Myth or Fact: Do wisdom teeth cause crowding after braces?

Worried that wisdom teeth will ruin all of your orthodontic work? It was once thought that wisdom teeth could cause relapse after orthodontic treatment, but recent research has shown this to be untrue. Let’s put your mind at ease!

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of the mouth. Humans needed these teeth long ago when our diets included more meat. Many modern humans don’t have enough space for these teeth and need to have them removed to prevent pain and infection. Usually, these teeth start to appear during adolescence. 

What impact can wisdom teeth have on the smile?

Recent research has shown that wisdom teeth actually don’t exert enough pressure to move other teeth as was previously believed. Shifting of teeth is a natural occurrence that is due to age (and lack of retainer wear, for people who’ve had braces). 

However, wisdom teeth can spell trouble for oral health if you don’t have sufficient space in your mouth to accommodate them. It’s often hard to keep wisdom teeth clean because they are so far back in the mouth, potentially leading to decay. Wisdom teeth can also cause discomfort, pain, swelling, and infection. 

Should you have your wisdom teeth removed?

 Maybe! Not all wisdom teeth require removal. Dr. Peterson will monitor the wisdom teeth during orthodontic treatment. If he feels that you or your child would benefit from having the wisdom teeth extracted, he will refer you to an appropriate professional. This can be done while in braces if needed.

All in all, your wisdom teeth may not have a huge impact on the straightness of your teeth, but having them extracted is probably the “wise” choice if your dentist or orthodontist recommends it for the sake of your oral health. If you are interested in braces but concerned about wisdom teeth affecting your treatment, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Peterson in San Tan Valley AZ today. Let us guide you on your way to a beautiful healthy smile!

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