You have previously worn braces, and now you finally have the beautiful smile you always wanted. Alternatively, maybe you have naturally had straight teeth all your life. In either case, your wisdom teeth start to come in, and you begin to panic. You worry that the growth of your wisdom teeth will misalign your teeth, and that your previously beautiful smile will be altered forever. You are faced with a big question: would it be better for the appearance of your smile to keep your wisdom teeth in, or have them removed?
Living With Your Wisdom Teeth
If your teeth are already straight and you are able to bite, chew, brush and floss properly, there is a good chance you will not need braces if you have your wisdom teeth removed. If your orthodontist believes you are a good candidate for keeping your wisdom teeth, there could be some shifting and tightening as they come in.
However, others experience no changes at all in their teeth — the wisdom teeth take up the space behind the second molars without issue. In some cases where there is not enough room behind your second molar, your orthodontist may advise you to have the affected second molar extracted and allow the wisdom tooth to take its place.
If your orthodontist wants to allow a wisdom tooth to take the place of a molar, braces may be necessary to close the gap and encourage the wisdom tooth to come forward and claim the spot vacated by the second molar.
Risks Associated With Removing Your Wisdom Teeth
Some people do not have room in their mouth for wisdom teeth and they are unable to grow in naturally. This is referred to as becoming impacted. As the wisdom teeth push against the second molars, the teeth can begin to shift and crowd. This can be intensely painful, but it can also make flossing impossible, shift your bite, or even cause an infection.
Most orthodontists will advise you to have them removed if this is happening. If your impacted teeth have not had a chance to move your teeth around, you likely will not require braces. Catching the damage before it is done is crucial.
In short, you will likely only need braces if your wisdom teeth are pushing or have already pushed your teeth into poor alignment, or if they have squeezed your teeth so tightly together that routine flossing is impossible. While removing the wisdom teeth may naturally alleviate these problems, braces may still be necessary to restore proper bite.
If you are not sure whether you need braces, wisdom tooth extraction or both, seek out an expert. Here at Grace and Bowman Orthodontics, we would be happy to answer any of your questions, as well as set up a consultation for you if you are interested in getting braces pre or post wisdom teeth growth. Contact us today to learn more.