Do Wisdom Teeth Affect Kyle Braces?
If you’re an adult over 25 years old, you’ve probably already had your wisdom teeth removed. The uncomfortable experience likely involved surgery under anesthesia and lots of soft foods afterwards like ice cream, mashed potatoes, and yogurt, with recovery of a few days. At Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle, we want to debunk some of the myths out there about wisdom teeth and explain whether or not wisdom teeth will affect your beautiful smile before, during, and after your orthodontic treatment in Kyle.
What Are Wisdom Teeth and Why Do We Have Them?
Wisdom teeth grow in the back of your mouth where you can’t even see them. They are your third and last set of molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. Wisdom teeth usually erupt when a person is older (in their late teens or early twenties), and most parents of seniors in high school or college freshman elect to have them removed before their child moves out of the house for good.
Because our distant ancestors (think caveman here) ate hard foods and experienced a lot of tooth decay and trauma, wisdom teeth used to be helpful! Wisdom teeth could actually replace lost teeth so our ancestors could continue chewing and eating normally. In the modern age, our diets are made up of softer foods, and we take care of our teeth. We brush and floss and visit dentists and orthodontists regularly. Therefore, we don’t need wisdom teeth as replacement teeth. An ideal mouth holds 28 teeth, but including wisdom teeth, we have about 32 teeth available to us. Some people are born with all four wisdom teeth, some are born with just three, and 35% of the population is born without wisdom teeth.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons states that “about 85% of third molars will eventually need to be removed.”
So, how do you decide whether to remove wisdom teeth or not? It basically depends on whether they are already causing trouble or if they will cause trouble in the future. Ask yourself or your dentist these questions to find out if your wisdom teeth should be removed:
- Have your wisdom teeth already caused pain or damage to your jaw or nearby teeth, or is there an increased risk of that happening?
- Are the wisdom teeth preventing the other teeth from developing properly?
- Might the wisdom teeth interfere with other dental or jaw-related treatments that are already planned?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s probably a good idea to schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon to see if he/she recommends you have your wisdom teeth removed.
Can I Get Braces Before Removing My Wisdom Teeth?
If you’re getting braces as a child or teenager, then the answer is ABSOLUTELY. In fact, most children around the age of 7 or 8 have an orthodontic consultation for “Phase 1” orthodontics, where their Kyle orthodontist can determine just what kind of treatment is needed and how extensive it needs to be. Phase 1 can last anywhere from 1-2 years, more than a decade before wisdom teeth might become a problem. If there are still issues that need to be corrected such as overbite, underbite, etc, many patients undergo “Phase 2” orthodontics around teenage years to fix any problems that weren’t solved in Phase 1.
So, it makes sense that you should get Kyle orthodontic treatment (whether that’s Kyle/Buda braces or Invisalign in Kyle) before removing wisdom teeth. During the time children have their braces on in elementary school, middle school and/or high school, wisdom teeth probably won’t show up or be much of a problem.
If you’re undergoing orthodontics in Kyle in your adult years, your Kyle orthodontist can talk to you about your wisdom teeth and if they’ve already grown in or may become a problem. A lot of adults have what’s called “impacted” wisdom teeth, where the teeth are stuck under the gum and only partially break through. This happens when the jaw doesn’t have enough space for all the teeth that are growing in, or because the tooth comes in at an odd angle and hits teeth that are already in place.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems that can lead to gum tenderness, cavities, bad breath, and infection. Oral surgeons often remove impacted wisdom teeth to prevent these kinds of problems from happening.
Will Wisdom Teeth Mess Up My Straight Smile?
With crooked teeth or a smaller jawbone, you may worry that your teeth may be pushed out of place even more when your wisdom teeth come in. Or if you’ve had braces in Kyle or Kyle Invisalign, you may worry that wisdom teeth will shift your perfectly aligned teeth into an improper position, affecting your overall smile that you worked so hard for.
There’s a myth out there that wisdom teeth push other teeth out of their way as they erupt, causing front teeth to move and overlap. However, this simply does not happen. Research over the years has proved that wisdom teeth do not exert enough pressure to cause a misalignment in other teeth. If you’re seeing your dentist on a regular basis and taking X-rays once or twice a year, any potential issues having to do with your wisdom teeth should be caught early on. Don’t just assume your wisdom teeth have to come out unless your dentist or orthodontist says so.
Why Oldham Family Orthodontics in Kyle?
Worried about your wisdom teeth affecting your smile? Board-certified Kyle orthodontist Dr. Maxwell Oldham offers FREE orthodontic consultations for his patients. At your consultation you’ll have X-rays taken, a full digital image rendered of your individual smile, and a thorough oral exam done by Dr. Oldham all at no cost to you. He can discuss your wisdom teeth with you and talk about any potential issues. We offer Invisalign in Kyle, Kyle/Buda braces, and lots of other options to get you that perfect smile. You’ll receive attentiveness and care every step of the way. At our office, you’re not just another patient. You’re part of our family!
“I couldn’t be happier with Dr. Oldham and their whole staff! I feel so welcomed every time! And recently had my two littles seen for a consultation, and the experience was so warming! They definitely make you feel like family. Recommend to all my friends and family.” – Google review from Lorena A.
If you live in Kyle, San Marcos, or Buda, orthodontics has never been easier.
We provide Kyle/Buda braces and Invisalign in Kyle to kids, teens, and adults.
Call us today at 512-256-7886 to schedule your FREE orthodontic consultation!