Do Wisdom Teeth Affect Orthodontic Treatment

Your kid might need braces for various reasons. Maybe their teeth are crowded or overlapping or maybe their bite is not aligning properly. 

If your child's dentist recommended orthodontic treatment to correct their smile, you may be wondering now: 

But how about their wisdom teeth? 

Will wisdom teeth affect orthodontic treatment if they are not extracted? 

Well, it depends. 

Do We Need Our Wisdom Teeth? 

We don't really need them. Wisdom teeth are a set of third molars that grow at the back of our mouth and that were once really useful to our ancestors. But, nowadays, due to significant improvements in our diet and dental care, we can live without this extra set of teeth. 

The problem is, Mother Nature doesn't know that and we are still getting our wisdom teeth at about the age of 20. 

Should You Remove Wisdom Teeth Before Orthodontic Treatment? 

It may surprise you, but the answer isn't always yes. 

Wisdom teeth appear later in life when the rest of your teeth have already emerged and maybe overlapped due to natural drifting. If, for example, your child has a malocclusion or crowded teeth, then the wisdom teeth aren't really to blame here as they are not out yet. 

However, the dentist will examine your kid's mouth and determine if wisdom teeth need to be extracted based on: 

  • Is there enough room on the jaw for the teeth to erupt? If the answer is yes, then they will leave the wisdom teeth where they are and keep them under observation. If the answer is no, then the dentist might recommend extraction. 
  • Are the wisdom teeth impacted, meaning that they are stuck under the gum or growing at a weird angle and may cause trouble when they will erupt? Then it would probably be a good idea to have them removed. 
  • Are the wisdom teeth crowded or crooked, making it difficult to clean them properly? Does food often get stuck in there? That can lead to decay over time, so it's best to remove them. 
  • Are the wisdom teeth severely decayed? Then it may be smarter to have them removed rather than spending time and energy on restoring them.

Visit the Dentist Regularly 

Just because your child completed orthodontic treatment and now has a beautiful, straight smile, it doesn't mean they can't have misalignment problems anymore. Teeth tend to shift naturally during our life and lots of factors can impact their position. Especially if their wisdom teeth aren't out yet, it's important to go to regular dental visits so they can check on their progress and spot potential problems early on. 

If you are looking for a kind, experienced, and gentle pediatric parent for your child, then we encourage you to visit us at Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Get in touch with us, come for a visit, and see if we are the right doctor for your child. 

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