Do wisdom teeth make my teeth crooked and does it needs to be removed?

Is there a relationship between the emergence of wisdom teeth and the teeth getting misaligned after braces? If so, what is this relationship, you may ask? Well, just because the lower front teeth apparently start getting crooked around the same time wisdom teeth start erupting, the latter have always been thought to be a 'spoilers'.

Although it is widely believed that wisdom teeth tend to push the other teeth, making them crowded, experts say that is not the case. As a matter of fact, anterior crowding of teeth which are not held by retainers is as a result of latent growth of the mandibular and reduced resorption of bone inside anterior mandible. 

A study conducted at the University of Iowa by department head, Dr. Tom Southard established that wisdom teeth do not actually put enough pressure on the teeth that are in front of them to the extent of making them to become crooked. In his study, he inserted sensors between the teeth. The sensors were meant to compare the pressures both with wisdom teeth and without them.No difference was detected.

 Dental Check-ups Important

In case it seems like the wisdom teeth become partly visible and you have them either trapped underneath the gum line or they start growing horizontally in the jaw, their removal becomes necessary. In fact, the earlier in life you undergo this procedure, the better. As we grow older our bones become harder, hence this increases the chances for complications arising from wisdom tooth removal surgery. Dental check-ups are crucial in monitoring, catching and correcting potential problems and that is why we should have them on regular basis. 

As You Age Your Teeth Change

Experts have discovered through studies over the years that teeth tend to drift forward regardless of whether people have wisdom teeth or not.

What causes teeth to move forward as you age is still not very clear. Despite the fact that wisdom teeth will not undo the effects of braces, still your teeth and bite are bound to change as you grow older. Your bite can deepen, making your teeth to increasingly overlap.

Dental Issues

While wisdom teeth do not cause front teeth to crowd as it was previously believed, it is still possible for them to trigger complications such as causing crowding in the back teeth. It might not be easily visible but this can still lead to jaw difficulties as well as other health problems.

If not removed, wisdom teeth may possibly become impacted hence lead to other problems such as:

  • Defects in bone plus soft tissues, and behind second molars
  • Second molars' root resorption
  • Crowding of back teeth
  • Growth of tumors around crowded teeth
  • Gum disease

This is why, irrespective of their effects on orthodontic results, wisdom teeth are usually removed in almost all patients.
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What are elastics and why are they important?

Why do orthodontists use elastics with braces? Rubber bands or orthodontic elastics are used for orthodontic treatment and have a very important role in bringing about optimum teeth movement.

 Types of elastics

There are two types of elastics primarily-

1.Ligatures- Braces are composed of brackets (that are stuck on the teeth) and archwires (that run between the brackets). Ligatures are tiny elastics that are placed by the orthodontist on the brackets to secure the archwires in their place.

2.
Inter-arch elastics- These rubber bands are slightly bigger when compared to ligatures. They can be placed in different patterns depending on the type of misalignment that is being treated. Mostly, they are placed extending from one arch to the other (upper to lower teeth). That is why they are called inter-arch elastics.

 Why are they important?

While the archwires and brackets perform their function of pulling the teeth into the desired position, elastics works on fixing the bite. Straight teeth are not enough. They should be aligned in a way that can set your bite right! Fixing the bite happens when rubber bands apply pressure on various points on the jaw. This is a lengthy procedure with no short-cuts and demands complete cooperation from the patients. This step of correcting the bite and fixing it in its new position determines the duration of the treatment. So, if the patient wears the elastics as directed by the orthodontist, he can take off his braces soon without undue delay!

Tips on how to wear elastics effectively

  • Wear them always. Not every case needs elastics. In the cases which require elastics to be worn, your orthodontist may ask you to wear them 24/7. This means that you are having your food with your elastics on. Your chewing movements help the elastics to align your teeth into a correct biting pattern.
  • Change them as instructed. You will be asked to change your elastics a couple of times every day. Remember to change them even if they are not broken as elastics lose their strength after few hours.
  • Never overdo it. Never place double elastics with the hopes of finishing the treatment fast.
  • Never stop wearing due to soreness. You may experience soreness due to the rubber bands during the initial days. That should never deter you from wearing them. The ache is due to the force that is applied by the elastics on your teeth. Pain is a sign that your teeth are moving to their new positions correctly.

Wearing elastics may appear tedious and cumbersome initially. Think of them as a routine form of exercise that will help you build a beautiful smile when done with sheer determination!

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Questions You Need to Ask an Orthodontist

An Orthodontist is a specialist who has received extra training to obtain skills in the diagnosis, correction and management of teeth alignment and occlusion. People have varying degrees of alignment and occlusion problems. You may be troubled by your crowded or crooked teeth. Perhaps, you are annoyed that your teeth have spaces in between or they are crossed in some areas.

With the help of this professional, you can get a more beautiful smile, usually through braces. Now if you are about to see an orthodontist, it is most likely that you have a lot of questions that you want to ask. It is important that you do, so that you can make an informed decision about it.

Here are some good questions:

  1. What are the different types of braces? There are different types of braces and if you are thinking of getting treated, then you need to choose the right path to go. You need to match your options with your preference and need. Standard or conventional braces are made of metal and they are adhered to the outer surface of the teeth. You can get ceramic braces that are tooth colored. Another option is the self-ligating braces. Also known as Damon braces, it comes with its own locks and does not need rubbers. You, even, have options like Invisalign wherein the aligners are practically invisible and difficult to be noticed when you have them on your teeth. Finally, you have the Incognito braces which are applied to the lingual or back surfaces of the teeth.Since Incognito are applied at the back of your teeth, this is the best path for true invisible braces.

  2. Is it going to be painful? A lot of people are worried about the negative experiences about braces and at the most, they worry about pain and discomfort. That's a common question and surely your orthodontist will explain how why this is part and parcel, by explaining the mechanism involved on moving teeth. Along with this, he will discuss certain remedies that should help you go through it.

  3. How long is the treatment going to take? The length of treatment varies per case and the type of treatment used. If you are working on definite time frame, knowing the time be important, so do not hesitate to ask about this.

  4. How will I clean my teeth? From teeth that are completely free, you now have teeth that are "caged" by brackets, wires and rubbers. It could be a suffocating sight and it is not going to be easy to clean them. Food can get stuck easily and they are harder to remove. Ask you orthodontist if you need special tools to properly tackle plaque, once you have braces, so that you can prepare for it.

  5. What cases are contraindicated with braces? This determines whether you will be a good candidate for braces or not. Maybe you have a dental or medical condition that renders you unfit to go through orthodontic treatment. If you are engaged in regular activities that may complicate the treatment, this needs to be dealt with, as well.

  6. How do I eat with braces? Eating will be slightly difficult for the first few days, but you will master the skills to chew food with your wired teeth in just about a week or so. You need to be careful when you bite into food because the brackets can dislodge easily if you make a mistake. The best thing for you is to avoid hard, sticky and tough foods. 

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What is TMD? (Temporomandibular Disorder)

TMD (Temporomandibular Disease): Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint that links the jaw to the skull's temporal bones located in front of each ear.  It facilitates the movement of the jaw up, down, and from one side to the other, thus facilitating talking, yawning and chewing.

TMD or temporomandibular disease or disorders is the collective term given to problems with the bones and muscles that form this joint and help in its function.

Causes of TMD

It is not clear what causes this condition.  However, dentists believe that issues with jaw muscles or with parts of the temporomandibular joint itself are responsible for causing TMD.  For instance, injury to the jaw, joint, or muscles of the neck and head such as whiplash or a heavy blow can trigger TMD.

The following are additional causes:

  • Grinding or gritting the teeth, that results in the joint being pressured excessively
  • The soft pad or disc moving between the joint's ball and socket
  • Stress which can lead to the tightening of facial as well as jaw muscles, or gritting of teeth
  • The existence of arthritis in the joint (especially in elderly people)

Symptoms of TMD

Mostly, this disease causes severe pain as well as discomfort. It can affect either side or both sides of the face. Also, it could be momentary or could last for several years. TMD is most prevalent among individuals aged between 20 and 40 years, with the majority of victims being women.

The following are some of the common symptoms:

  • Aching or tenderness in the jaw joint area, face, neck and shoulders, plus in and around the ear when talking, chewing, or opening the mouth wide
  • Difficulties when trying to open the mouth wide
  • Jaws getting locked or stuck in the open/closed mouth position
  • Problems with chewing or having an abrupt, uneasy bite as if the teeth are not fitting together correctly
  • Clicking, cracking noises in the jaw joint while opening or closing the mouth, or chewing (this may be painful or not painful)
  • Swelling on the side of the face

Toothaches, headaches, aching in the neck, upper shoulder pain, earaches, hearing difficulties, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may also be experienced.

How TMD Is Diagnosed

There are several other disorders that cause the same symptoms, for example sinus problems, arthritis, tooth decay, or gum disease. The orthodontist will therefore inquire about a patient's health history and do a physical exam in order to find out what is causing the symptoms.

This will include checking the jaw joints for pain or swellings, listening for clicking, popping, or grating sounds that accompany any movement. The orthodontist will also ensure that the jaw works properly, without locking when opening and closing the mouth.He will test he patient's bite to see if there are any problems with the facial muscles.

Full face X-rays may be taken to view the patient's jaws, temporomandibular joints, as well as teeth in order to rule out other problems.


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What is the ideal bite?

The ideal smile is desired by almost every person, but not many people realize the importance of an ideal bite. You may be surprised to know how many people fail to realize that they have a problem with their bite. It's not until they develop a problem or are informed by an orthodontist about it, do they understand that their bite is off. So, what really is an ideal bite? An ideal bite may be described as a bite where the teeth of the upper jaw come in contact with those of the lower one at the same time when the mouth is closed. At the same time, the top teeth should only cover half of the lower ones at max.

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites that may be developed due to certain habits in young children or due to other dental manipulations. Here we describe the most common abnormal bites that a person can have.



  • A Deep bite, is one where the upper incisors cover the lower teeth too much when your mouth is closed.
  • An Open bite is one where the upper teeth just do not overlap with lower ones enough.
  • A Cross bite is a type of bite where the teeth cross over one another because the arch isn't perfect.
  • An overbite is where the upper teeth stick out in front of the lower ones. 


How do we develop poor bites?

There are multiple causes of these abnormal bites. Some can be caused due to damage to the teeth, or have been affected by trauma impacting jaw development. It's common to have misalignments after a dental procedure, but not treating that condition can lead to long-term problems for you. Sometimes, a common treatment like a dental filling or a root canal may shift your tooth into a misaligned position that disturbs your whole bite.

Another reason can be inflammation. The Jaw joints are susceptible to being inflamed, and any such process can lead to severe pain and inability to open or close the mouth. Also, some people have bad habits like grinding their teeth which can lead to bite defects.

A bite defect, although initially not of significance, can cause problems in the long run. They can cause discomfort on closing your teeth and can be cosmetically deforming. Also, any abnormal bite that is making a particular tooth touch the lower jaw first, will result in extra sensitivity and pain in that tooth. Besides this, an abnormal bite may cause severe wear of your teeth by constantly grinding against each other. This will make your enamel wear down at a much faster rate than normal to expose your teeth to harmful carious bacteria.

So, are there any ways that you can correct these problems?

As a matter of fact, there are. You can have that ideal bite, and the good thing is that it isn't complicated either. There are a number of ways that an orthodontist can assess a bad bite and treat it. Once the cause is identified, the orthodontist can improve the cosmetic appearance as well as the function by correcting the problematic tooth or teeth with manipulating your teeth and jaw. These procedures can help relieve the pain and discomfort during eating, talking or just closing your mouth, in general.All in all, we do know the importance of having the perfect smile, it's time we get that perfect bite too!  

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Benefits of early orthodontic treatment for your kids

Children between ages 7 to 10 is around the best age to allow an orthodontist to evaluate their teeth to see whether early treatment is required.

If some form of conditions is found, parents can begin their children on preventative treatments as it presents the opportunity for an orthodontist to have control over the development the children's permanent teeth. The benefit that comes in by addressing the shape of the jaw and the health of their teeth.

At the age of around 7 years, the mouth has grown and has enough sound structure to know how it's going to increase because it's when adult teeth will begin to emerge. It allows the orthodontist to predict their teeth's development.

It can be challenging to predict whether they require evaluation but if you see any characteristics or behavior below, then please talk to our team

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Facial Imbalance
  • Chewing difficulties
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Speech Impediment
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Protruding front teeth

With early orthodontic treatment, the benefits to your children teeth health includes:

  • Guiding the growth of the jaw to promote facial symmetry
  • Create space for crowded teeth
  • Reduce bad oral habits
  • Prevent jaws/teeth development flaws leading to bad bites or TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
  • Reduce future treatment time when braces are required (Saves time and money)
  • Improves patient self-esteem
  • Proper chewing and biting

Early treatment is a preventive measure which sets the foundation for the development of healthy teeth and gums. Early intervention are often easier to correct (while the child's jaw bone is soft) than later in their life. Your children will thank you in the future (hopefully) with their beautiful and charming smiles. Book an appointment for your child's orthodontic evaluation at Perfect Smiles Orthodontics.

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What happens if I stop wearing my retainers?

This is a commonly asked question as patient are overjoyed when braces are removed at the end of their treatment plan.  So why do I have to wear a retainer right after?

Retainers are needed to hold your teeth into their new positions.  After your braces are removed, teeth position will creep out as there is nothing holding them in place anymore.  Your bone and teeth tissues need time stablised into their new position which takes up to a year.

Straight after treatment, you'll wear retainers, full-time every day for the first 6 months.  The first month is very important as you have a higher risk of relapse meaning it'll take more time to stablise after treatment and you'll have to wear your retainers for longer period of time.  After six months, retainers can be worn at night time for a few more years.

As with braces, it takes time to get used to your new retainers.  After a month, the discomfort and difficulty in speaking will pass by so don't get discouraged.

Will retainers last a lifetime?  No, but it can take a few years to 10 years depending on the type of retainer and the condition of your teeth/gums.  Keep in mind, as we grow older, our faces mature and the teeth will continue to push forward.   Adult patients tend to wear retainers for the rest of their life to keep their perfect smile.

So is it worth slacking in wearing your retainers?  No.  You've made the investment for a perfect smile and endured throughout the treatment plan.  Wear your retainers to keep the perfect smile that you've always wanted.  

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Health Benefits of Having Braces

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the payoff of getting braces is having a great smile once they are removed. However, the aesthetic advantage of braces is just one of the many benefits that might not be known to a lot of people.

Correct alignment of teeth not only looks good but it also feels good to chew with them as they are more effective in gnashing food into tiny pieces. This easier and more effective way of breaking down what we eat also leads to easier digestion and is very helpful to those who might have nutritional or chewing problems.

Proper positioning of teeth also helps in speech through correction of certain speech impediments or lisps caused by gap/spaces and improper alignment of teeth that might make it hard to pronounce certain sounds or words. The correction of tooth positions also aids in the proper closing and opening of our jaws and can address jaw problems and/or prevent grinding that tend to wear away certain teeth.

The achievement of this alignment also makes cleaning of the teeth and gums easier. Food tends to get trapped in between teeth and they become more difficult to remove upon brushing and even flossing. The build-up of plaque and bacteria in these areas promotes the occurrence of gum disease. If this is not addressed properly it can ultimately lead to the destruction of bone that supports our teeth through the condition called periodontitis. This loosens the teeth in time and can make them mobile; in their advanced stages, the tooth involved will have to be removed since they have become non-functional.

Medical Experts has also led to believe that poor oral health can lead to various health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and respiratory infections.This is due to the fact that your teeth provides a direct path to your bloodstream where the infection can enter.

The presence of braces becomes a great reminder of how important it is to properly brush and floss our teeth because the brackets themselves are potential food traps. This reinforcement of dental hygiene will be carried out even after the removal of the braces and helps maintain healthy teeth.

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