brought by wisdom teeth. Often, they can cause discomfort and overcrowding and do not offer any practical benefits compared with before they arrived. If they do cause pain or problems to existing teeth, it is often recommended that they are removed. But, don’t be scared. At our Bristol dental clinic we are able to offer wisdom teeth removal under sedation or even under general anaesthetic, if required. Call 0117 906 4868 to arrange a consultation.

You’ll have heard of the baby-boomers and probably generation Z, but what about the latest generation labelling… millennials. We are surrounded by millennials, they are the generation who were born between 1980 and the late 1990s, and according to popular culture, are a tech-savvy generation, who value getting a suitable balance between home and work and are not purely driven by career progression.

Millenials have ‘dual lives’ with many having an online presence on a number of social media platforms in addition to making friendships and connections via the more traditional routes, and absorb information in a different way compared with previous generations. Short, punchy information is more likely to cut through, rather than things that are too lengthy or dry and can’t compete successfully for millennials’ attention.

A recent poll of over 2,000 millennials found some interesting insights regarding their approach to oral hygiene and the priorities they place on their dental routine.  Here at CK Dental in Bristol we found some of the findings slightly concerning:

  • Three in ten claims to only brush their teeth once a day
  • Some go two or three days at a time without brushing their teeth at all
  • Just over half suggest they are concerned about losing their teeth as they get older… despite some worrying habits that they are demonstrating now

This is hopefully an isolated set of results and not typical of a whole generation, but even if there are just small number of people who are not taking their oral care seriously enough, it is suggesting that people are lacking awareness of the repercussions of neglecting your teeth and gums.

Brush, brush and brush again

It is recommended that you brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes per brush. This is typically in the morning after you’ve had breakfast (leaving you with minty fresh breath to start the day and a clean set of teeth and gums following your coffee and cereal or whatever breakfast treats have taken your fancy) and once in the evening before bed. B

Brushing your teeth after breakfast is ideal because many breakfasts contain sugars – whether that be natural sugars in fruits or sugars that have been added to cereals or breakfast bars, if you give your teeth a thorough clean once you’ve finished your breakfast it will set you up well for the day.  If you’re really diligent and have an opportunity to do some, brushing your teeth after lunch is also a great idea.

Adopting good dental habits

Flossing is also important as it enables you to remove tiny pieces of food that have found their way into gaps between your teeth that brushing alone wouldn’t struggle to remove. These are regular, important habits to adopt at home, but it is also important to have regular check-ups with your dentist, so that they can check the overall health of your teeth and gums and can also check areas in your mouth that you would struggle to see yourself. Not only that, most people won’t know what to look out for in terms of warning signs.



Get In Touch

Get In Touch


Telephone: 0117 9059 866

CK Dental | Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital – The Chesterfield, 3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN