Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars. They usually come in when a person is in their late teens or early 20s. They are nicknamed “wisdom teeth” because their appearance usually coincides with college and adulthood. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often cause problems and have to be removed.

Because a person’s jaw is near full adult development at the time these teeth come in, they have trouble fitting in correctly with the other teeth. The result can be wisdom teeth that grow in crooked or fail to fully erupt at all and remain trapped under the gums. Some people are lucky and wind up with wisdom teeth that manage to erupt and fit in without difficulty, but when the teeth are crooked or trapped under the gums, the best course of action is to have them removed.

Many people worry about getting wisdom teeth after their teeth have been straightened by braces. If braces are worn during childhood or the teen years, wisdom teeth coming in later will not cause the other teeth to shift out of position. If the wisdom teeth come in incorrectly, they can be removed without any damage to the previously straightened teeth.

Today it is more common than ever for adults to get braces so that they can have the straight smiles they have always wanted. If an adult who has wisdom teeth desires braces, the orthodontist may recommend having the wisdom teeth removed first to eliminate the possibility of them creating problems later. It is not necessary for every person to have their wisdom teeth removed, but sometimes removal of them is recommended before there are problems.

In the case of an adult who is planning to get braces or other orthodontic treatment, removal of the wisdom teeth may be recommended after a dental exam. Sometimes other teeth need to be extracted before braces as well, to make room for the braces to fit and enable them to move the teeth properly.

After braces are removed, wearing a retainer as recommended by the orthodontist will keep your teeth from shifting. Sometimes the arrival of wisdom teeth after braces come off is blamed for teeth shifting out of position, but there is really no scientific evidence that wisdom teeth can cause the other teeth to shift or become crowded. Failure to wear a retainer as recommended is often the cause of teeth shifting after braces. Teeth can also shift for other reasons, especially as we age.

If you have questions about wisdom teeth and how they can affect the position of your teeth, or if you have questions about braces, contact Grace and Bowman Orthodontics to schedule a consultation appointment. Each individual’s situation is unique, and decisions can only be made between you and the orthodontist after an exam to determine the current position and health of your mouth and teeth. Located in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, Grace and Bowman Orthodontics offers orthodontic treatment – including braces and Invisalign – to help our patients achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted. We can recommend the best orthodontic treatment plan for your needs.