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80 thoughts on “Answered Questions Page2

  1. I recently discovered that I have quite a few cavities on teeth all over my mouth. It’s been very alarming lately because parts of my teeth keep chipping away without any rough contact. I saw online (all over) that by using cod liver oil and raw butter, teeth can be healed. My question is not only “is this true?” but is it possible in any way to heal a cavity back to normal without getting it filled? I need to know if this is a nutritional problem because I know I have vitamin B deficiencies that cause mouth sores and I want to know if this could be the same concept.

    1. Dear Josh,

      Your teeth will have to be filled by a dentist. A cavity is just a hole in your tooth and it has to be restored with materials that can withstand forces placed on the tooth. Cod liver oil and raw butter will not heal the enamel or cause the cavity to go away. You have to see a dentist.

      Right after you were born, plaque shows up in your mouth and stays with you the rest of your life. Plaque is bacteria or germs that lives in your mouth that eats the food that you eat. It grows and attaches itself to your enamel. Plaque loves sugar. So when you eat sugar, it eats the sugar as well, and then for 20 minutes, plaque gives off acid.

      Since the plaque is right up against your tooth, it dissolves or weakens the enamel. After a period of time, this acid will cause a cavity, a hole in your tooth. The cavity will not go away but will get larger over time and deeper into the tooth. The cavity has to be filled by a dentist.

      When we brush and floss our teeth, we dislodge the plaque and rinse it away. We can’t completely get rid of all the plaque so it starts to grow back again. That is why we brush and floss daily. I hope this was helpful. There is no home remedy for a cavity. Visit your dentist.

      Thanks for the question.

  2. I am having my invisalign bumps removed next week because I am almost finished with my braces. My orthodontist said he will also be detaching the gums from the teeth that moved significantly because this helps to reduce the potential for those teeth to shift back. Is this normal practice?

    1. Dear Ms. Wishard,

      Releasing incisions may be indicated in cases where a tooth has been moved from a long distance. The idea is to release the elastic gingival fibers that are stretched and may move the tooth back into its old position. The patient is numbed and an incision is made around the neck of the tooth usually on the palate side.

      Releasing incisions after orthodontic treatment is not routine in my practice. I allow the elastic gingival fibers to slowly change while the patient wears retainers. I’d talk to your orthodontist more about this planned procedure. It may be indicated for your circumstances.

      Thanks for the question.

  3. I had got braces for 2 years and after it is removed I feel after 2 to 3 months my upper teeth has come forward. What can be the cause and what can be done?

    1. Dear Simran,

      After braces, natural forces come into play and your teeth will settle. There are tiny movements that occur. Make sure you are wearing your retainers and talk to your orthodontist about the movement you are seeing. Some movement is acceptable.

      Thanks for the question.

  4. I am 57 years old and have been wearing braces for 2 years to treat TMJ. I am missing a tooth on the bottom and my ortho wants to push the bottom front teeth down to fit under the top front better. As a result, the bottom canines are crowding inward. He said this should be temporary and it will get better. Not sure I agree with this approach. I thought all the teeth should move outward to relieve the bottom jaw.

    1. Dear Elana,

      Some patients with TMJ problems have a deep bite. I am assuming that that is what your orthodontist is working on. A deep bite is too much overlap with your upper and lower anterior teeth when you’re closed. A normal amount of overlap is 10 to 20%. Therefore, when your back teeth are together, you should be able to see 80% of the lower incisors.

      Deep bites take time to correct. As we get rid of the deep bite, some adverse movements can occur but will be corrected before braces are removed. We correct deep bites because it allows your lower jaw to freely move if you subconsciously grind your teeth. Bruxism and clenching increases muscle tension and can cause temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

      Thanks for the question.

  5. Hello Dr.Thompson

    I have a crowded upper jaw and I am having 2 upper premolars extracted to make space for my left incisor to rotate and straighten. I have read about extractions causing TMJ in patients and I would like to know how likely is it that a male teenager having two upper teeth extracted will experience these problems? Are there any other issues surrounding extractions for braces?

    Also, I have read it changes facial shape. I am almost 18. Would having the two upper premolars have a large affect on my facial shape? I’m quite chubby so would it be noticeable?

    Your help will be appreciated,
    Stephen.

    1. Dear Stephen,

      Having upper premolars removed is typical for patients who have crowding and a complete Class II molar relationship. Extractions do not cause TMJ dysfunction. What causes TMJ dysfunction is mainly bruxism or clenching during sleep or subconsciously throughout the day.

      As far as changing facial shape, if you have upper incisors that are severely protrusive, then yes, your upper lip will come back slightly during space closure. In your case, due to crowding, the majority of the space will be taken up by de-rotating your teeth. Therefore, your upper lip will stay in the same place. Your orthodontist can close the space by bringing posterior teeth forward, or by bringing anterior teeth back and they will monitor facial esthetics all the way through your treatment.

      Changes in facial profile, by moving the teeth, is only seen around the lips. Upper anterior teeth support the upper and lower lip. I doubt that you will see any difference in your profile.

      Thanks for the question.

  6. Hello. My child has a crossbite and needs a Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) to correct this issue. He has aspergers and sensory processing disorder. I don’t know how well he will react to having this in his mouth. He has a serious problem with even brushing his teeth which causes him to gag. Yet he knows he needs this. He trys to brush his teeth but it is very hard for him. He is 9 years old and will also be getting sealant in all four back molars. He has no cavities. Is there anything I should be aware of for this expander? Or for the sealants? Thanks!

    1. Dear Gloria,

      A rapid palatal expander is an easy appliance to use. There will be pressure after you turn the screw for about 5 minutes. It is not painful at all. You will have to brush his RPE daily. Your orthodontist will give you a list of items he cannot chew. If he can comply with getting it fitted, he should do well with the rest of the procedure. About the only thing you will need to do in the beginning is to keep him from playing with it right after the RPE is placed. If he wiggles it, the RPE will come out. After the RPE is in place for about a day or two, the patient gets to where they don’t think about it.

      You will know in the beginning if he can tolerate the RPE. We try it in first to see if it fits properly. If he gags a lot then it can be removed quickly. If he can’t get past the RPE feeling in his mouth at this age, wait a year and try again. During that year to desensitize him, have him brush his palate as well as his teeth.

      A sealant is a hard resin that covers the natural grooves of the molars. Plaque can stay in these grooves and cause a cavity to form. Therefore, we apply sealants onto the molars as a preventive measure to reduce the chance of cavities. Sealants do wear over time and periodically need replaced.

      Thanks for the question.

    1. Hi Cara,

      Yes, you have to wear a retainer after braces are removed. Right after braces are removed, your teeth try to move the most. You wear a retainer until your orthodontist weans you off of them. My young patients wear them until they stop growing. Age 18 or older. The adult patients wear them for years. Wearing a retainer is full time right after braces are removed, then night wear after about 6 months of full time wear. Wearing a retainer will not hurt your enamel or gum tissue.

      If you don’t wear your retainers, your teeth will shift back into their old positions. You have to wear retainers after braces.

      Thanks for the question.

  7. Hi, I’m getting my braces off in 4 days and I still have a small gap, I’m just wondering if it will go?

    1. Dear Megan,

      It depends on how large and where the gap is located. Some small gaps will close automatically after braces are removed. You need to tell your orthodontist about the gap before the braces are removed.

      Thanks for the question.

  8. Dear Dr.
    I used the braces when I was 30 years old. I had gaps in my teeth. So the Doctor didn’t remove any teeth. The Doctor used the braces for around 2 years on my teeth and then he gave me a retainer which I used for around one and a half years. After 2 years of not using retainer, I am seeing gaps coming between my teeth.
    Do I need to use a retainer again or the braces? Please suggest.

    1. Dear Sameer,

      Since you just now started to notice the spaces opening up, visit your orthodontist for a new retainer. Some patients grind their teeth during the day or at night and that is enough force to make the gaps open up again. I don’t think you will need braces again.

      Thanks for the question.

  9. hi , i just got braces for like 6 days ago the first 4 days i had terrible pain i thought it’s normal but i have a tooth that moved in those 4 days in the wrong way , it moved to the inside of my mouth , my orthodontist didn’t put bracket on this tooth so the others teeth moved it away and now it look even worse than before , its been 6 days and i can’t even drink water i feel like there is kind of electricity in the wire , the worst that my orthodontist is on vacation , i really need your help i want to know if that is normal ? and if braces are not suitable for some kinds of jaws cause i think that moving in just 4 days is strange ? please help i will be greatful .

    1. Dear Dalia,

      It is normal for the tooth, that doesn’t have a bracket attached, to move in the wrong direction. With lower crowded incisors, we bypass some incisors because there is not enough room to bring them into position. They will move up and towards your tongue, the wrong way quickly. Again, this is normal. Once enough space is created, your orthodontist will place a bracket on that tooth and bring it forward.

      The only reason that keeps a person from having braces is advanced gum disease, not different jaw types. You’ve already gone through the hard part of getting use to your braces. The first week is hard. Your lips will get use to the braces and you will be able to start eating solid foods again. Hang in there. If a week from now you are still in the same condition, call your orthodontist.

      Thanks for the question.

  10. I’m considering braces but I have a few molars that have been removed and I want to eventually get implants to replace the ones that are missing because a couple if them are in my smile line. Should I get those done first or should I have the braces done first? I wasn’t sure if it mattered which was done first.

    Becky

    1. Dear Becky,

      It is very important to have the braces done first. Implants do not move. It limits our ability to move the teeth where we want them.

      Thanks for the question.

  11. Hi, I am getting my braces removed in this coming Feb. my case is i extracted my four tooth before braces putting on.

    Just wanna check it out is that normal to have a small little gap which is on the extracted tooth area? I am not too over concern about it because is not noticeable since is behind the mouth. but is that actually normal that the gap could not close up completely?

    Thank You 😉

    1. Hello,

      All extraction site gaps should be closed. In some cases, a small gap will close by itself after braces are removed. I’d call your orthodontist, make an earlier appointment than February and be seen about it. You don’t want to go to your debanding appointment and find out the space keeps you from getting your braces removed.

      They can place a power chain elastic to close the space and have it gone before your braces are removed. Gaps between teeth allow for food impaction and can cause gum disease or bone loss in that area.

      Thanks for the question.

  12. My orthodontist is taking half my braces off in a month and leaving 4 brackets on top and like 6 on the bottom for another month. Is this normal? And if so what Is the purpose?

    1. Hi Avery,

      Usually all the braces are taken off at one time and retainers placed that day or the next. There must be something your orthodontist wants to correct with just some braces on. No big deal in my opinion.

      Thanks for the question.

  13. Awhile ago I lost my retainer and even after it had been months my teeth didn’t move much then I found it and although it was tight I could still wear it. However, last year moved and now I can’t find it again. Now, months later I can feel (but not see) that one of my front teeth have shifted a bit. I was wondering if it would still be possible to just get a new retainer to stop them from shifting more or if I’d have to get braces again to fix what’s moved. Thanks for your time.

    1. Alyssa,

      Minor tooth movements can be made with a retainer. I would get a new hawley retainer made as soon as you can. It will stop the teeth from moving more. Also, adjustments to your retainer and your teeth can be done to make minor tooth movements. So you should be able to get your front tooth back into shape. You probably won’t need braces again.

      Thanks for the question.

  14. Hello there, my orthodontist had assessed my teeth and noted that I had a right prosterior crossbite and told me to “accept crossbite damages”. I was 16 years old when he assessed it. I’ve had braces on for a few months now since then and I have noted that my lower jaw (and teeth) is sorta slanted downwards towards the crossbite side. I have also noted asymmetry in my cheeks. While surfing the web, I’ve seen websites that say crossbite can usually be fixed at any age. If so, is that the case with me? Is it possible to fix my crossbite and slanting teeth at all with braces?

    1. Dear Mr. Dean,

      A crossbite can be corrected at any age. It is just harder in the adult. A crossbite can exist from abnormal tooth positions and/or the upper jaw being narrow.

      In a young patient who has a narrow upper jaw, a rapid palatal expander (RPE) can be used before the mid palatal suture closes and the width of the upper jaw can be corrected.

      In the adult with a narrow jaw, orthognathic surgery will be needed in conjunction with the RPE to correct the crossbite. The RPE is placed first, then the adult has surgery that widens the palate.

      If the crossbite is mainly due to tooth positions and not a narrow palate, only braces are needed for correction.

      So, to answer your question, crossbites can be corrected at any age. Some adults need surgery, some don’t because the crossbite is due to tooth positions only. I hope that helps.

      Thanks for your question.

  15. Before I got my braces, I did not have the upper left or right incisor and I had a giant gap. So the orthodontist closed the gap and created space to put teeth implants in the spaces (upper left or right incisor) because my teeth had not grown. I have had to wear elastics because the orthodontist said one side has not opened up wide enough to insert the tooth. But recently my wire to hook one of the elastics has broken and I can not hook it on so i will not make any progress.

    So I rang the orthodontist and they have said that it would be ok and it will not stop the process. And now they have left me with a broken wire and I personally think that it is going to slow the process right down and because I have previously been there for an emergency appointment before because a different hook had broken they just don’t want to see me any more …

    So I was wondering, do you think them stopping me from wearing my elastics will slow the process and make my treatment longer? And is there another way I could hook my elastic so that it would do the same job?

    1. Dear Danielle,

      The main item placed on braces to open a congenitally missing lateral incisor space is a compressed coil spring. The spring opens the space up and the elastic keeps your central incisors from moving forward as it opens the space.

      I would take your orthodontist at their word that you don’t need the elastic and it won’t slow your treatment down. Call your orthodontist. Talk to them until you are satisfied that that is the case. There are a variety of ways to attach a hook onto braces.

      In my opinion, I don’t think the broken hook will slow your treatment down.

      Thanks for your question.

  16. i just got my braces off yesterday and got my retainers and i have few questions please help me out?

    Q1. i felt that after coming back from dentist clinic i had my lunch and i removed my retainers and got them back and in the night i just notice that my left central incisor shift a little very slightly on my right central incisor? is it possible or its my thinking only because it was after few hours i got my braces removed and i still feel it ?

    Q2. i got my retainers on the upper jaw and lower jaw as well but i think it does not fit on right side on my lower jaw .is it meant like like this so that my teeth come on right place and get shift in retainers by them selves or i have to go and get it fixed? secondly it also pinches me on right side on my lower jaw ?

    Q3. my retainers hurt alot like my braces in the beginning.is it alwasy going to hurt whenever i put them on or its just for few day?

    1. Dear Alishah,

      Teeth can move immediately after braces are removed. Wear your retainers full time and talk to your orthodontist about the tooth that is moving.

      As far as your lower retainer, if your retainer is not fitting right, call your orthodontist about your concerns. We do not make the retainer so that teeth will move into it.

      It is true that hawley retainers can put pressure on your teeth and make them sore, but it will not last long. Wearing your retainers full time is the best to help stablize the teeth.

      Thanks for the questions.

  17. Hi, I’m currently having invisible braces to correct a slight crossbite in my front teeth. I had no problems with my first aligner but my second has been very painful. It felt as though one of my incisors was starting to crush against the other one, and I noticed a darker area on my other incisor.

    On closer inspection there is a craze line running vertically on this tooth, in the same area that the pressure was occurring on my tooth and exactly where my two teeth had met when they were crushing against each other. I pay close attention to my teeth so I can say that this was not there before I started treatment. I stopped wearing my aligner after expressing my concerns to the receptionist at the dental practise and my teeth have separated again a little.

    Having now seen the dentist he says there’s no way that the aligners could have caused this, and has made a new mould for some different aligners. I am scared about developing more of these lines as I continue treatment but I think I won’t be able to get a refund at this stage so I feel very stuck and afraid. I feel like my concerns have fallen on deaf ears and want to know, is this possible for aligners to cause craze lines? What do you think could have happened to cause them? I’m very upset at their appearance especially as I never thought this would occur and was never warned about this.
    Advice would be much appreciated.

    1. Dear Ms. Phillips,

      I understand your concerns. We need to discuss tooth craze lines. Vertical and horizontal craze lines occur over our life time in our teeth. They are basically cracks in our teeth. Almost every adult has them and the older you get the more in number show up. Some people develop more than others and most craze lines give us no symptoms. Some craze lines will open up during chewing causing pain in posterior molars. We call that a vertical cracked tooth syndrome.

      Craze lines occur from normal chewing, clenching and trauma to our teeth. Most of the time, we do not know how the craze line got there. Braces and aligners do not create enough pressure to cause craze lines, in my humble opinion. Enamel is the hardest structure in our body. Some patients can create over 200 pounds of pressure per square inch when chewing. Aligners and braces create very little pressure in ounces. Our teeth move better when we use light pressure and not heavy. Plus the patient can’t tolerate heavy pressure.

      Some craze lines can only be seen with light hitting it a certain way. Some are difficult to see.

      I have seen horizontal craze lines on very young children which may have been due to trauma. That is about all I can think of. I would continue talking with your orthodontist and I would continue to research tooth craze lines and maybe get a second opinion if you are not satisfied.

      I wish you well. Thanks for the question.

  18. Hello, i have had my braces on for about 2 months, and i have had the “Quad-Helix Expander” on and i am just wanting to know more about it and when i can get it off? Because my friends are saying that i have a really bad lisp and i don’t know how to control it..

    Thank You,
    Sean Rogers

  19. Dear Sean,

    A Quad-helix expander is used to correct cross bites that are mainly due to incorrect tooth positions and not a narrow palate. It can also push segments of teeth with the extra auxillary wires. The appliance is used for as long as the orthodontist needs to accomplish a task, so there is not a definite time that it should be removed. Your lisp will go away slowly as you subconsciously retrain your tongue to create proper sounds.

    Thanks for the question.

  20. My orthodontist is taking my brackets off and fitting me for my retainer. Does that mean I’m getting my braces off? Can my orthrodonist fit me for a retainer with my braces on?

    1. Dear Gabby,

      When I am going to take braces off and the patient wants a hawley retainer, I take an impression of the teeth with the wire out of the brackets the appointment before the debanding. We use that impression to make a retainer.

      When the patient comes back about a month later, the hawley retainer is ready. We take the braces off and seat the retainer the same appointment. So it sounds like you are getting your braces off. Congratulations!! So, yes, your orthodontist can fit you for a retainer with your braces on.

      Thanks for the question.

  21. Okay so I have been a very bad patient regarding wearing my rubberbands. They irritate my mouth and cause bumps and blisters. I think i could be allergic. Other people I have talked to don’t have this problem. So I haven’t been to my ortho in a long time because I am afraid. I know He’s probably mad but I’m very nervous. I am scheduling an appointment however next week. I have two gaps on the sides of my teeth but they aren’t very noticeable. I was going to ask if I could just have them taken off.

    Also, I have been having aches in my mouth. the ache is general and it isn’t just on one spot. Could I possibly have holes in my teeth?? My dentist told me that I had no cavities when I went in for my cleaning. I guess I’m just afraid that I will have holes after my braces.

    Thank you for your help,
    Tori

    1. Dear Tori,

      Wearing rubber bands helps you obtain a good occlusion. Rubber bands move whole segments of teeth and you need to wear your rubber bands. I know it hurts but do it.

      Patients who are allergic to rubber bands are usually allergic to rubber bands made of latex. Ask your orthodontist for latex free rubber bands. That should help.

      As far as removing the braces, I’d say stay the course and finish treatment. You or your orthodontist can discontinue treatment at any time. Again, talk with your orthodontist. We do want the best for your dental health.

      Finally, I don’t know why you are having a general ache. Since you haven’t seen your orthodontist in a long time, get an appointment. You may have a cavity. If so, your orthodontist will refer you to your family dentist for a restoration. A patient with braces should see their family dentist regularly for cleanings and a check up while going through orthodontic treatment. There is an overlap of duties between the orthodontic specialist and the family dentist but the family dentist does the cleanings and checkup.

      Thanks for the questions.

  22. I got ceramic braces today with a white wire because The issue with my teeth is slight rotation of the cuspids So I’m not a candidate for Invisalign. My orthodontist initially said it would take up to 12 months But I am a senior in high school and leave for college in 7 months. He’s a fixed teeth in 6 months and said mine aren’t very messed up at all (most people said I didn’t even need braces)

    He also said that in two months my teeth will be perfectly straight and I’ll be “begging him to take them off”,but he can’t. My question is:
    Why can’t I get them off when they’re straight?
    And if I get them off in 7 months what will happen??
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Catie,

      Your orthodontist is trying to lessen the chances that your teeth will move back into their old positions. We call it relapse. We hold the teeth in their new positions so that the gum tissue can be replaced, over and over again.

      The elastic fibers in the gum tissue are stretched when a tooth is moved into its new position. Over time, those fibers are replaced with new ones and the tension in the elastic fibers lessens. This helps keeps the tooth in its new position. So, that is why your orthodontist wants to keep your braces on longer after they are in a good position.

      Thanks for the question.

  23. Please help: I have very thin to no enamel and my sensitivity is unbearable am I still allowed to get braces

    I have a consultation soon but I don’t want to waste $50 if he will tell me I can get braces anyway

    1. Dear Rob,

      People with weak or hypoplastic enamel can have braces. During treatment the bonded braces may come off and they are replaced with the older style of braces, bands. Bands have a stainless steel metal strip that goes all the way around the tooth and are cemented into place. They don’t come off as easily. They would be placed on the posterior teeth only and not the front. So it is possible.

      For sensitivity, ask your dentist for help. They can prescribe special toothpaste that can help with the sensitivity, like Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Desensitizing Paste.

      Thanks for the question.

  24. i broke my lower jaw retainer…….how much time will it take to get new retainer…and in between this is it possible that my teeth start to shift?

    1. Alisha,

      It depends on the type of retainer. A clear “invisible retainer” takes about a day to make. A hawley retainer takes longer and varies with each orthodontist. Our hawley retainer turn around is about two to three weeks.

      Your teeth can shift during this period of time without a retainer but when you start wearing your new retainer, they will shift back.

      Thanks for the question.

  25. Hello, I’m getting my braces off this coming Tuesday. I wear elastic bands however this past week I haven’t been wearing them very often, only when I sleep. I have two small gaps on either side of my incisors. Last time I was in the dentist, he told me that these gaps might never close up. So, my question is, will he close the gap with bonding or something?

    Thanks in advance,
    Carrie

    1. Dear Carrie,

      With orthodontic treatment, we usually are able to close all spaces. However, there are some situations where the space cannot be closed. If the lateral incisors are not very wide, nor normal shaped, we call them pegged lateral incisors.

      The orthodontist will place spaces on both sides of the peg laterals and then the family dentist will bond the laterals to close the space and make a normal sized lateral incisor. That may be what your orthodontist is thinking. You need to ask your orthodontist about how they are going to handle the spaces before braces are removed.

      Thanks for the question.

    1. Hi,

      It varies from patient to patient, but about age 16 to 17 years old.

      Thanks for the question.

  26. i’m getting braces next week the orthodontist gave me rubber bands, just right now i was eating and 1 of my rubber bands came off i’m trying to push it back in with no luck what should i do? is it a problem? by the way its been 2 days with the rubber bands. thank you

    1. Dear Sara,

      It sounds like you are talking about separators. Separators are placed about a week before braces so they can create space. Once space is created, they can become loose and fall out. Space is created so bands can be placed on the molars. If this is the case, call your orthodontist and see if it needs to be placed back.

      Thanks for the question.

  27. My 7 year old gransdon has an RPE. He is being good about following the rules as to food and cleaning and we are using a mini brush. I would like to get him a waterpik if that would help to dislodge the caught food. Your opinion?
    Thank you

    1. Hello,

      If the RPE is a tissue borne expander, then a water pic will help. A tissue borne expander has plastic that pushes on the palate and there is little space between the tissue and the plastic after you start expansion. A water pic can get under the plastic. I don’t like using this type of expander because it is very hard to keep clean.

      If your grandson has a Hyrax Rapid Palatal Expander, it is much easier to keep clean. I tell patients to brush it with their toothbrush and use the mini-brush. I don’t think a water pic will help that much more in cleaning the RPE. An adult needs to do a daily visual check after he cleans his RPE to see if he still has food present. The screw of the hyrax RPE is far enough away from the palate that food clears well and doesn’t get lodged.

      Mechanical brushing is always better than a water pic.

      Thanks for the question.

  28. Hello, I wear my elastics all the time but there is no progress in my jaw positioning. My orthodontist I getting upset with me because he thinks I am not wearing my elastics all the time, but I am! What’s wrong?

    1. Dear Kelly,

      Elastics work well during rapid growth of the patient. The older the patient, the less chance that elastics will work. Also, the amount of force should be changed. Ask your orthodontist if the length or the amount of rubber bands should be changed. Finally, elastics can only reduce the overjet a certain amount. Severe overjets are hard to completely reduce by elastics requiring different treatment plan. Keep up the good work. Full time wear is the best even while sleeping. Wear your elastics as instructed.

      Thanks for the question.

  29. Hello, I have now had braces twice and I had my last set of braces taken off about 3-4 years ago and I wear my retainers every night and I have noticed that once I take my retainers off my one middle tooth on my upper jaw moves forward a lot within about 20 mins. Why is this happening and what could be done to fix this?

    1. Dear Gabrielle,

      The major reason that teeth move like you are describing, is that the width of the teeth do not match with the circumference of the alveolar bone (jaw). Some patients have central or lateral incisors that are very wide. If that is the case, a little enamel can be removed (enameloplasty) and relieve the pressure that is being placed on the incisor. This may stabilize the tooth and keep it in place. Remember, teeth move until all forces are in harmony. Talk to your orthodontist and see if an enameloplasty is needed.

      Thanks for the question.

  30. Hey,
    I wore braces two years ago. I was told to wear my retainers for 22 hours daily but sometimes i did not wear my retainers for 22 hours. Hence my teeth moved. Not only that, i lost my retainer , so i was asked to make a new retainer. As i was scared, I wore the new retainer 24/7 hoping that my teeth will go back to its position.I can still see some space on my upper teeth while my lower teeth is not really straight. But My orthodontic said that my upper teeth will not moved to it original state (after braces) and for my lower tooth its the best that she can do for me. the question is it it true that i cant get my after braces teeth back even if i wear my retainer 24/7?

    1. Dear Mary,

      It sounds like you need a retainer that will move the teeth. There are different types of Hawley retainers. One type moves your teeth and another maintains positions. A spring retainer or a hawley retainer with finger springs will move your teeth. I use a hawley retainer with finger springs along with enameloplasty to move the teeth back into position all the time. Finger springs are just extra wires coming out of the plastic that can put pressure on your teeth. This is for minor tooth movement only. Your teeth can be fixed, IMHO.

      Thanks for the question.

  31. well my dentist said that my 4 front bottom teeth are decaying and my 2 front top teeth are decaying they are in terrible shape so im wondering if i can still get braces

    and is it possible to get braces with implants were my teeth are decaying??

    1. Hi Tiya,

      Braces are not placed until all decay is taken care of. Your teeth with decay need to be restored asap, if possible. If not and they are extracted, braces would be done next, then the implants last. Implants do not move so they are placed after braces.

      Thanks for the question.

  32. Hello,

    I have the most sensitive teeth in the world and I’m afraid this extreme sensitivity will prevent me from getting my braces applied

    Iv been to my dentist and she gave me a gel (Recaldent)
    Which is said to remineralise my teeth

    1. Dear Lisa,

      Recaldent will remineralize your enamel and lessen your sensitivity. I’ve not had a patient that couldn’t have their braces placed due to sensitivity. About the only time it will be sensitive is when they rinse and air dry the teeth before placing the adhesive. Using Recaldent a month before the placement of braces should help a lot.

      Thanks for the question.

  33. Dr. Thompson,

    I’ve had regular braces for about 2 years now. I’ve also been wearing elastics during my treatment to align my teeth. During my last monthly visit with my orthodontist he decided to remove the top and bottom wire from my braces and said not to use elastics for a month and just let the teeth settle. I know I still have at least 6-7 months left with my treatment and I never got around to asking him why he removed the wire for a month? Is this normal practice? When would an orthodontist ever remove the top and bottom wire just for a month mid treatment?

    Thanks.

    1. Dear Mike,

      I’m sort of puzzled about the removal of upper and lower wires to allow the teeth to settle. I’ve never seen that technique used before. Interesting. I’m just thinking about it. It would be the same as having your braces removed with no retainers for a month. Hmmm….I have no other comment, other than, interesting.

      Thanks for the question.

      1. No problem I thought it was a little strange too as I assume my teeth are going to shift for the worse during this period? I think I’ll give the office a call tomorrow to inquire about this.

  34. I’m 21 years old male. I got my braces 4 months ago. My ortho trying to move my upper front teeth backward because i have full upper lip but i don’t have enough space therefore she wants to extract 4 bicuspid(one each side).
    I wanna tell you one thing, when i have my mouth closed from the front, it looks somewhat like a monkey’s mouth from the protrusion.

    I have read that extracting teeth would only be recommended if crowding is a major problem.
    In my case of extraction, it creats excess space because i have “no crowding” to close the gap front teeth pushed too far back then what about the “tongue”.
    If it sits too far back in the mouth, it blocks the airway, which can cause “sleep apnea”.
    Should i extract teeth or not ?

    1. Dear Pankaj,

      I would say yes, have the teeth extracted. We extract teeth in all four quadrants when a patient has bi-maxillary protrusion. The extraction sites are closed during treatment. It gets rid of the protrusion and fullness of the midface. It will work.

      Thanks for the question.

      1. Thanks for your suggestion but after removing the bicuspid, the teeth are usually moved orthodontically to constrict the arch of teeth, eliminating the gaps. When the dental arch is constricted the tongue has less room.
        It has a given size and must fit inside the mouth.If there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the tongue, what kinds of situations exist.
        I’m worried that, it will cause sleep apnea.
        Your help will be appreciated.

        1. Dear Pankaj,

          I have not read any studies that have made a positive correlation between space closure of bicuspids and that creating sleep apnea. My thoughts are that there is no correlation between the two. In my opinion, tongue placement would be closer to normal after bimaxillary protrusion correction.

          Thanks for the question.

  35. I am 24yr old,wearing braces for 1year..my dendist next month i can remove the braces and ask to wear fixed retainer. But i feel my teeth gaps not filled properly. Some small gaps still be there.
    Is that right to remove races at this time or should i retain for another month?

    Please suggest me what should i do…Thanks

    1. Hi,

      One of the criteria for braces to be removed is that all the spaces are closed. Teeth that have a contact point protects the gum tissue in that area from food impaction. Sometimes all spaces can’t be closed due to tooth size discrepancies. Talk to your orthodontist and ask them if the spaces are going to be closed.

      Thanks for the question.

  36. what if my 3 tooth were removed in the upper part of my gums , can i use braces to adjust and fix it,,? 🙂

    1. Hi,

      If you are talking about extracting the cuspid, I would consult with an orthodontist. We like to keep cuspids. If there is a lot of crowding and an extraction is needed, we would select another tooth besides the cuspid. Braces would then be used to correct the occlusion.

      Thanks for the question.

  37. ive had braces on for 27 months n im very happy with the progress its done but , ive had this small gap in between my right canine tooth and the incisor tooth (my top jaw) my orthodontist tried tightening the wires multiple times , had me wear different wires n now their having me wear this thing by my gap and it looks like safetypin. ive been wearing the wire for about 2 weeks and my gap hasnt reduced at all so i dont this method is working either.. can you please tell me why my gap hasnt closed after all the different methods theyve done or tell me how to close it i was supposed to get my braces off in september but my orthodontist even said i still have my braces on because of this one gap

    1. Hello,

      Gaps can be very difficult to close. Sometimes it is due to an ankylosed tooth that will not move. Sometimes it is due to a tooth size discrepancy of the upper and lower teeth. Finally, gum tissue can be bulbous in that area causing difficulty in closing. A gingivectomy may be needed.

      Chances are, your orthodontist will get it closed. If it opens back up after braces are removed, a white composite filling can be placed in that area to close the gap.

      Thanks for the question.

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