Most American adults have their wisdom teeth removed before they reach 30, but they may not always get a chance to decide when it happens. If you have to get your wisdom teeth out during one of the many holidays Americans celebrate, here are some holiday pointers for you.


Adult teeth consist of two sets of molars, the teeth that are in the back of your mouth. While you may know of these molars, you may not know that your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. When humans first appeared, they needed those three sets of molars to grind and chew tough, uncooked food. However, our food is much softer now, so that final set of molars isn’t needed. Those unneeded teeth are called wisdom teeth because they are the last teeth to come in when you are an adult.


No matter what holiday it is, you can find soft food. If you celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving, there will be mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and – if you’re lucky- ice cream or pudding. There’s always ham and sweet potatoes during Easter, and challah during Hanukkah. Ramadan dinners usually include soups, which are perfect for people who just had their wisdom teeth removed. No matter which holiday you are celebrating, you will need to eat soft foods to make sure you don’t cause yourself undo pain.


Holidays always bring sweet treats, but if the treats are sticky and sweet, you need to avoid them when you have your wisdom teeth out. It is much more difficult to remove sticky substances such as caramels or taffy from your teeth, so they are off-limits after a wisdom tooth removal. If you are having your wisdom teeth out around the Fourth of July, skip the steak and corn on the cob because they are hard to chew. Hard-to-chew foods will be painful for you for a few days after you have your wisdom teeth out. With proper care, you will be back to eating all the holiday food you want!