Wisdom Teeth, Braces, & You

Wisdom Teeth, Braces, & You
Posted on 09/02/2015

What’s the Deal with Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are your third, and final set of molars that grow into your mouth anywhere between the ages of 13 and 25. While their initial purpose (a part of our early evolution when humans had larger jaws and chewed harder roughage) was once useful, today they typically just cause inconvenience.
These teeth have a very high chance of growing sideways – impacting other teeth. Moreover, when they emerge (or half emerge) they have a tendency to overcrowd your mouth and affect nearby teeth.

What’s at Stake?

If you just got your braces off only to discover your wisdom teeth are coming in, there is no need to worry about their emergence affecting your newly straightened smile. Despite the pressure that impacted wisdom teeth may put on your mouth, they cannot cause front teeth to become crooked. 

The force that they exert on your standard molars is not strong enough to reach your front teeth. However, impacted wisdom teeth can have other negative effects too. For example, impacted wisdom teeth may produce pain, or cause swelling or infection around the gum flap that puts you in danger of contracting pericoronitis. 

Choose Wisely

Not all people need to have their wisdom teeth removed. Some sets grow in as effective, healthy molars and do not alter a person’s teeth or mouth in the slightest.
But, if your wisdom teeth do show signs of becoming impacted, it is best to take action and have them removed sooner rather than later. They may not directly affect the front of your newly straightened smile – preserving the look that your orthodontic treatment achieved. Even so, they could still force your back molars to move and cause other unwanted problems as well.
Deciding what to do about your wisdom teeth is a lot like deciding what type of braces to commit to: there are many options, so you’ll need to think carefully, talk with your dental health care professional, and choose the path that is wisest for you.