For older teenagers and young adults, emerging wisdom teeth may be on the horizon. For those who are undergoing active orthodontic treatment or in retention, wisdom teeth can raise several concerns—especially if you think they may affect your smile. Read on to learn more about wisdom teeth and how they impact healthy, aligned smiles.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt, typically many years after all the other teeth. While many people have four wisdom teeth, it is normal to have less than four or even no wisdom teeth.
Because these molars are at the back of the mouth, there is often insufficient space for them to erupt. Crowding can lead to impacted teeth (teeth trapped under the gums), which can cause pain and swelling. Many people have their wisdom teeth removed to avoid pain or infections.
Will wisdom teeth impact orthodontic treatment?
Since wisdom teeth emerge after many people have had braces as younger teens, some may worry that their wisdom teeth could disrupt their beautiful smiles. Luckily, wisdom teeth rarely disrupt your other teeth.
If you go to the dentist regularly (every six months) and wear your retainer, wisdom teeth should not cause problems for the rest of your mouth. Your dentist can track signs that your wisdom teeth are coming and use X-rays to determine when it’s time to remove them. But if you skip out on dental appointments, there is a chance your wisdom teeth could shift your aligned smile. Keep your eye out for any pain or swelling of the gums at the back of your mouth, as they are common signs your wisdom teeth are coming.
Wisdom teeth during treatment
There is a possibility that while you have braces or aligners, your wisdom teeth could make an appearance. Fortunately, our experts examine your smile often and thoroughly assess your anatomy before creating a custom treatment plan. Your smile is the star of the show, and your orthodontist will ensure that wisdom teeth don’t try to steal the spotlight!
Armed with years of experience and imaging, your orthodontist will be able to keep a close eye on your wisdom teeth and let you know if it’s time for you to get them removed. Braces will not impact your surgery if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Like everyone else, you will have a routine procedure and go home with some painkillers and instructions to eat lots of soft foods (think: froyo, smoothies, and ice cream)!
Keep your smile’s star quality
We hope this blog helps you be all the wiser about wisdom teeth. If you’re ready to get your healthiest, happiest smile, come in for a complimentary consultation to learn about your options. We can’t wait to see you!