456 thoughts on “Answered Questions Page 12

  1. Hi I was wondering why my gums on the bottom of my bottom teeth so uneven, I got my braces off recently and I have noticed my gums before.

    1. Hi. The gum tissue in a young person covers part of the enamel. As your face matures, the gum tissue recedes to the cementum enamel junction, where it should be. So, your orthodontist aligns the teeth by the crown of the tooth and not the gum tissue. You will be alright. The gum tissue will go down in size and they will start looking more even the older you get.

    1. Hi. I guess it’s possible, but I wouldn’t do it. You can talk to your orthodontist about it. If a space is present, the gum tissue will not be protected by the contact point created by the teeth being together. This will result in loss of gum tissue and bone over time due to food hitting that area from chewing.

  2. Hi,
    I’m 8 months in to having my metal braces, both top and bottom. My upper teeth didn’t really need braces, but I thought I’d get them anyway. My lower teeth were very uneven and crowded. I am extremely unhappy with my upper teeth are looking at the moment. My orthodontist has pushed them upwards for some reason and I hate the way they look. If I was to have my upper brace removed, would my teeth move back to how they originally were? I actually preferred the way my upper teeth used to look. And if so, how long would this take?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi. If you have your upper braces removed and do not use a retainer, they will probably move back to where they were. I’d suggest that you talk to your orthodontist about the concerns you have with the positions of your teeth before having the upper braces removed.

  3. I have had my braces for 11 months now—–my molars STILL do not meet up and I can not chew food. I have lost 56 pounds and my dr is telling me not to lose any more weight! Will my back teeth ever “mesh” again so that I can chew food??????????

    1. Hi. At the end of treatment, your posterior teeth should occlude. You may want to talk to the orthodontist and find out if you have a skeletal Class III relationships, which would cause your posterior teeth not to occlude. If so, sometimes elastics, extractions or surgery is used to fix the problem.

  4. My daughter got her braces removed about a year ago. Since that time, her 2nd molars grew in. Her bite got messed up as a result. Her molars now hit, but the rest of her teeth do not. We saw the orthodontist and he put braces back on – just on the back 4 or 5 teeth (upper & lower). She also wears rubber bands at night. She has had them on for about a month now & her bite is even worse – her front teeth are not even close to coming together now. They put new wires in yesterday that they said will bring her teeth together. She is very nervous that this is not working. What are your thoughts about this approach?

    1. Hi, Your orthodontist may want to go to full braces, upper and lower to get complete control of the teeth. Sometimes a small complement of brackets and wires will fix the problem of a misaligned 2nd molar and at other times, full appliances are needed.

  5. My daughter has one of her front teeth crooked inwards, so we went to the orthodontist. She suggests that it can be straightened by pushing it with a spoon every day but to me this seems pretty insane thing to do. What do you think?

    1. Hi, Intermittent pressure will not move the tooth. Constant pressure over a period of weeks is needed to move a tooth. So, I disagree with the doctor’s assessment.

  6. Hi, My currently have a power chain on a couple front teeth to rotate my tooth but my bottom row is overcrowded so as the tooth rotates it’s kind of pushing my other tooth too is this okay? will it fix by itself or should i worry?

  7. Hi my top front left tooth is slightly overlapping tooth on right. Could I get an Essex retainer to hold them in place until I can afford braces? Will an Essex retainer hold overlapped teeth

    1. Hello, Yes wearing an Essix retainer every night will keep the incisors from overlapping more.

  8. Thanks for your reply my teeth have been moving over last ten years and my dentist said I need braces. I have had no one else to ask what to do. Thanks again Ann ( Ireland’s)

  9. I recently had braces on wedensday top and bottom and I’m in pain every time I’m trying to eat the pain just gets worse , the tablets are not helping!

    How long will this take to stop the pain?

  10. Hi! I’ve had my braces on for about 18 months when it was only suppose to be 16. I’ve noticed that there are clear outlines of my brackets on my teeth. I brush and floss and they do not go away. Is it plaque or just excess glue? Should I be worried about white spots?

  11. My thai wife has rubber bands with 6 weeks now she was told this is the final stage and her braces can be removed in 2 months , she have them 2 years already

    1. Hi, You may want to talk with your orthodontist about the treatment progress or get a second opinion.

  12. My spacers broke today and i have an app to get bottom braces tomorrow at 9 am. Will i be able to get the braces or will i have to wait again? Thanks!

    1. Hi. You will probably have your braces placed. They can place the separator at a later date and the band the following week.

  13. My son has straight teeth, except one tooth started coming in ontop another tooth. It was suggested an expander be used. Son has horrible gag reflexes, so it couldnt be done. Would braces help, pros and cons?

    1. Hi. Some expansion can be done with the braces and they can get the ectopic erupting tooth in better position.

  14. Hi ! I’m 16 years old and i was wondering is there a alternative way of fixing my underbite without a surgery and at what age does my underbite get really worsen and how to know if it’s really worse.

    1. Hi. Class III malocclusions are usually the hardest malocclusion to correct. Early treatment is indicated to try to get the jaws to grow. Surgery can sometimes be avoided by using elastics and extractions. A consultation with an orthodontic specialist is recommended. They can tell you what is possible.

  15. Hello sir! Two of the brackets fell off from the side of the back teeth, on the other side one bracket fell off as well, it is not causing any discomfort but I’m wondering if the teeth are still straightening? In the front teeth everything is perfectly fine, should I wait to the next appointment or fix it right away?

    1. Hi. It would be best for you to call your orthodontist and tell them about the loose brackets. They may want to see you before your regular visit.

  16. Hi, my 16 year old son just had his braces taken off and both his top second molars are in a scissor bite. Orthodontists says it’s extremely difficult to correct and treatment may cause more problems with his bite etc so his plan is to leave them alone or possibly extract the top ones and hope the wisdom teeth can replace them. Do you think a second opinion is warranted here or is keeping it simple the best solution?

    1. Hi, The problem with extracting the second molars is that you don’t know the quality of the 3rd molars and they may also erupt into a poor position. The 2nd molar, IMHO, is a better tooth than the third molar. I’d get a second opinion.

  17. Hello
    I just got braces 1 day ago. I have this concern about my teeth: when I bite down only my front two teeth touch my front two brackets. My orthodontist placed some trampoline or squishy things on the bracket so they don’t pop off. I feel rly weird because none of my other teeth touch each other. Will it correct it self or should I be worried.

    1. Hi, You should not worry. When braces are placed upper and lower, there are a lot of occlusal interferences that occur. Over time, your posterior teeth will begin to touch better.

  18. Hello Sir, I actually started wearing braces in 2015 due to Class II malocclusion. My treatment was supposed to end by August/September 2017. However, In September 2016 i went abroad for studies and could not continue with the treatment. I was wearing elastics which I stopped in December 2016 as I had no one for follow ups.. Now there are spaces that are between my teeth.. i wanted to ask if i can resume this treatment and whether it is possible to continue it. As in will the gaps close again and can i still get aligned teeth.
    I would grateful if you could advise me. Thanking you.

    1. Hi, Yes you can resume treatment. The gaps will be closed and at the end of treatment you will have a proper occlusion. Please contact an orthodontic specialist in your area.

  19. Hi, I got braces December of last year. Although my teeth were perfectly straight I still had baby teeth on either side and on one side a small adult tooth started to grow in at the wrong place, so I had the baby tooth removed and got a full brace to get it into the right place. Now, I am going to University in September and really want my braces off before then, for both appearance, and to save the travel to the same orthodontist. The gap is a few millimetres between the small adult tooth and the very back tooth and if I have the brace removed before September I predict the gap will be more closed but not fully. So my question is, is it better to have a relatively larger gap (such as a few millimetres) or a more closed gap which I would have if I left them on until the very last moment before I leave home. I am aware of the problems that a gap can cause such as tooth decay but I am wondering whether it would be more severe with a smaller gap rather than a larger one.

    1. Hi, it is better to have a small gap. Try to get as much done before you have to have them removed.

  20. Is whitening toothpaste bad for braces? I’ve been using it for awhile know without knowing. I’ve heard both yes and no answers but not very sure.

    1. Hi, Whitening toothpaste can be used while you have your braces. It will not hurt them.

  21. Does eating Starburst and Mentos have the same effect on your braces as chewing gum(bends the wires)?

  22. Hi, about 9 months ago I did an impacted canine exposure surgery but the tooth still didn’t come down and can’t be seen. yesterday my orthodontist said that the distance, because the gum got larger or something, between the impacted tooth and the brace wire is not enough to put as much pressure in order to pull it down as he used to able to do. so he suggested to remove part of the gum in order make more space between the tooth and the wire and that would make it easier and faster to pull.
    he seemed kind of confused so im not sure if his suggestion is the right thing to do.
    Thank you

    1. Hi. Cuspids come into the mouth better when a wire or elastic is attached to the tooth and a force is applied. Sometimes the gum tissue will cover the cuspid backup when they are deep. If there is no attachment to the tooth, it’s wise to have the gum tissue removed and an attachment connected to the tooth. If your orthodontist needs more room and the gum tissue is in the way, it would be best to have the gum tissue removed.

  23. Hi I would like to ask you that how to know that if I need braces at home without going to the orthodontist ??

    1. Hi, a good proper occlusion has a slight overjet, a 20% overbite, no crossbites, no rotations, good dental interdigitation, no dental crowding and a Class I molar relationship. If you search for those terms you will see some examples. This would give you an idea if you have problems with your bite.

  24. Hello Dr.Thompson I have an underbite and was told by 2orthodontists that braces could help improve my bite a lot better but not completely fix it. He said surgery would completely fix it. But anyways I was wondering would the braces change my face lips or cheeks in anyway. Because before I had an underbite my cheeks used to be a little more rounder, and now seem a little flattened, and also my lips were wider. Would braces help improve this, or would I need the jaw surgery to correct this. Let me know your opinion doctor, because I forgot to ask my orthodontist, and I’ve been at work mostly during their business hours.

    1. Hi, Facial features can change a lot with surgery and braces. In a Class III malocclusion, mainly, the pronounced chin is brought back and the strong chin is lessened. The check bone may be more pronounced if there is a maxillary advancement surgery is performed only or in conjunction with a mandibular setback. Changes in your profile should be discussed with the oral surgeon that is going to do your surgery. They can give you the best information about the finished results. Without surgery, and just braces used for treatment, very little changes will occur.

  25. Hi my daughters wire came out. It’s late at night and I just wanted to know if it’s ok to wait until morning to call or if she needs to be seen right away?

    1. Hi, If it is not bothering her and she can sleep, you can wait until the morning.

  26. Hi, when I tried to apply the upper&lower teeth I found it slightly slanted which there were little spaces also the lateral incisor is slanted towards the central incisor in the upper teeth so when I smile it will appear & my canine is slightly higher than the other teeth doctor I have another problem my right central incisor it was slanted and above the left central incisor when I was younger a simple accident resulted in a slight break in my right central incisor I want a simple and cheap treatment will the cosmetic filling be suitable or it will fall because it is small should I get braces for my situation because some orthodontists say that you need and one of them says you don’t need let your teeth to grow so I chose this website to answer my questions

    1. Hi, Small restorations of a chipped tooth tend not to be strong and will fail. The better solution, since you have other alignment problems, is to consider orthodontic treatment. It’s probably the best option.

  27. hi,i just had my upper premolar extracted for braces but the probleme is that i already have a missing premolar so i thought that the extraction must be symmetrical but that is not the case ,so wouldnt that give me an unbalanced smile or something like that ??????????

    1. Hi. Asymmetrical extractions are sometimes needed. Usually the posterior teeth on the side of the extraction have erupted too far forward. It is difficult to move the posterior teeth distal, so an extraction is made on that side. This keeps your dental midline in the middle and not off to one side once the teeth are aligned. As you go through treatment and the extraction space is closed, keep an eye on your midline and make sure it doesn’t shift.

  28. I do not have Lateral incisors
    Or what is known ” Missing Lateral incisors ” I went to Doctor
    The doctor removed two of the teeth and I got braces
    For two years , And my jaw now became back
    I do not like it ,I want to improve my jaw what is the solution ?

    1. Hi, In cases where a patient has congenitally missing lateral incisors, some orthodontists will treatment plan that the primary lateral incisors are removed and the space is closed. I tend like the aesthetics of removing the prinmary lateral incisors and keeping the space for a normal sized pontic (false tooth) in that space since baby tooth lateral incisors are small and usually don’t last a long time. The enamel wears down and they just don’t last. If you do not like your smile and the spaces are being closed, ask your orthodontist if opening the lateral spaces is an option.

  29. I have a permanent retainer behind my lower front teeth and sometimes it sounds like it popped but it doesn’t move or feel loose, is that normal or is it bad?

    1. Hi. It shouldn’t “pop”. A portion of the fixed retainer maybe loose. I’d have it checked by your orthodontist.

  30. I recently discovered that my daughter has a second lateral incisor on the right side. She is 4. I googled it and of course came across these really scary syndromes like Gardner’s syndrome. How likely would it be that she just has an extra tooth without having one of these syndromes? She has no other health issues. I am scared to death and need some reassurance. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi. Gardner’s syndrome can be diagnosed clinical findings of colorectal polyps, osteomas, and soft tissue tumors. A genetic test can rule out Gardner’s syndrome if your physician thinks it is needed. Gardner syndrome usually has multiple supernumerary teeth, not just one. It is not uncommon to see supernumerary teeth. Incidence in the population is 1-3%. I’d say she just has an extra tooth that needs to be monitored and see if it effects the eruption of the permanent teeth. If it does, it can then be removed.

  31. Hi, I have my orthodontic expander on the lower part of my mouth, and stopped turning it because my dentist said my teeth were in the right position. However, the spaces between my teeth are getting smaller and smaller and I am afraid that they are moving back to where they are. As a whole they still look fine, but the next meeting would be two months later and this really bothers me.

    1. Hi. I would not worry about your teeth changing positions. The expander has created some room and the teeth are moving naturally due to more space.

  32. Hi it has been a day after I extracted 4 bicuspids to make room for braces. I have found that i have a lisp and that I cannot pronounce ‘s’ sounds very well due to the empty spaces where my teeth used to be. Just wondering will the lisp be permanent? If not, when will I be able to speak normally again? Thank you!

    1. Hi, The lisp is very temporary. You will retrain your tongue to make “s” sounds very quickly. Also, as your space is closed, you will have less problems with your speech.

  33. Hi! My daughter has been in orthodontia since she was 9. She has had braces on since 6th grade and is now headed into 9th. Her teeth are “perfect” and fixed except for the fact that her 12 year old molars are still not full up. They have been erupting for over a year now. Her orothdontist said we can take the braces off and call it a day or wait (and start paying monthly again) indefinitely till they fully rise but we have no idea how long that will take as they don’t seem to be erupting any higher. We’ve been waiting months. Her molars are 1/4 to 1/2 way up at most and are aligned correctly, how ever one side in particular has an angle and not a direct bite. But it is not erupted enough to fix. What should we do? Wait and begin paying again indefinitely? Or take them off and deal with it later IF they ever fully come up? I really don’t want to pay again monthly waiting for these teeth to rise but on the other hand we have come so far. My daughter is frustrated and at 14.5 wants her braces off. If we take them off would this be a hard problem to deal with later? Or is the fact that they are aligned but not totally perfect ok and will not cause her problems later in life? We don’t know what to do! Thanks for any suggestions.

    1. Hi, Based on what you have told me, I’d have the braces removed. As she grows, more space will be available for the 2nd molars to erupt. If the 2nd molars need help at a later date, then you can address that issue at that time, but I would not just wait for the 2nd molars to erupt. It could be a long time before they do.

  34. Hi, before i got my braces on there were nearly no problems. at least no visable problems, i had a small cross bite and was told to go to an orthodontist. he told me it would take 18 months. i’ve had them on for a year and two months, he told me in my last appointment i’d have them off in two months (the end of summer) now today he tell me i’ll have them on for another six months?! what is going on? is this normal? i don’t want them on for another six months i want them off by the end of summer!

    1. Hi, Sometimes teeth do not move as well as we expect. An orthodontist diagnoses the past month movements and then makes decisions to continue treatment. I’d say some of your teeth are not moving as fast as the orthodontist wants. If you are wearing elastics, make sure you are wearing them properly. That can help get your braces removed. For my patients, I do not get into predicting when the braces may be removed to avoid the frustration that a patient goes through.

  35. Hi, how can my midline shift be corrected? I am currently using braces and my orthodontist pretty much gave up on me. They claim I don’t use my elastics. However I use them 24/7 so I’m thinking the position they told me to put my elastics is the wrong way.

    1. Hi. Talk to your orthodontist and make sure you are wearing your elastics the right way. Also, there are different strengths of rubber bands and you may be asked to double up the elastics. Talk to the orthodontist and see if any of these ideas will help.

  36. Hi, I got braces 2 weeks ago and I am just wondering can I play AFL if I have my braces on?? It involves light tackling but only in some parts, Thanks.

    1. Hi, You can wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you play Arena Football. You need to use a mouth guard that is not formed by heating in hot water and biting into it. You have to use a mouth guard that just has a ledge to bite on. If you use a mouth guard that is custom formed, if you get hit a certain way, all or part of your braces may shear off. Ask your orthodontist about a mouth guard. They may have one to give you. I like Shock Doctors. Click Here for info about Shock Doctors Mouth Guards

  37. Hello Dr.Joseph I have a question about braces
    So do you know anything about expose and bracket because in about 6 months I have to have oral surgery.
    Will they put me to sleep when they do this procedure??

    1. Hi, They are talking about an impacted tooth that needs help with it’s eruption. Usually this is an upper impacted cuspid that is trying to erupt on the palate side of you maxilla. When this happens, the cuspid will not erupt. It needs helps. So, the patient is referred to an oral surgeon. They are slightly sedated and the gum tissue is pulled back to expose the crown of the tooth. A bracket is then placed on the crown of the cuspid and a chain is attached to the bracket. The gum tissue is placed back over the crown and it heals with the chain coming out of the gum tissue. That chain is then used by your orthodontist to place pressure on the tooth to protract it into position. It can take up to a full year to get the cuspid into position. Also, in some cases, even after a year, the cuspid will not come in and have to be removed.

  38. Hi, I had my braces checkup today, and they put a coil and a chain between the same teeth (I have a baby tooth without an adult tooth between the two teeth, front tooth and canine tooth, with the chain and coil). I was just wondering what purpose that was doing, since it’s pulling my teeth apart and together at the same time and is causing a lot of pain in that area.

    1. Hi, If I have visualized your question properly, they may be trying to rotate a tooth with the power chain and the coil keeps it from rotating too far. I usually use this combo to rotate a tooth.

  39. My brackets keep breaking and for a while my molar bands too. however, the molar bands were my fault because i kept chewing gum, which i have stopped. however, my brackets keep breaking and i don’t eat anything i’m not suppose to. instead, they break when they get too pressured by food pressing down on them when i chew. my dentist threatened to remove my braces if i kept breaking them a while ago and since i got back from the dentist most recently, i have broken one and another is kind of loose but still partly glued to the tooth. i have something broken each time i go to the dentist. i try my hardest to not break anything and every time i eat it feels like i’m walking on eggshells. what should i do?? my dad already tried talking to the dentist about it, which ended really nasty. that and because i keep breaking my braces, everyone at the dentist hates me and is slightly rude to me there. i don’t know what to do. i’ve had braces for 5+ years already and my teeth only really started improving this year. what’s the best way to handle this situation?

    1. Hi. In situations like yours where there is a lot of breakage, I try to move away from bonded brackets to placing bands on the teeth. Sometimes the malocclusion makes it easy to break the appliances or your enamel is weak and the bonding is not strong. So, placing bands helps. The second thing I would use is a bite plate or bite turbos. A bite plate opens the bite and keeps you from clamping down on your lower braces. Bite turbos are adhesive placed on the occlusal surfaces of the lower molars, which also opens up your bite.

  40. Hi Dr. Joseph, my son just got his braces and as soon as we got home one of the rubber bands came off the bracket. I called the ortho office and I was told its fine he can wait until his next appointment wich is in 6 weeks. Isn’t the rubber band needed to keep wire in place.

    1. Hi. It is true that the elastic tie keeps the wire in the slot of the bracket. I’d say it is ok to wait until your next appointment. It would be more critical if it happened at the final stages of treatment. Since he just started, it will be ok.

  41. Hi, I had my palatal expander taken out a couple days ago, they used a drill and literally drilled through the metal bars connected to the bands on my back teeth, In one place there is a sharp edge where it is cutting the side of my tongue and making it extremely difficult to eat, drink, etc. problem is, my orthodontist doesn’t open until Monday and I’m leaving to go to a summer camp tomorrow for a week, is there anything I can do ( other than pain relievers I’ve already tried) to relieve the pain until I can get an appointment?

    1. Hi, That is a problem. There is not much you can do except maybe use a mouth piece at night time when you are sleeping. That may allow the inflammation to go down.

  42. hello, i just got my braces on with all the arch wire and stuffs. everyone that i asked who has wore braces said that only the anterior tooth will hurt when the arch wire is placed. but for me my whole dentition hurts. i cant even use my posterior tooth to bite and also anterior. its very painful to bite. should i be concerned? or ot is totally normal.

    1. Hi. What you are going through is normal. It takes about 4 to 5 days for the pain to subside.

  43. Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me if Forsus appliances would work at the age of 17, I’m going to have them in about a month. I have an overjet of 0.8 mm with hypodontia (lower jaw incisor). My dentist says that it’s a kind of a risk to put them at this age since the growth plates are closed by this time. However, I read some papers written by dentists who experimented Forsus on adults and young adults and secured exceptional results. Could you light me up? Would my overjet be fixed?

    1. Hi. Forsus can be used on the adult patient. You will get more tooth movement than boney movement, as in a child. Since you have a small amount of overjet to correct, Forsus should work.

  44. Hi My daughter wa cleaning her twin blocks last night when she dropped the lower one on the floor.She stepped back to look for it…and trod on it. The plastic broke in half. We have an appointment tomorrow but I wondered what they will do. Is it repairable? Could it be glued by them? Worried that she’ll need new ones and that the wait will mean her teeth move back. Any advice would be appreciated! Many thanks

    1. Hi. It is possible to repair the twin block if it is not severely damaged. It all depends on how the appliance is damaged.

  45. Can I whiten my teeth with activated charcoal if I have a fixed retainer on the back of my teeth?

  46. I have braces as well as a lingual arch. One of the brackets on the lingual arch molar band broke off while i was eating and don’t have access to the ortho for a few days. What should i do!! Is this a big procedure to fix or can they just reattach the bracket?

    1. Hi, They will probably removed the lingual arch and spot weld the bracket back on. That can be done. If not, they will have to make a new one.

  47. Hi I Have had braces for about 9 months and I recently got a spring wire removed and it has left a lump inside of my lower lip from where there was a deep cut . Is there any way of getting rid of this lump of skin/flesh even though it has already healed ??

    1. Hi, The tissues in that area will take a long time to remodel. Slowly the lump that you feel will dissipate. BTW, there are some minor salivary glands apart of the lower lip that should feel lumpy. They will never go away.

  48. I get my braces off in two weeks, and I brush and floss very diligently. However, I just noticed two grey spots on the corners of my teeth. They are less than 1 mm and can only be seen with a flashlight. Are they cavities or just part of the coloring of my tooth?

    1. Hi. Good question. I’d say it is not a cavity but very translucent enamel and it is normal. The translucency of the enamel varies from patient to patient. Since you had to use a flashlight to see it, I’d say your enamel in that area is very translucent and not opaque.

  49. Hi,
    I have had my top braces for almost three months now. I was suppose to get my bottoms on but it was delayed for a few months due to having to have some dental work on the bottom teeth. I am now definitely getting the bottoms on in a few weeks. Since the tops were placed first, will my tops come off first before the bottoms?

    Also ,
    I was told 4 extractions were a possibility with my case. I have a mild overbite with excessive crowding on the bottom, and some crowding on the top? If my ortho. does decide that I need extractions, when will that possibly be and will that extend my treatment time?

    1. Hi. No, your braces will probably be removed all at the same time. To your second question, usually extractions are performed in the first year of treatment. If extractions are needed, it usually would increase your treatment time.

  50. Hello, so of course my orthodontist gave me the clear retainers to wear at night after I got my braces off. Well, I have been wanting to get a gum lift procedure done and was wondering if I will have to get new retainers after getting a gum lift or would I still be able to use the retainers I have now?

  51. Hi Dr Thompson,
    My 12 yr old son has a very horizontal canine inside his upper gums just right above & between his two front teeth. It did not drop down to it’s rightful place but went past instead. Is there still any hope of pulling the canine back to where it belongs or is extraction the only option left? Will oral surgery and ortho be required and is this a very difficult case? I have a picture if you want to look at it. He has an appointment with the ortho in 2 weeks, but I am extremely worried and feel so bad for him, thus I would like to hear some opinions ahead. Thanks very much.

    1. Hi,

      Cuspid impaction occurs often. What course of treatment depends on the position of the crown of the cuspid and the angle of the root. If the cuspid is completely horizontal, sometimes it’s best to removed the cuspid. In most cases, an attempt to bring the cuspid is tried for about one year. Radiographs and the examination will determine the orthodontist’s course of action. An oral surgeon will place a bracket with a chain on the crown and your orthodontist will apply pressure to protract it into place.

  52. Hi, I got my braces from my home country but i won’t be going home in the next three months and we’re from the opposite side of the earth. One of the rubbers on my braces loosened and eventually disappeared. Can i possibly visit a different dentist and have them fixed?

    1. Hi, yes an orthodontist can change out your elastic ties. They will get soft, break and come off the brackets when they are left in the mouth for months.

  53. One of the brackets on my lower molar that holds my elastic band has broken. I can’t get it fixed for one week (due to orthodontist availability) and so therefore can’t wear my elastic bands for one week.

    Is my bite likely to revert within one week? Will this delay my treatment?

  54. Hi Dr. Thompson. My 17-year-old daughter has had a palate expander for about a week. This morning, she complained about cuts on her tongue that were bleeding. Is this normal? And, today is Saturday, so we cannot go to the orthodontist until at least Monday. Is there anything we can do in the meantime? Thank you!

    1. Hi.
      There is a sharp edge of the band that needs to be buffed down. There is nothing you can do in the meantime. I have seen some patients use 2″ x 2″ gauze to try to protect the tongue.

  55. Hi! I have swollen gums on some teeth even though I brush and floss very diligently. I know that some people just get it due to the proximity of the braces. I get them off in less than a week. How do you recommend reducing gum swelling?

    1. Hi, After your braces are removed, your gums will start to retract to normal. Brushing and flossing regularly will make it reduce faster.

  56. HI, Ive had my braces on for about 6yrs, but I stop going to an orthodontist like 4/5 yrs and now i have gingivitis ( Bottom Gums are Very loose) ,wondering… should i go see a dentist first to fix my Gingivitis problem or should i just go to an orthodontist and have my braces taken off, then go fix my gingivitis problem????

    1. Hi,

      If you have advanced or severe periodontist, I’d suggest the braces be removed and then get your gum tissues back to a healthy state. You may want to consider Invisalign instead of traditional braces. You can keep your teeth cleaner with Invisalign.

  57. Hello. I’m getting my braces off in four days after two years of having them on, finally!! But, I’m dreading the removal. My teeth are SUPER sensitive and just the thought of them sanding the glue off my teeth makes me cringe and shudder in pain. A lot of orthodontists say it shouldn’t hurt but everybody I talk to that has had their braces removed says that it’s very cold and hurts when the glue is being sanded off. I am super scared, are there any alternatives to getting the glue off or is there anything that the ortho could do to reduce the pain? Thanks.

    1. Hi, We do use cold air to keep the tooth from overheating. With my patients that have super sensitive teeth, I remove the adhesive slowly and cover the adjacent teeth with my fingers to keep the cold air from hitting them. Just tell your orthodontist you want to take a lot of breaks by raising your finger when it starts to bother you. They can stop, let the tooth warm up and then you proceed. It just takes some time. It’s not the high speed bur that hurts, its the cold air.

  58. Hello! So a couple of hours ago i started feeling that my lower left canine is somehow touching the gum between my upper left lateral incisor and upper left canine when i bite down, with or without food in my mouth (only the one on the left side ; the right side is fine). My lower central and lateral incisors seem to bite very close to the upper gums but not into them. Note that my lower teeth are behind my upper teeth (not an underbite). So, what might be the cause of this and why is it happening on one side only? And any suggestions for treatment? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi, It sounds like your occlusion is adjusting and getting deeper. If you are in orthodontic treatment, there will be a lot of odd feelings as your teeth are being move. If you are not in treatment, you may want to seek an orthodontic consultation.

        1. Orthodontic treatment to get rid of a deep bite would include using braces or Invisalign. Also some other removable devices can be used to open the bite.

  59. I’m studying ortho and was reading an article that confused me. Was unable to contact the authors though so thought I would ask.

    It states that three patients developed open bites after using nightguards. It stated that images of the joints after the open bites had developed didn’t show any changes to the condyles. However, the article also states that, “The fact that none of the three cases could voluntarily attain occlusion similar to that achieved prior to the splint, suggests that adaptive changes and articular remodeling had taken place, as reported in the literature for humans and other animal species.” If they had taken images of the joints and saw that the condyles had not changed, then what other sort of “adaptive changes and articular remodeling” would have taken place that it suggests?

    1. Hi,

      I think the article is confusing. To develop an anterior open bite from a patient wearing a full coverage hard acrylic splint (a) the anterior teeth could have intruded (b) the posterior teeth could have extruded or changes could occur at the Temporomandibular Joint. I don’t believe a properly made splint will make intrusion or extrusion of teeth. Since the article says that no changes could be seen pre and post treatment of the TMJ, they may be suggesting that the whole TMJ has moved relative to the occlusion. That’s my best guess. I wish you well in your studies.

      1. Thanks for the response, I found it confusing too. So this would mean the condyles simply moved into a different spot, rather than changed?

  60. Hi,
    What are some of the reason for not having some teeth bracketed? On the top,I have a molar bands on my second to last tooth on each side, and the last tooth doesn’t have a bracket or anything, aren’t those teeth going to have to eventually move with the rest of them?
    On my bottom teeth , its weird, I have a molar band on the last tooth, and no bracket on the molar next to it, it has a crown, so its just wire, and then on the other side i have the molar band on the second to last tooth and then the last tooth doesn’t have anything?
    I was just curious to find out the reason why, or if il’ eventually get these teeth bracketed?

    1. Hi,
      Every orthodontist does things differently. Some like all the bands and brackets on every tooth. Some orthodontists will place braces as they need them. Results are the same. The orthodontist who places posterior brackets as needed may be waiting on tooth eruptions.

  61. Is it normal for my permanent retainer to be twisting my teeth? I want to know because I think my orthodontist didn’t know what she was doing.
    Quick Backstory:
    My (fresh out of college) orthodontist decided that I needed 2 more years of braces right before I was supposed to have them off and proceeded to lie to me and my mother on multiple occasions and give me what seems like a permanent retainer that is almost painfully small.
    It’s been over a year and my boyfriend recently pointed out to me that two of my teeth within the retainer are almost completely twisted around.

    1. Hi, It is not normal for teeth to turn that are attached to a fixed bonded lingual retainer. You may want to see an orthodontist before it gets worse.

  62. Hi! I just got my braces off, and I am really happy with the result. However, I noticed some very faint vertical lines in my front teeth that resemble cracks. Are my teeth ok?

    1. Hi, Google “vertical craze lines teeth”. Very common and found in all adults. Normal wear and tear of the crown. Usually alarms patient when noticed. Not caused by the orthodontic treatment but from biting forces.

  63. Can I still get my braces before root canal.? My teeth doesn’t hurt at all , no pain in my jaw , I brush my teeth everyday and night. Can I still get my braces?

    1. Hi. Root canal should be performed before orthodontic treatment begins. Source of infection has to be removed.

  64. I got a chain put in for my impacted tooth in June. In late July I went to my orthodontist and they tied the chain to some kind of string to start the pulling process. It is now August and just a few minutes ago, the thread fell out of the roof of my mouth where it was tied to some kind of expander. It dangles down and whenever I talk you can see it. How do I hide the chain and string? My next appointment is on August 31 and it cannot be moved up to accommodate this issue. Please help me hide it.

    1. Hi, It sounds like the chain has detached from the crown of the cuspid. Just let the chain dangle until you see your orthodontist. If the office says you can snip it, keep the piece to show your orthodontist.

  65. Hello Dr.
    I am from India
    I got my internal Retainer removed week back. after removl i Requested my denstist to remove glue.he remved as much as he could but still i feel it everytime my ttounge touches my teeths any solution for it..
    Dr. Says there is very less glue or no glue he can see buts its irritating any home ramdy i can do.?

    1. Hi, Nothing you can do at home. Get a second opinion. The glue should be completely removed. If it is not glue, the tooth can be contoured.

  66. 1 more question dr. Actually my front two teets were bit out for same i have done orthodontist treatment but he romved 1 upper teeth and two lower teeth. Which has result in underbite i cant. Evn break any plastic packet for e.g. chips.. also my front two teeths still having gap not alligned. Dr says its proper in same case whay i can do ?

    1. Hi, I’d suggest a second opinion. You may need orthognathic surgery to correct your overbite and deep bite.

  67. I just got my braces off, but I noticed thin vertical cracks in my teeth from the gumline to right under where the bracket was. They can only be seen with a flashlight. My teeth have always been sensitive, so I don’t think anything changed. Are my teeth ok?

    1. Hi, Google “vertical craze lines teeth”. Very common and found in all adults. Normal wear and tear of the crowns. Usually alarms patient when they are noticed. Usually seen at the dental office with our bright patient lights. Not caused by the orthodontic treatment but from biting forces.

  68. Hi,
    I have my full metal braces on yesterday, My ortho put 4 molar bands. two in the bottom and two on the top. Yesterday when i tried to eat I can’t chew or bite as my teeth is not meeting up, there’s a big gap between my top and bottom teeth. I can’t close my teeth. Also, it feels like my two right molar bands hitting up each other every time I tried to close my teeth. Im 30 btw. I am wondering if this is normal or not?

    1. Hi, Very normal. We do not place brackets and bands out of the way of your malocclusion. As the wires become straighter, your occlusal plane will become flatter and you will have more teeth occluding.

  69. hello, Ive been wearing braces for 2 1/2 years and on my last appointment I was told I would be getting them off at my next appointment. Which I was excited about. However my orthodontist changed my elastics to a heavier and tinier elastic. Ive been wearing it the way he said and since there is 2 elastics on the same tooth it has caused the tooth to become higher than the rest of my teeth. My teeth dont touch on my right side anymore and I’m afraid that when I go back to my appointment that I wont be able to get them off. Is this normal? or will my tooth go back down in about 3 weeks when I have my appointment?

    1. Hi, Since there is a lot of force on that tooth, it sounds like it has hyper erupted. Just call the office and ask them if you should continue wearing the elastics as instructed.

  70. Hi Dr. Thompson,

    I’m thinking about having my first molar extracted as it has severely decayed and had root canal done. I’ve checked with a number of orthodontists and one of them thinks that he can close the gap where my first molar is now by use of braces and TAD. Have you done it in your practice? Did the patient have a desirable outcome?

    Thank you

    1. Hi, I have used temporary anchorage devices TADs in my practice but not to protract a second molar mesial. Since your first molar is still present, there will be a good amount of bone in that area to move the 2nd molar into its position. I have seen cases in our literature that a TAD can be used to protract a molar successfully.

  71. I got a cavity filled and my essix retainer ended up pushing a front tooth out by a millimeter. I didn’t feel any pain when I put it in at night, just discomfort, and of course the panic the next morning upon finding out what happened. I got a new retainer and ever since it’s been held in that position. I read that root resorption can occur if teeth are moved too quickly. What are the chances that this could have occurred?

    1. Hi, An active essix retainer does not produce enough pressure nor the right type of force to produce root resorption.

  72. Hello
    I got my braces off after 4yrs on this Monday but was told I would have to wait till next Monday to get my retainers. It’s Thursday now and although my teeth were perfect on Monday, today while brushing I noticed a very small (a hairline gap) between my two front teeth. I’m slightly worried as I had a big gap before my braces that was one of the reasons I wanted to get braces.
    I would like to know if the gap would close as soon as I get my retainers on Monday
    And also if the position of my tongue pushing against my two front teeth is the reason the gap appeared.
    If my teeth are moving back this quickly, do I have cause to be worried?

    1. Hi, After braces are removed, the teeth try to move a lot. That is why we have the patient wear retainers. If you had a large diastema, it will try to open back up due to the memory of the gum tissue and anatomy of that area. As soon as you start to wear your retainers, your space will close back up.

    1. Hi. If your palate needs expansion, it will sometimes make it easier to breathe through your noses after expansion. Treatment with just braces will not cure mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is usually due to air constriction of the nasal cavity. If the constriction is at the base of the nose, as an RPE expands the palate, it also expands the floor of the nose.

  73. When my son was 3 he fell off a swing and split his upper lip. H has had many dental problems and has worn braces three times now. The most recent taken off when he was 19. The retainer did not fit because the upper tooth was already shifting out of position. And now the tooth is pivoting completely. He does not want to do braces again since they have failed and the permanent bar placed on the back of his upper teeth has also failed.. Do you have a suggestion of where we might look for some alternative methods?

    1. Hi. Invisalign may be a good alternative. Since he has has so much relapse, he may have to wear a retainer indefinitely.

  74. I have a permanent bonded retainer on the back of my bottom front six teeth. Recently I have noticed that after I eat something, the very last tooth that had the wire connected to it, will click when I place my finger on the tooth, and press my tongue against the tooth. Now I highly doubt my tooth could be loose, but just wondering what it could be?

    1. Hi. It sounds like your fixed retainer has come loose and needs repaired. Call your orthodontist for an appointment.

  75. I got my tooth extracted that was stuck up in my gums, and now I have a chain thing connected to braces and the hook came off the braces, is that a bad thing?

  76. Hi. I’m 14 y/o boy and I have got braces two days ago. I have mandibular asymmetry and I want to know if braces can at least improve my face symmetry, or fix it fully. Thanks.

    1. Hi, It all depends on how much of an asymmetry is present and what type. In some cases, the mandible can be made to grow and correct the asymmetry. If you are Class III, the asymmetry usually cannot be corrected by just using braces.

    1. Hi. I’m not sure what you are referring to. Call your orthodontist and explain to them better what you are concerned about.

  77. Hi ,one my my backers was loose two weeks ago,I called my ortho and they said it could wait until my next appointment as long as I’m not in pain .However,now the bracket is completely off of my tooth and is hanging on the wire so you think they will want to see me sooner ,or will they only see me if I’m in discomfort ?

      1. Hi,
        I gave them a call today and they said the same thing. I was concerned because my next appointment isn’t until the middle of September. They said they would only see me if I was in pain. I told them I was not, however I have been sore since, and I am not sure if it is because the bracket is off the tooth or if I am just generally sore in that area. I put wax over it to keep it from flipping,and sliding. So I am hoping I can be comfortable as possible until my appointment.

  78. Hi Dr. Joseph,
    I got my braces in yesterday, and so far everything is going as well as it can (although it still hurts a lot especially my top front teeth which are very sensitive.) I was wondering what the proper way to brush your teeth with braces is. My orthodontist gave me all the stuff to brush with but I’m not really sure how to use all of it?

    1. Hi,
      The majority of plaque accumulates under the wire, therefore you need to push the bristles of your brush underneath the wire to get all the plaque. Be aggressive. You can’t brush like you use to when you didn’t have braces. I’d brush with a standard soft bristled manual toothbrush and then an electric toothbrush, three times a day. One of those times is with a wet toothbrush without toothpaste. During this brushing, look at your teeth and braces and carefully remove any white or yellow plaque you see. We call this dry brushing. The other times use toothpaste.

      Use superfloss to floss everyday and under the wires. Your toothbrush will wear out quickly and needs replaced every two months.

  79. I’ve had my braces on for 3 years now and my orthodontist just put a power chain on the bottom of my teeth to start closing them in. Is it normal to feel my teeth “loose” when I am flossing or even chewing, I can feel my teeth shift a bit and then kind of “snap” back into place? Never had this feeling before with just the bands on my brackets.

    1. Hi, It is normal for your teeth to be loose. The periodontal ligament widens during orthodontic treatment. After braces are removed, the PDL goes back to it’s normal width. On a side note, a lot of patients will have a dream that their teeth fell out.

  80. My arch wire went below my bracket. I feel as if it’s pushing my teeth out a little and it feels uncomfortable. Is this an emergency? What should I do?

    1. Hi, Since the wire is moving your tooth, call your orthodontist. They may want to fix it.

  81. I had a lower fixed retainer removed after having it on for 5 yrs. My orthodontist used finishing strips to make wiggle room. There are no interproximal contacts on the lower anterior teeth now. Why did he do this?

    1. Hi,
      It is common for an orthodontist to perform interproximal reduction. Your orthodontist did the IPR because they thought you had a high risk of relapse even with a fixed retainer over 5 years.

  82. My daughter has a palatal rapid expander and was scheduled to get braces today. However, since we are in the midst of Hurricane Harvey, she will not see the orthodontist for at least another week. Should she stop OR continue turning until we get an appt?

    1. Hi,

      To be on the safe side, I’d stop turning it. You can turn an RPE too far. Usually I tell my patients/parents to turn the RPE so many turns and then stop. If you can call and get instructions from your orthodontist, that would be best.

  83. I just got my braces and I was wondering if the wire is suppose to directly touch my tooth, I ask this because I don’t know if I pushed it toward my tooth on accident or what, my tooth is further out than my front so it makes sense, but I’m still nervous. Another question is if I can skate as the board rumbles when going against the ground and I don’t know if that could make it easier for my wire to move.

    1. Hi. It is ok for the wire to lay against your tooth. This can happen when there is a lot of crowding in the beginning. Just keep it clean.
      You can skate board with no problems. If your wire shifts, it is usually due to chewing on foods with a light wire.

  84. Hi, I just got my braces off and only one set of my molars touch when I bite down. My ortho said it is because the bite turbos that were placed on my bottom molars (used to keep my front top teeth from biting into the bottom brackets) pushed those molars down into the gums a bit. He didn’t give me a bottom retainer (clear invisalign kind) yet because he said it will take a few months for my molars that had the bite turbos on them to come back up and meet the top molars. He did, however, put a permanent bottom retainer behind my bottom from teeth. My concern is my bite. Is this correct? Will the molars that had the bite turbos on them settle back up and meet my top molars when I bite down? Or do I now have a bit problem where my teeth don’t meet? Thanks for any info.

    1. Hi. Usually teeth will erupt until they touch an opposing tooth. It may take some time though. Give it 6 months, and if your molars are not occluding better, then talk with your orthodontist.

  85. My daughter has a palate expander that’s been in for almost two weeks and tonight when we turned it we heard a pop and she was in intense pain. Is that norma?

    1. Hi, in older patients when a rapid palatal expander is being used, the palatal suture can be somewhat closed. As you turn the RPE, pressure builds up until the suture lets go. That is when you hear a popping sound and rapid movement occurs. The pain should subside and you may see a space develop between the maxillary incisors. If pain continues, call your orthodontist.

  86. Hi,
    Can you provide more information on an active spring retainer? I am a 22 year adult, had braces over 10 years ago and there is slight shifting of the top four anterior teeth.

    When is a spring retainer an option and when is it not? And roughly how much is the cost?

    Thank you

    1. Hi, a spring retainer is a retainer that can move teeth. It is active. To make the spring retainer, they cut the teeth out of your model that need to be moved and place them into better positions. Then, they make the spring retainer off of your model with modified tooth positions. When you place the spring retainer in your mouth it is actively trying to move your teeth back into good positions. A spring retainer is used for minor tooth movements. Your orthodontist, knows by experience, when to suggest a spring retainer based on the amount of tooth crowding and the positions your teeth. As far as cost, it can vary a lot from one orthodontist to the next.

  87. Hi so I’ve had about almost 2 years with my braces. My teeth look pretty straight now but my orthodontist says that I’m pushing my teeth forward with my tounge. I don’t really know how to fix this problem?

    1. Hi. A tongue thrust, which is an over retained infant swallowing habit, is hard to correct. You have to conscientiously retrain the tip of your tongue to push right behind the lingual of your upper incisors instead of between your upper and lower teeth. You can use a small mint placed on the lingual side gum tissue and practice, trying to swallow with your tongue pushing on the mint. Since we swallow sub conscientiously, it is hard to retrain our tongue movements in the swallowing mechanics.

  88. Hi, my orthodontist said 8 weeks ago when I went in that we were waiting for my midline to line up. Since my midline is perfect will I get my braces off at my next appointment?

    1. Hi. I can’t predict what your orthodontist is going to do. If your occlusion meets all of your orthodontist’s requirements, maybe.

  89. Hi Dr. Thompson. I’m 55 years old and have had braces twice in my life. I’ve had the last braces off for 7 years now. My teeth tend to shift fast, partly due to bone density issues holding teeth. If I don’t wear my retainer all day, it is tight putting back on. What will stabilize my teeth better, a Hawley or Essix retainer? I worry about my front teeth protruding again and have only worn a Hawley retainer.

    Thanks much!

    1. Hi. If you like the position of your teeth, I’d suggest an essix retainer over a hawley. It is more comfortable, more esthetically pleasing and can hold the teeth a little better.

  90. Hi Dr. Thompson,
    I got braces without extractions because my mother would not allow them, and the orthodontist said it would be fine, that I’d just have a slight overjet. Well now I do, along with some very mild crowding, and it’s about 2-2.5mm, but my top and bottom from teeth don’t touch! I can’t bite into thin things. Will this cause any problems in the future as my teeth try to meet in the front? Isn’t this result extremely unstable? I was 12 and a half and I had them for 8 months.

    1. Hi, Stability in the occlusion is created by a number of factors. One of which is the amount of bone available for the size of your teeth. You are young and still growing and bone can be created by expansion of the alveolar bone. Your orthodontist can still talk to your mother about possible extractions and that may increase stability long term in the occlusion. The closure of the space may also allow for a better overjet and overbite. Definitely bring this issue up with your orthodontist.

  91. My permanent retainer broke over a year ago no, and has slowly been breaking more and more. Am I going to need to get braces again or can my orthodontist just fix my retainer?

    1. Hi. If you see your orthodontist soon, you will be able to get your retainer fixed and possibly no other treatment will be needed.

  92. Hi,
    I’m 21 months into adult treatment…I had an adjustment and the doc switched my band configuration to “box” formation right over the front four or six teeth. However, the rubberband over the top teeth is digging into my gums and has left a visible line or imprint where it sits. Is it ok to put the rubberband under the bracket to keep it from rubbing on my gums? Will this affect the purpose of the configuration? I just can’t see any good coming from this esp if he wants me to wear them 18-22hrs a day. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Instead of wearing the elastic in a box pattern, you could ask your orthodontist if it is ok to wear them in a figure eight. It will apply the same pressure and eliminate the elastic rubbing your gum tissue.

    1. Hi. There is no home remedy to remove the adhesive. You can damage your teeth or your gum tissue, if you try. It is very strong and needs to be removed by your orthodontist or general dentist.

  93. I was at the orthodontist today and they said “step the lower ……. down/up”……”. What does that mean?

    1. Hi. That phrase tells the person how to bend the wire. They use this type of bend to level the occlusal plane.

  94. My bionator keeps falling out of my mouth when I sleep. I have been instructed to wear it to bed when I sleep, but I always wake up to find that it has fallen out. Could I be doing something wrong, or should I have it readjusted? Make it tighter perhaps?

    1. Hi. You need to ask your orthodontist if you should wear your bionator during waking hours about 7 to 8 hours per day. Some patients can’t wear a bionator at night because they subconsciously take it out during sleep.

  95. My 13 year old daughter got a twin block retainer and has been complaining for the past three days that her ears have popped and are in pain, she also is struggling the hear properly and can only hear mumbles. Should this be happening?

    1. Hi. I don’t think it is normal. See your orthodontist for an evaluation. Twin blocks should not effect hearing.

  96. Hi Dr.
    I suspect my 4 year old daughter is showing signs of an ankylosed primary front tooth. She injured it over a year ago. It turned gray and is gradually becoming uneven with her other front tooth. I asked her Dentist what to do and she suggested waiting until she is 7 before addressing the problem. My fear is that by that point her jaw and gum line and possibly her adult tooth will already be adversely affected by that point. How would you suggest evaluating and treating a four year old for a possible ankylosed tooth? What are the pros and cons of addressing it now rather than waiting until she is older? What are some of the tell tale signs of an injured ankylosed tooth? Would it show up on an X-ray?
    I can include photos of that helps.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi. An anterior ankylosed primary tooth should be allowed to exfoliate naturally. Since the tooth has turned grey, it is probably a non-vital tooth and it needs to be monitored by your family dentist every six months. If you can keep it, it will keep the space and help with the growth and development of the maxilla. If it does not come out naturally or it is keeping the permanent tooth from erupting, then extraction is needed. With long term monitoring, there should be no adverse effect from the ankylosis. Also, ankylosis cannot be seen with an x-ray.

  97. I have a deep bite and my orthodontist both both my top and bottom braces on. My top teeth are hitting badly against the bottom and when I presented this, he claims that it will “get better” and to wait “a month or so” and “live with it”. I cannot eat anything besides swallowing. I have read about many people getting top first and bottom later after bite has been corrected. He also refused bite turbos. It is very bad and uncomfortable. Is there any dental logic and technique behind this or is this a fault on his part?

    1. Hi. Every orthodontist works with a deep bite differently. I like to start with the upper braces first and align the teeth well, then I place a maxillary bite plate on the top. This bite plate opens the bite. I then place lower braces. Some orthodontists like to use bite turbos on the lingual of the upper incisors or the occlusals of the molars to open the bite. Just hang in there. It is true, it will get better.

  98. Hey, this upcoming monday i get my braces off! I am very excited and my teeth are perfectly aligned, and my bottom row has contact everywhere. However, in my top row all teeth are in place and making contact except for very tiny gaps between my canine teeth and the tooth behind them. They both have an equal gap. I am wondering if this is normal and if it will close once I get my braces off? I don’t figure my orthodontist would just miss something like this if it were actually a problem. Could you explain why he could see my braces fit to take off if there is still these tiny gaps?

    1. Hi. Tiny gaps can occur due to the shape of your teeth. This is normal. Also, after the braces are removed, your teeth will move and settle into place. During this time some of the tiny gaps will go away.

  99. Hi,
    A few months ago I had my twin block braces fitted in. I was in pain but now I’m fine. I recently went again and they gave me a key and told me to tighten my top brace twice a week. I have been doing that and now I’m in serious pain. Also my top braces don’t fit anymore. Sometimes my top braces fall out of my mouth. 1 side will fit perfectly and the other side won’t and I have to keep pushing it until it does but it does not fit in. My next appointment is in a few months and I cannot handle this pain and this problem. Please can you help me or give me some advice?

    1. Hi, It sounds like your expansion is not going as planned. You need to talk with your orthodontist and see if you should stop turning the expansion screw.

  100. So I’m 13 and I got my braces yesterday and I have this tooth, it’s a canine and it’s growing really far up (on my upper teeth) and I think it’s called a canine tooth or something (it looks like a vampire tooth). My dentist put a bracket onto it but didn’t put a wire through and left it as that and I don’t know if he forgot to put it or if he did it intentionally, he only put a bracket on it, nothing else

    1. Hi. Your orthodontist will probably place a wire on the cuspid to bring it down when they have room for it. It won’t erupt until there is space for it.

  101. I am 48 and have had my braces for only 2 months (I also had braces as a teenager). I have crowding in my lower teeth but they were all the same height. However, my left cuspid and left 2nd bicuspid are now taller than all other teeth. Is this normal? Will they eventually be the same height as my other teeth? Also, when I bite I now only hit the taller 2nd bicuspid. I will also mention that in about 8 months I will be having bilateral jaw joint replacement along with moving the lower jaw fowrward and Lefort 1 along with widening the palate.

    1. Hi, Since you are scheduled for orthognathic surgery, I would not worry about occlusal interferences until after the surgery. It would be nice to have a nice plane of occlusion before the surgery. Sometimes leveling of the teeth have to be done after surgery because the malocclusion keeps the teeth from moving.

  102. Hello! I have a power chain on my bottom teeth to close one small gap. My teeth however are not straight right now. Should they be straight before a power chain goes on or does this happen after?

  103. Yesterday I got braces on my top front 6 teeth(3 on each side), at the ends the wire was bent upwards. One of the ends is poking into my gum and causing great discomfort. My orthodontist is quiet far away, if I try to bend it away the wire twists a little. Should I try to clip away the end? Or should I make an emergency appointment?

    1. Hi. Call your orthodontist and ask if you can clip the wire. If they say no, then ask for an appointment.

    1. Hi. The approval process is usually done by an orthodontist appointed by the state. Currenly in my state, they approve only 30% of cases submitted. Your orthodontist does not approve or disapprove the case, the state appointed orthodontist does. Funds are not available for all cases submitted, so criteria has been set up to approve or disapprove certain cases.

  104. Hi, if you are tongue tied, will you need to get surgery on it to get a permanent retainer on your bottom row of teeth?

    1. Hello. A person who is tongue tied has the potential problem with speech and the gum tissues. The tongue movement can cause the gum tissue behind the lower incisors to pull away from the teeth causing a gingival defect. I usually recommend surgery to be performed to loosen the tongue. The tongue tie does not effect a lingual retainer.

  105. Hi Dr. Thompson,

    Within 3 days after getting my braces off a small gap formed between my upper central incisors. This happened while wearing the clear retainer full time. My doctor switched to wrap around retainer to try to close the gap. It’s been a year of wearing retainer full time and I’ve noticed the gap is still there AND now my two upper lateral incisors have moved upward so that they appear much shorter than the central incisors. What can be done at this point? Braces again or just get veneers?
    I am so unhappy with my smile. I appreciate your professional advice.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi. You may need an Invisalign product like Express 10 or Invisalign Lite that would align the teeth. Then, if possible, have a bonded lingual retainer placed. Some patients are prone to relapse quickly. Veneers or bonding of the lateral incisors is an option if your lateral incisor are small mesial – distal.

  106. I have a modified spring retainer on top and bottom it is cutting under my tongue is there anything i can do about it

    1. Hi. That is a very common area where a retainer will rub. The knife edged acrylic of the retainer needs to be rounded, blunted and polish. There is nothing you can do. See your orthodontist for the repair before the sore gets bad.

  107. Hello
    I have a permanent retainer on my bottom 6 teeth. The cement that is holding it in place is chopping off and I also have short roots on the same teeth. I removed the top one my self it had mostly fallen off by its self and no issues cause the roots on the top are normal. I’m wondering what I should do get it removed or replace or repaired.

    1. Hi. In my opinion, go see your orthodontist and ask for your lower fixed retainer to be removed and have a removable retainer made. Since your lower teeth have short roots, it is better to get away from a bonded fixed retainer.

  108. Hello I just got all my braces on and noticed that my front teeth are starting to move apart and I’m scared because I don’t want to look ugly on camera and around all my friends

    1. Hi. It’s normal for spaces to open up as the braces parallel the roots. Just ask your orthodontist at your next visit about the space.

  109. I lost the buccal tube on my first molar. I’m instructed to wear class 2 elastics. Can I put my elastics on my 2nd premolar instead?

    1. Hi, I’d say yes, you can wear your elastic from the 2nd premolar. The elastics will not be stretched as far and may have less effect.

  110. My daughter who’s is 16 years and about 4months has had braces on for 2.5 years. Her ortho says everything is ready except her 12 year old molars have not erupted and we are waiting on that. What happens if they still have not at 17 or 18? Will she be in braces when she goes to college?! We are all getting frustrated. Neither her ortho or dentist has said they are impacted. Should we expect them to erupt soon? Thank you kindly. We go back to ortho in 4 weeks.

    1. Hi, you might want to consider having the braces removed. Allow the 2nd molars to erupt and then see if they need aligned at that time. Sometimes 2nd molars will erupt into proper positions and do not require movement.

  111. Hey,
    I have a permanent fixed retainer on my two front teeth and my dentist says that I have ML on both my front teeth and that he needs to remove it in order to fill my cavities is that true does he have to take my retainers off! He is not going to replace it and I worked to hard to keep my teeth straight what should i do!

    1. Hi, ML stands for mesial lingual. It is a way of identifying where the cavity is located. To have access to fix the cavity, your dentist will need to remove the fixed retainer. Once the cavities are fixed, ask your orthodontist to place a new fixed retainer.

  112. Hi!

    I got my braces removed yesterday – yay!

    My orthodontist won’t be able to get me a retainer until at least a fortnight, probably longer – how likely is it that my teeth will shift in this time period? I’m a bit worried

    1. Hi. In my opinion, two weeks is too long to wait for a retainer. Right after the braces are removed, your teeth are mobile due to the fact that the periodontal ligament PDL is wide. The PDL will narrow over a short period of time. Your teeth could move during this time before the retainer is seated. Every orthodontist does things differently.

  113. my daughter has had gold hooks soldered on to her upper wire. can you please explain what they are for. Thank you.

    1. Hi. Brass hooks are usually placed on the wire for rubber bands. Sometimes instead of using the hook that is on the cuspid, the orthodontist wants to pull from a whole segment of teeth and not just the cuspid. The other reason to place a brass hook on the wire is to use a pull coil. A closed coil spring is placed from the molar hook and attached to the brass hook with a wire. This pulls the molar forward (mesial) to close spaces.

  114. Hi, I have had my braces off for about 5 years now and I still wear my retainer at night but it recently broke and I won’t be able to get it fixed for about 2 weeks now. Do you think my teeth will create a gap during that time period?

    1. Hi. One of the items we correct with orthodontic treatment are patients who have deep bites. To fix a deep bite, a patient wears fixed braces full time for about two years.

  115. This is my last day of having braces. The back/side of one of my teeth beside the very front broke off and I have a dentek temporary filling in it. Will this be ripped out during the impressions I get for retainers?

    1. Hi, it may if the temporary filling is not strong. Chances are, it won’t come out.

  116. I’ve had braces for about 8 months now, and my orthodontist has never attached the wire to my bracket on tooth 26. It keeps moving further back (towards my tongue) and he’s not doing anything about it. What should I do?

    1. Hi. Communicate your concern to your orthodontist. This is somewhat normal. At some point in time, your orthodontist will create space for #26 and bring it into alignment. Your orthodontist is working on aligning other teeth first before going after tooth #26.

  117. Hi,

    I just broke one of my brackets on my bottom teeth, so the orthodontist said he will put a new bracket on a couple days later. However when the nurse changed my wire again on my bottom teeth, my top front tooth bracket keeps touching one of the bottom brackets and I feel like my tooth is chipping because of this. Is this normal for 2 brackets to touch?

    1. Hi. In a deep bite patient, it is normal for upper teeth to hit the lower brackets. It shouldn’t chip your tooth. If the bracket keeps coming off, your orthodontist may place a band on that tooth or make an upper bite plate to open your bite while the deep bite is being corrected.

  118. I recently got a permanent retainer and I am not able to completely close my mouth. Is this normal its been two days and I am scared that my lower jaw will shift and my teeth won’t be aligned anymore.

    1. The permanent retainer should not keep you from closing your mouth completely. It is not normal. I’d suggest you call your orthodontist for an evaluation.

  119. i ran out of orthodontic elastics today. my friend gave me hers a couple weeks ago since she got her braces off and didn’t need them anymore. hers are way smaller and tighter than mine but since i don’t have an appointment scheduled for a few more weeks, should i wear hers in the meantime? since they’re tighter than mine maybe only wear them during the day and not night? they’re not the size my orthodontist gave me but i assume it’s better than not wearing any at all.

    1. Hi. No, you should not wear a tighter rubber band. Call your orthodontist and ask them to send your appropriate elastics in the mail. You’ll have them in a day or two.

  120. hi my permanent retainer wire was cut between last two teeth left side and that wire is sticken to teeth but no bond to rest of 5 teeth at the bottom teeth .my doubt is with out bond is it work or i should replace it.

    1. Hi. I’d go see your orthodontist for an evaluation of your permanent retainer.

  121. Hi Dr. Thompson,

    I have had my braces going on two years now. Recently I got a powerhain put on the top row of teeth. A few weeks in I noticed a piece of my gum protruding between two of my teeth on one side. Is this normal? Will this go back down after the braces come off? I’m scared it’ll never look the same

    1. Hi. When an orthodontist uses power chain to close spaces, sometimes the gum tissue will bunch up. This is normal. It will go down after your braces are removed. If after six months the tissue is still bulbous, a gingivectomy can be performed.

  122. Hi, i just had my tooth at the right lower back filled. The problem is that it is not aligned properly with the other side, so now i am finding it difficult to chew food. Should i give it time so i can get used to it or would i need to go to my dentist again?
    He told me he cannot lower the tooth more as it will loose strength?

    Please help
    thank you!

    1. Hi, Trauma from a heavy occlusal contact is not good over the long term. Give it a week or two and if the tooth is still high, go see your family dentist for an adjustment.

  123. Hi,

    I have a question regaring my retainer usage. I’m 25 and got my braces off when I was 13 or so after having them on for only a year and a half. For the first couple of years I wore my retainers most nights and as the years have gone on its lessened significanrly. I’ll wear them for a few nights and then won’t for a few weeks. Recently I havennt worn them for numerous months. I have the clear plastick retainers fitted to my teeth and I can still get them on for the most part, but the retainers are tight of course. So my question is, can I wear these daily to correct the slight shift I’ve noticed in my teeth or is that a bad idea? I just want to get them as straight as possible again aND then get the permanent retainer put in so I don’t have to worry about then anymore. I’m a perfectionist and seeing that they aren’t fully aligned drives me crazy. Yes I know I did this to myself, but now I want to makeour right! Please help!

    1. Hi. Wearing your retainers will not cause problems with your teeth. I’d wear your old retainers for two months, 24/7 and then go see your orthodontist. If the teeth are in good positions, they could place the permanent retainer at that time.

  124. Hello, I am wondering if apple cider vinegar with water can clean my retainers because I drop it at school and the janitor accidentally threw it in the trash.

  125. I just got my braces off yesterday and I’ve noticed that if you look very closely at my two front teeth it looks like I have vertical hairline cracks. I didn’t have these before my braces and I am concerned that my teeth might have weakened and need treatment. Also I wanted to whiten my teeth but now I’m not sure if I should as it could increase the problem?

    1. Hi. Vertical craze lines are normal and are found in every person. Your braces didn’t cause them. It is the normal wear and tear of our enamel that these craze lines occur. Most people become alarmed when they are first noticed. Nothing needs to be done.

  126. Hi, so I got braces on about a week ago and unfortunately i want them removed I realized that I don’t really need them and I’d rather have my gum surgery first.. my mother warned me but I insisted.. is this possible? And can i cancel the contract? Also will i be forced to pay the remaining fees if it has only been a week?

    1. Hi. If you are of age, you can stop treatment at any time. You will be charged and you should pay for all services that have been rendered up to when you stopped treatment.

  127. Hello. About 9 months ago I got my braces off after four years. I was given retainers and was told to use them 24/7. I did for a couple weeks and then stopped, only using them at night. Then, I even stopped wearing them at night. My four front teeth have shifted a bit, especially the front two where one is starting to move in front of the other. My two bottom front teeth have also visibly moved. I’m a teenager and I don’t want to anger my parents, but my retainers don’t really fit anymore and I’m not sure what to do. I just want my teeth to go back to being super straight like they were. Will my retainers eventually move them back into place, or will they do more damage since they don’t fit? Will I have to get a second round of braces again? And how long would they have to be on?

    1. Hi. Following directions is very important for orthodontic treatment to work. Try to wear your old retainers full time, 24/7. Your teeth should start to move back. They may not make it all the way. After two months, go back and see your orthodontist. Tell them that you didn’t wear your retainers as instructed. They will evaluate your movements and tell you and your parents when needs to be done.

  128. Hello,

    My permanent retainer fell out a week ago and I am waiting to get braces till after my wedding in 2 month. I am staring to see the small gap in my two front teeth, getting slightly bigger. Do you know how many more millilitera two front teeth can move? I’m afraid on my wedding day that I will have a huge gap in my front teeth.

    1. Hi, Depending on how large the space was initially, the space can get rather large quickly. It would be better if you could see your orthodontist and get the permanent retainer fixed.

  129. So I got my braces off about 5 years ago. I got the plastic retainers and as usual I haven’t wore them a whole lot and my teeth have shifted. I’m actually really scared they might break because of small cracks in the teeth region. I try not to wear them so I don’t break them but I really wanted to see if my orthodontist or dentist could make a duplicate pair from my old retainer. I don’t have the mold they used so I didn’t know if it was possible to make a new pair from putting molds around my old ones.

    1. Hi. It would be impossible to make a duplicate of your old retainers. You should visit your orthodontist and find out what treatment they recommend.

  130. Hello, I’ve had braces on my top teeth for over a year now. A couple of days ago my orthodontist glued bumpers to my back teeth and after a couple of days of pain I noticed that my tooth that one of the bumpers is attached to has begun to turn grey? It’s very painful, as I also have a grinding problem in my sleep.

    Was wondering if my tooth will be ok and what I can do?

    Thank you

    1. Hi, a tooth that is turning grey needs to be examined by your family dentist and your orthodontist. When teeth become non-vital, they can turn grey. Call and set up an appointment soon.

  131. Hi! I recently lost my retainer a few days ago. I have had my braces off for approximately 5 months now. I have scheduled to have a new retainer made, but my orthodontist will not be available for another two weeks. I am concerned that there will be major relapse during this time and am already experiencing slight teeth movement. Will my teeth move enough to require additional treatment other than wearing my retainer again for an extended period of time? In the meantime, is there anything I can do to prevent further teeth movement?

    1. Hi. There is not much you can do but to wait. Your orthodontist should be able to move any teeth with a retainer that have moved during this time of no retainers.

  132. I’m supposed to be getting my braces off tomorrow but I still see a small gap in my front teeth. What will the orthodontist say about this when I go for my appointment will he still take them off or get me to keep the braces on??

    1. Hi. It depends on where and how large the spaces are. If there is a space above a contact point, the orthodontist may take the braces off. If the teeth don’t have a contact point, they may wait to remove the braces after the space is closed.

  133. Hi, I’m 14 and I have braces, I’m from the UK but I understand that the process is very similar. I have teeth coming through at the back of my mouth. This results in my gums swelling over the rings around my back teeth. What can I do to stop this and should I go to my orthodontist?

    1. Hi. If the swelling is around the bands, it could be food or plaque trapped around the bands. Use floss or maybe a water pick around the bands to wash out the plaque or food. Do it daily and the swelling should decrease.

  134. Hi so I just got braces a week ago and I was wondering how much time would it take for my braces to enclose a space between my teeth a couple of millimeters wide? Also one of my 4 hooks fell off, and what would that have as an effect? Can I brush my teeth with an open wire vacated by the hook?

    1. Hi. It doesn’t take a long time to close a two millimeter space between central incisors, a couple of months. What does takes time is transferring that space to the posterior area where it can be eliminated by retracting anterior teeth. Plus, once the spaces are closed, they need to be held closed to minimize relapse. You can brush the area where you lost your bracket. I’d have the bracket repaired soon.

  135. Hi I’ve had braces for 4 years and I had problem with my bite( overbite) Now my orthodontist says that it’s fixed but when I talk or smile my upper teeth just don’t show and other people see it too. I’ll be happy if you can tell me what’s the problem and weather it can be solved 😊

    1. Hi. It sounds like you have vertical maxillary deficiency, where the maxilla did not grow properly in a vertical dimension and when you smile, your teeth barely show. If this is the case, consult with an oral surgeon. They may suggest orthognathic surgery to correct the problem. You can see examples by Googling “Vertical Maxillary Deficiency” and looking at the images which show before and after surgery.

  136. Hi! I got my braces removed 2 days ago, and now I have to wear a Hawley Retainer. My problem is that my teeth won’t properly close. In fact, my bottom teeth touch my retainer when I try to close my mouth. Is this normal? Should I be worried? Thanks !

    1. Hi. It is normal for you not to close your bite completely with hawley retainers in place.

  137. I am currently wearing a top and a bottom palate expander . I previously had braces when I was younger, and now I am 37 and about to put my braces back on, but the first time around I did not have to wear palate expanders. The expanders are putting a lot of gaps between me teeth which is expected. My question when I get the braces put on, how long does it usually take before gaps begin to close.

    1. Hi. Anterior gaps will close quickly (months). They start at the midline and move to posterior teeth. Posterior gaps take longer.

  138. I stepped on my top hawley in the shower and my wire is loose, i can move it up and down, my orthodontist eill fix it in a week i was told to just keep wearing them until the doctor fixes it, i wear them properly only take them off to eat,floss, and brush. Will my teeth shift dramatically or at all during the week before i get it fixed ??

    1. Hi. That is good advice from your orthodontist. You should have minimal or no tooth movement until a new retainer is made.

  139. Hi . My orthodontic treatment started about 1 year 9 months back for misaligned teeth. I underwent 4 extractions of first premolars to get the off canines back in line .
    Unfortunately , I had to move bcz my visa expired . Now here I visited a new dentist , who labelled all my previous treatment just a “mess” and said I look much terrible now (which I don’t think so) , anyhow he pointed out so many mistakes and even took out my powerchain, saying that I don’t need it anymore. Though I keep telling him that my dentist told me to strictly wear powerchain so that my spaces which have been closed now , don’t open up again. But why would he listen. So here itd been jst a week and I can see a HUGE space b/w my lateral incisor and canine .
    What do you suggest ? Shall I go back tell him I want my powerchain back or should just wait till all my spaces open up again.
    Please I really need your suggestion.

    1. Hi. If you do not have confidence in your new doctor’s treatment, then seek a second opinion.

  140. are there any possible ways to speed up the time i have my braces on. ive had them on for about a year and i have a year left and im so eager to get them off!! haha i know i have to be patient and that braces are very worth it! thanks a ton 🙂

    1. Hi. No, the biology of tooth movement makes tooth movements a long process. You can’t speed it up.

  141. I just got my expander pit back in but something feels wrong. When I don’t have my teeth touching, on one side, I can still feel metal and it makes it difficult to use my teeth at all. Biting down hurts my teeth. Is this normal or did someone mess up my expander?

    1. Hi. That sounds like you need it adjusted since it hurts when you bite down. See your orthodontist.

  142. Hey there.
    I have had braces on for almost 10 months now and my orthodontist said the next time I come in they are going to re arrange my brackets? I don’t understand what this means so can you possibly shine some light on this for me?

    1. Hi. Some orthodontists will reposition a bracket instead of placing bends in the wire. Or the bracket was not exactly where the orthodontist wanted it, so they repositioned it.

  143. Hello, Does it make any sense to put an expander on the upper jaw of an 8 year old child to correct overbite along with upper braces only to close a two upper, front teeth gap? She has perfectly straight teeth, no crowding, no crossbite.
    It makes no sense to me. I read an expander is only for crossbites and underbites. I am so uncomfortable with the idea of the expander however not the braces. I would hope the braces can somewhat correct the overbite for now until her lower jaw grows out more. Thank you.

    1. Hi. In some cases, the expander is used to reshape the arch form of the maxillary arch. By using the RPE, you basically increase the width of the upper jaw to allow the maxillary anterior segment to be brought posterior. This helps eliminate or reduce the excessive overjet. So in some cases, an RPE is used when there is no crossbite.

  144. hello!! i got my top expander about a week ago, as a result of my front two teeth overlapping. how long will it take for my expander to create the desired gap between the two teeth so they can then apply my braces?

    1. Hi. It depends on how fast the expander is turned and where it is located, anterior to posterior in the mouth. Usually it can take 3 to 6 months.

    1. Hi. I’m not familiar with Canada’s orthodontic association. I would start by calling local orthodontist offices and ask the receptionist, if the orthodontist uses tongue cribs.

  145. Hi, I got my braces from past two months when I visited my orthodontist this time he told not to wear rubber bands why is it so?

    1. Hi. Your orthodontist examined your occlusion and determined that your elastic wear had achieved what they wanted.

  146. Hi, I’m about to get my braces off. My first molar bands were removed and molar brackets were placed. My contacts between my 1st and 2nd molars are very light/no contact. Can this be closed with a Hawley?

    1. Hi. It depends on what type of hawley is made. A wrap around hawley can allow for eruption of teeth.

  147. Hi,
    Is it possible to fix an overbite with a missing first molar?Ive been under treatment for a year, and unfortunately my first molar on the left became very infected. They removed tooth number 19 which had a molar band on it, and I was suppose to start rubber bands, but my ortho is putting it off a.t.m.? Can my overbite still be corrected?

    1. Hi. Your overbite can be corrected. If #18 is present, they could use it to level the bite. Also, shorter elastics can be used from the 2nd premolar or a hook can be placed on the area in the area of #19.

      1. Hi ,
        Thank you for your response . I am concerned because tooth number 18 never had a bracket or wire put on ? And I don’t have any of my wisdom teeth . Therefore I am wondering how my ortho will fix my bite when he hasn’t moved or touched that tooth my entire treatment ? I went to an oral surgeon and I am doing an implant after I get my braces off because my oral surgeon wants everything moved before the implant. I am worried my teeth will shift before the implant after I get my braces off . Can my ortho give me a retainer to prevent this while I wait to get the implant ?

        1. Hello. Yes your orthodontist will make a retainer to hold that space until the implant, post and crown can be placed.

  148. Hi Dr. Thompson,
    I got my braces off 3 years ago. Recently I got a new set of retainers made because I lost my previous ones. I noticed that the top retainer(essix retainer) doesn’t include the 2nd molars. I asked the nurse at the time and she told me that generally the back teeth don’t have much movements, so it’s okay not to include them in the retainer. However I didn’t get this information directly from the orthodontist himself so I’m not sure how accurate this is. I’ve been wearing the retainers for a week now and I notice that when I wake up in the morning and take off my retainers, the 2nd molars feel kinda funny and tight-ish. I’m not sure if this is an oversight in the making of my retainer or it’s actually not a big issue for the 2nd molars not to be included in the top retainer. Should I be concerned that my 2nd molars aren’t covered and request a new pair to be made?

    Also if it’s relevant, my bottom 2nd molars ARE covered by the bottom retainer.

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi, I don’t think it is an issue. Sometimes I leave the 2nd molar alone so it can erupt. You should be fine with the ones you have.

  149. I’m getting braces next week and i have this one tooth that hasn’t fully come out from my gums yet. it’s about 2/3 out. Would my orthodontist still put a bracket on it?

  150. I have gotten my braces off 2 years ago and have been wearing my retainers as instructed by my orthodontist. Recently I’ve been noticing that when I don’t wear my retainer during the day, as instructed by my orthodontist, my front right bottom tooth has been going a little bit crooked. But at night when I put my retainer on it goes back to normal. Before I had braces my teeth were never like that and I was just wondering if that’s normal at all.

    1. Hi. It is normal. Your teeth are trying to settle. In other words, the natural forces are pushing on your teeth and if they are not in equilibrium, your teeth will shift until they are. You could tell your orthodontist what is happening and see if they want to remove a little bit of enamel to elevate the pressure. It’s called Interproximal Reduction (IPR).

  151. Yesterday I had a lingual bar placed on my behind my top 6 teeth. There is a glob of glue on one of the teeth which is causing my bottom tooth to hit it not allowing me to bite down completely. Will the excess glue eventually fall off or should I go in to have it scraped off? I have a lingual bar on the bottom but it was placed 10yrs ago and I can’t remember if I had this same issue with the bottom one. I don’t recall. Makes it very difficult to chew food.

    Thank you!

  152. I started using a nightguard I got from the drugstore (called The Doctor’s nightguard, it’s moldable) and within a couple weeks developed an anterior open bite. How can an orthodontist or surgeon determine if the nightguard caused my teeth to move or my jaw to move (or something else?) I’m interested in understanding what happened here… if it is jaw movement, how does one get the jaw to return to its previous state? Thanks

    1. Hi. I would suggest that you discontinue wearing the store bought night guard because it is creating an open bite. Your night guard is either allowing posterior extrusion or anterior intrusion of your teeth. See your family dentist or orthodontist for a custom hard acrylic splint.

  153. Hello Dr. Thompson,
    I’ve been to three orthodontists for initial consults for three of our children. One of our children has a lower jaw deficiency (maybe someone else said a weak chin) and an overbite. One Dr. said he would use the Forsus appliance, and one said he would use the MARA appliance, and third didn’t really address it. What is the main difference of these two appliances? Is there a greater chance of skeletal change with the MARA? Is there a greater chance of the best end result with the MARA?

    Thank you for your assistance!! Your Q & A’s have been very helpful.

    1. Hi. Any appliance that advances the mandible in a growing, can lengthen the mandible. Both MARA and Forsus do the same thing. The MARA appliance is a more minimal appliance and the Forsus appliance requires braces to be in place. You could go with either one.

  154. I turned my expander more than once which I am no supposed to do my mom turned my expander and then she turned it again should I be concerned?

    1. Hi, Only do the turns as instructed. If the rapid palatal expander is expanded too far, it can be backed off at your next appointment.

  155. Hi is it possible to put a retainer on the back of pontics once braces are off? Not like a Hawley retainer. Just something that doesn’t have the wire across the front so it’s not as noticeable for when i am in speech. Or does something like that not exist yet? Or do you usually have to wait a little bit after you get your braces off to get one that only goes around the back? Just curious I have pontics and I am about to get my braces off and I really don’t want to have the retainer wire noticeable all the time.

    1. Hi. A hawley retainer with pontics and no labial bow is called a flipper. Ask your orthodontist when can you get a flipper.

  156. My daughter is scheduled to get her braces off in 2 weeks at 9 am but her appt is on the 1st day of Junior High and she doesn’t want to miss the morning session. The earliest next appt is 4 weeks later. The receptionist rescheduled but told me we were risking over correction. Is there anything we can do to prevent over correction? BTW my daughter wears rubberbands as well. Thank you!

    1. Hi. Over correction could be caused by the elastic wear. You could ask your orthodontist if the elastics could be stopped or wear part time until the braces are removed.

  157. Hey, so I have braces and i only have one elastic band on one side of my mouth that’s what my orthodontist had me do but I forgot to ask why that is. I usually see people with elastic bands on both sides of their mouth and I’m wondering why I only have one. Thank you so much in advance for answering this question.

    1. Hi. Most asymmetrical elastic wear is because the mandible is deficient in its growth on that side. So when you look head on at your face, you should see your mandible being off to one side. The elastic reduces the asymmetry by causing the mandible to grow more on that side.

  158. Okay I just recently got braces and my checks are getting cuts in using the wax they provided me with but I think i moved my hook or i have no idea what happend but my hook keeps digging into my check and it hurts I just wanted to know if I moved my hook..

    1. Hi. I’d say maybe the tooth moved that places the hook at a position to irritate your cheek. It’s hard to bend a hook and not break the bracket off. At any rate, the hook needs to be moved to a more comfortable position. See your orthodontist.

  159. Hi, I’m really concerned about what my dentist did. I’ve had a removable retainer that I’ve worn (nearly every day) since my braces were removed. A week ago, my top retainer broke, so I went to the dentist to get a replacement. Instead, he put a permanent retainer with my (reluctant) permission. I’m wondering if this is usual. It’s downright uncomfortable and I dislike it. I really want to go back to removable retainers. For reference, I’m about to turn 24, and I’ve worn retainers since I was 15

    1. Hi. You’re in charge of your health care. If you want to go back to removable retainers, set up an appointment to discuss it. If your dentist declines to make new retainers and remove the fixed retainer, seek a second opinion.

    1. Hi. Look at this page about flossing (Click Here). If the floss gets stuck between your teeth. Use another piece of floss to remove it. Go through the contact, let go of one end and pull it out to the side. You can also use a floss aide.

  160. Hey. I had braces on few years back. After getting them off, I followed up wearing my retainer for maybe a year and a half-ish. Then I didn’t wear it as regularly. At the moment, my teeth still look straight but there’s just one tooth on the top and and one in the bottom that slightly, stick out. Any idea on how I can fix it? Should I just keep wearing my retainer (although my bottom one literally doesn’t even fit and my top one fits tightly)?

    Waiting for your reply ! 🙂

    1. Hi. In my opinion, you need new upper and lower spring retainers and interproximal enamel reduction (IPR). Contact your orthodontist.

  161. I have had a bottom retainer in for 23 years now behind my front bottom teeth. It’s starting to come off on one side. Is it safe if it falls out?

    1. Hi, Go see your orthodontist. They will either remove it or replace it. Some patients need a fixed retainer for lifetime.

  162. I got my braces off a couple months ago, and i got a bottom retainer. I tried wearing a top retainer but I keep gagging and I cant sleep or do anything when I have it on because I am gagging. Is there any solution for this?

    1. Hi. The palatal area of the maxillary hawley retainer can be removed to help with the gagging. It looks like a horse shoe. Also, the length can be reduced to help.

  163. Hello, yes several years ago my lower bar fell out from when I had braces on at 20, I’m currently 47 . I would say the bar has been out for 3 years. I went to my orthodontist or actually his replacement as he had retired, and he declined putting a new one in. He said I shouldn’t worry about moving but now I see they are looking slightly shifting . What to do this is only on my lower front teeth- there’s no crowding just shifting should I worry what should I be thinking to request someone local to me to do about it? Concerned , and worried.

    1. Hi, To allay your fears, I’d have your orthodontist make you a spring retainer. It’s a hawley retainer with acrylic on the labial bow. It supports the anterior teeth well.

  164. Hi i have had braces for probably 1 year and a half now and the metal band that goes aroud my tooth has came really loose that I can pull on it and the hole thing comes off except the part that is connected to the wire. But it’s not just coming off of is actually causing me a lot of irritation and it is getting very painful. I had took a small corner off and took a picture of it and there was a big hole next to my tooth going up into my jaw straight up i figured that that’s why it is so uncomfortable. I had double checked that there was no signes of a cavity but if it’s open just the slightest and I miss it with My toothbrush then there can be done deal problems My next appointment is not until October and I do t think I can wait that long… Do you have any recommendations in really in pain when I chew and really recomdations?

    1. Hi, you need to see your orthodontist now to get your band recemented. It will only get worse and there is not much you can do at home except chew food on the other side.

  165. 4 yrs ago I had 4 root canals and 4 caps put on my 4 front teeth. I woke up this morning and one of the caps have fallen off and I can’t find it.if I have my molds from the dentist can I just take them to the dentist and have him mold me another one and glue it in. And how much would that cost

    1. Hi, Your dentist will need to do an exam and will probably not able to use your models. New models will be needed. I do not know how much it will cost.

  166. I finished eating dinner and I felt something sharp cutting into my mouth and I noticed that one of my brackets has come off my tooth and is hanging off the wire and has twisted and is cutting into my mouth and has made my gums badly swollen . What should I do ?

    1. Hi, Try to move the bracket to make you feel comfortable. Then call your orthodontists emergency number.

  167. Hi Dr. Thompson,

    My 10&1/2 years old daughter has front teeth which are very forward, I was told she had class II malocclusion with overbite 60% and overjet 10mm. I took her to a few orthodontists for consultation in order to get a best suitable plan for her. However, every orthodontist told me different method to correct it, not even one was closer. Dr. Thompson, now I am totally confused and had two main questions. I really appreciate your help:

    1. Three orthodontists told me it’s the problem of lower jaw, the upper jaw is fine, the first told me to use twin block, the second told me to use herbst appliance, the third told me elastic band alone should fix the problem, the above 2 methods are too old. So, Dr. Thompson, which method you think it’s the best: 1. twin block 2. herbst appliance or 3. elastic band alone?
    2. the 4th orthodontist told me the main problem is the upper teeth, due to overbite 60% with overjet 10mm, the upper front teeth are not straight, they are too forward, in order to bring them back to align with lower teeth, 2 upper teeth need be removed to have enough room to bring upper front teeth back, Otherwise, even you fixed the overbite problem, your upper front teeth is still forwarding. After remove the 2 upper teeth, braces with elastic band will be used. What do you think her opinion of removing 2 teeth?

    Thank you very much for all your help. I really appreciate it.

    1. Hi, Chances are the mandible is retrognathic. Records and evaluation are needed to evaluate positions of the jaws. I’d probably go with the herbst appliance. It’s a fixed appliance that can make the mandible grow. After the herbst, braces and elastics.

  168. I never had braces, and I went to the dentist and was told I still had a baby tooth (I’m 17 with all my adult teeth). Recently I noticed my adult tooth is growing in and starting to push the baby tooth and creating a gap. The baby tooth seems like it is going to overlap the tooth next to it. What procedure would I have to go through to fix this? Will I need surgery? Or more than braces?

    1. Hi, I’d have the primary tooth removed and see if it would help the permanent tooth in it’s position as it erupts. Braces may be needed in the future.

  169. Hey,
    I have had my braces for over a year and a half now and i was supposed to remove them about a month ago. My problem is that i put my braves back in my home country which is war ridden as of right now and i’ve moved to the United Kingdom.
    Upon trying to contact all the orthodontists non were willing to remove them by saying “you were supposed to remove them at home” when i cant go back home. i dont know what to do.

    1. Hello,

      In the USA, we have some counties that have hired a dentist for the health department. You could contacat the local health dept and see if they can help. I’d continue to call orthodontists and general dentists to find someone who will remove the braces.

  170. Hi, I am currently undergoing ClearCorrect treatment (similar to Invisalign). I cant seem to get a direct answer from my dentist on this. It is my understanding that ideally, teeth should align “like a zipper.” Or the peaks and valleys of the top teeth are slightly offset from those of the bottom teeth. Is this correct? Does it pose risk for any future complications or abnormal wear in the future to have the “peaks” lined up? At this time, I am unable to get complete closure on one side due to this. Thanks!

    1. Hi. You’re “zipper” analogy is correct. Cusp tips should fall into the central fossa or median sulcus of the opposing teeth to achieve an ideal occlusion. It sounds like you need to wear elastics to move your cusp tips into a Class I relationship.

  171. Hello,
    My son is in month 13 of an approximate 24 month treatment plan with braces. He is primarily being treated for an overbite. After the first few months, he spent about 3 months in springs and then started rubber bands. This is his second month of rubber bands and they are almost working too well. His lower jaw is now pulled forward past his upper jaw. Even when he takes his rubber band off, his lower jaw placement remains in front of the upper jaw. Is this normal? Is the jaw being pulled forward too much, knowing that it will start moving back with future rubber bands? He has another 3-4 weeks until his next appointment, so I thought I’d ask here before contacting the office. Thanks.

  172. Dr. Thompson,

    I just became D2 this year. My first year in dental school was not good. GPA is 3.0 and class rank is 59/66. After this summer, I want to specialize on ortho. I know I still have time but 3.0 GPA and bottom rank are too low. Should I reconsider specializing?

    1. Hi. Getting into an orthodontic graduate program is very hard and very competitive. I’d work on improving your GPA and Class rank before making a decision on specializing. I wouldn’t give up on the idea of specializing at this time. set your goal. Keep your options open and keep moving towards your goal.

    1. Hi, It depends on some factors. If you just had your braces removed, they have a higher chance of moving. You will probably be ok for just four days. When you get your retainers, if you wear them full time, your teeth should move back into place if they moved.

  173. Hello,

    I miss 2 canines (upper side) and my ortho said it would be better to close the gaps since I don’t have much space to add 2 fakes teeths. However for the last 6 months my upper teeths barely moved (been wearing brackets for 16 months). The ortho is using band to move them, but the premolars are quite unwilling to move. I was wondering if it was normal ? Or if there is a better method please ?


    1. Hi, In rare cases, an orthodontist will find a tooth that will not move. This is called ankylosis. Ankylosis is where the alveolar bone and the root fuse together. The tooth will not move. I doubt this is your problem. I would say your orthodontist is moving other teeth first, before they move the teeth you are watching. Be patient. Teeth move slowly.

      1. Thanks for the reply, the dentist said he was not sure he could close the gaps, it looks like I have long roots making it hard to move.

  174. Hello Dr. Joseph Thompson
    I had my braces for almost three years now, everything was fine. My teeth correction getting better every month, except one tooth of the lower jaw on the right side (the second premolar tooth) was inwards, towards the tongue. The orthodontist didn’t make a major work on that tooth for some reason, kept it to the end of the process.
    Unfortunately my old orthodontist’s contract was over, and the clinic replaced him with a new beginner orthodontist. I spoke to the new orthodontist about my lower second premolar tooth how it still inwards and it needs correction. He tried to fix it, to pull it outwards, and he succeeded but what happened is because he put too much pressure on the first molar the tooth next to the second premolar, the molar went inwards, now I have an inwards molar instead.
    I told him this is not right, he gives me excuses,he can’t fix it at this point and blames me for it because I have missing tooth above the molar. And I’m pretty sure that the problem happened because of the wrong braces work, I’m not stupid.

    I wish I can send you a picture of my lower jaw to see on your email if you want and if there is possible way to correct my molar without causing problems. I’ll wait for your reply thank you.

    1. Hi. First off, I’m not comfortable in reading your images. A radiologist needs to read them. I can say, if there are arthritic changes in the condyle, it will affect your occlusion by creating an anterior open bite. Only your posterior molars would touch when you bite down.

  175. Hi,
    I’ve been wearing the MARA appliances for 6 months now, but my side teeth are still not touching. My orthodontist said it was because I was eating foods that were too hard (such as meat, or anything that requires a little bit of chewing.) However, I don’t eat anything as hard as raw carrots or nuts. What should I do? Do I need to only eat foods that require no chewing at all, like mash potatoes?

    1. Hi, a MARA appliance is very limited in moving individual teeth. The MARA appliance just advances the mandible to help it grow. To finish the occlusion, you will need braces and elastics. Eating hard foods will not cause posterior open bites, IMHO.

  176. Before I had gotten braces I was reassured that my treatment would be no longer then a year to fix my overbite and it was very important to me that they stayed true to what they said since I wasn’t open about getting braces back on in the first place. It is now a few months after they had said I would be finish and my teeth look awful! First the alignment of my teeth aren’t in the curved U/V shape that they’re suppose to be in. the left side like caves in and out but the right side is more aligned like they should be. Second the left upper front teeth don’t even touch the bottom teeth creating a space between them and it’s as if the top are resting directly above the bottom and not fitting together like they should be. Third, I had a rotated tooth that they had said needed to be fixed so they put a chain on it in order to rotate it back but now it’s as if they had only rotated it half way? this has been a very frustrating treatment and the last couple visits they have been trying to fix the unevenness between the left and right side but there has been absolutely no improvement, in fact they look worse. I want to try Invisalign to see if it could help me with my alignment problems and straightness because I’m tired of this ongoing treatment with no improvement whatsoever what should I do?

    1. Hi. You need to express your concerns about treatment with your orthodontist. You may be going through an intermediate phase of treatment. You need to ask if Invisalign is an option. Taking with your orthodontist and expressing what you see is very important because the orthodontist will know what can and can’t be done with your braces and can tell you the limitations.

  177. I just started wearing my retainer again after some time. I was wondering how long i should wear it daily again before I go back to just at night

    1. Hi. I’d say, wear your retainer full time for one month. If the retainer after one month still feels tight and active, wear it another month full time. When the retainer feels passive, then you could go to night wear. At that time, if your teeth are not in good positions, consult your orthodontist for advice and possible retainer adjustments.

  178. Hi there!
    I had braces when I was 13 for 2 1/2 years. Everything went great and they gave me a permanent retainer on the bottom and a removable “wire” one on top. About 6 months after getting them off my two top front teeth started to separate so there was a space/gap between my front teeth. My orthodontist put a permanent one on top and said to wear the removable one at night to prevent the space from happening again. I followed all those directions and everything went well until last year ( I was 24 ) when I started feeling pain at night when I wore the removable retainer. The removable retainer was not fitting correctly either. Somehow my teeth shifted and my ortho recommended putting on braces for a short time to straighten them out again. I will be getting the braces off in a few weeks & getting the new Invisalign type removable retainers for both top and bottom. My ortho is going to remove the permanent retainer on the bottom. I asked if he would remove the top permanent one as well or if that would be a bad idea because of the two teeth separating all those years ago. He said that he could remove it and would if I wanted him too. He also said that my teeth shouldn’t separate with the new retainers but that he can’t 100 % guarantee that they won’t simply because the permanent is there all the time and the new ones I’ll only wear at night. What do you think would be best? Should I have the top permanent removed or just keep it on and have the Invisalign type retainer as well? Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi, I believe the best option is to keep the maxillary permanent retainer and wear an Essix (invisalign type) retainer over top. That gives you the best and highest retention. You may want to ask if you need a frenectomy. A high maxillary frenum can cause the space to open up between central incisors.

  179. Hello this will be a long question due to the explanation of my situation.
    I got my braces put in about two months prior to November of 2017 and during this month I moved from the US to Canada. Its now October of 2018 and am NOW receiving my first appointment to begin my treatment again. I am also a Senior in high school and am moving back to the states in February of 2020. During my active treatment will I be able to continue my treatment in the states? If so how do I go about asking my ortho and letting him know.

    1. Hi. Patients transfer all the time from one orthodontist to another. When you move, it usually lengthens your active treatment time. So the orthodontist in Canada should coordinate your transfer back to the States. There are forms that need to be filled out whenever you transfer from one orthodontist to the next so that there is continuity of treatment. Communication with your current orthodontist and the future orthodontist is the key for a smooth transition when you move. I hope that helps.

  180. Hi Dr. Thompson, I completed Invisalign treatment 2 years ago, but I still have a slight overjet/overbite. And although I have been wearing retainers, my front tooth is slowly shifting back to its old position. As I will be moving to another country, is it possible to get retainers to fix these minor issues from another, new orthodontist? How should I go about asking them for retainers to fix minor relapse, rather than just holding my teeth in its current position?

    1. Hi. When you meet your new orthodontist tell them you are interested in an active retainer, like a spring retainer, that will move your teeth back into position.

    1. Hi. Call your orthodontist to get it repaired. You’ll have to stop wearing your elastics until then.

  181. Hi and by the way sorry for my english
    so lately a ligature i think its called that thing you put around the brace was detached and the problem is that i apply elastic on that tooth so i wanna know if it somehow affects the treatement efficiency and thanks

    1. Hi. You need to get the ligature placed back on the bracket because wearing the elastic rubber band may rotate the tooth if the ligature tie is not there.

  182. I’ve been wearing a plastic retainer 24/7 for over 3 years now. I just came to the realization that having plastic in your mouth all day, every day may not be healthy. I was thinking there could be chemicals leaching from the plastic into my mouth and therefore I’m ingesting potentially harmful chemicals that could cause negative health effects. Is this a possibility? It certainly seems like it and there is no reason to think otherwise since a retainer is just another piece of plastic and plastics are known to have bad reputation healthwise/ingredients and be made with chemcials. Please let me know your thoughts as i couldn’t find any info on this topic online. Im now thinking of getting permanent mental top retainer because of this. Thank you.

    Oh and im not sure what company makes my retainer and if its actually plastic, acrylic or polyurethane (or some other material?) which is another “what if” here because im not sure if those materials also leach chemicals or something else of that nature.


    1. Hi. You have nothing to worry about. All dental materials that are used on patients are regulated by the Food & Drug Administration and are approved by the FDA. All materials used in the mouth are biocompatible and do not cause bodily harm. Our dental materials are researched thoroughly before being approved for patient use.

  183. My dentist put a coil spring after my new check up but I always had he coil spring but this time it is so much right and it hurts so much what can I do.

    1. Hi. If the pressure is keeping you from sleeping, then call your orthodontist to see if they want to lessen the pressure. It is better to just wait it out. In about a couple of days, the pain will decrease a lot and you’ll be past it.

  184. Good afternoon Doctor Joseph, my name is ruby and I went with my orthodontist to get a consultation for my braces he said everything looked fine and ready for me to get them so he said they were going to put some spacers before. Iv’e been having them for the past 4 days, but I notice my wisdom tooth come in he said that shouldn’t hold me from getting my braces long story short It is hurting so bad I believe its infected now, what would you recommend for me to get the braces like that or wait until it actually heals and gets taken care of. Thank you so much for your time in advance.

    1. Hi. Go see your orthodontist for a consultation. If the pain/infection is from your 3rd molars erupting, brush the gum tissue around the 3rd molars well and keep it clean. Use salt water rinses or mouth wash to reduce the bacteria in that area. You should be able to proceed with braces.

  185. Hello Dr. Thompson
    I recently read that because Invisalign puts less pressure on the roots of your teeth less than braces, there is a greater likelihood of your teeth shifting back to their original positions (relapse) in the years following treatment with Invisalign.
    -Have you found this to be the case?

    1. Hi Ben. Pressure from aligners is more controlled than from the wire used with braces. In other words, you can select which teeth you want to move at a specific time with aligners. Whereas the wire with braces places pressure on all teeth it is attached to until the wire is passive. The light pressures needed to move a tooth is the same for aligners and wire. In my opinion, the potential for relapse is the same whether you use braces or aligners. Good question. Thanks.

  186. Hi! How long does it take to place the orthodontic band around the tooth and the separators? And also does the orthodontic band hurt?

  187. I hit my upper teeth in a car accident 30 years ago. At the time, the oral surgeon wired my teeth and my orthodontist put braces on. Two months later, everything was taken off and I was sent on my way. The doctors said I would eventually have issues. Thirty years later, I have two teeth that they believe are ankylosed. The orthodontist put braces on to extrude the teeth. I’ve had the braces on for 2 months. I can’t tell if they’re moving down. How long should it take to know if they are moving down?

    1. Hi. If the teeth are ankylosed, they will not move at all. They will not extrude or move down. The only thing that will happen is that all the other teeth, beside the ankylosed teeth, will move to their level. To check to see if a tooth is ankylosed, we use a percussion test. If the tooth is ankylosed, it will produce a low pitched dull sound when tapped. Make sure you read this article about ankylosis.

  188. my daughter had top and bottom braces on for bout 1 1/2 years. she was diligently with her rubber bands cleanings and going to appointments. (being that i had a dental background for many years) when she got them taken off she had the invisaline retainor worn them 18 hours a day. the ortho changed her upper one to a metal/palat one. we notice the tooth next to the lateral was shifting they made adjustments (with retainor wearing) over the past year and it wasnt working. still crooked. now yesterday she was informed that she needs to put the upper braces back on. i paid alot for these. who is responsible financially for the rebanding? me or the ortho. i think they came off too soon. so if we put them back is the same thing gonna happen. thoughts?

    1. Hi. Every orthodontist handles relapse differently. Relapse happens in all practices and in some cases we can’t predict when and where the relapse will occur. Some orthodontists will retreat with a fee and some won’t. There is no set standard to go by. Some patients are more prone to relapse due to the size of their teeth and the available bone space. In cases where the patient has a high chance of relapse, the patient may have to wear a retainer for life time during sleep. These kind of situations need to be discussed between you and the orthodontist to work out a solution. I hope that helps.

  189. Hello, this is my third day with Forsus springs. When I first got them, they told me that it could be uncomfortable at first so I didn’t bother them about it rubbing the base of my gums (in the back of my mouth). It’s been hurting really bad since yesterday, so I looked at where it had been rubbing and there is a bloody hole. It had rubbed away the skin on that spot on my gums, and there is now a crater. I have a feeling this isn’t normal, what should I do? Is this normal?

    1. Hi, You need to see your orthodontist soon to fix the part of the Forsus that is rubbing. It is not normal for Forsus to create an ulcer. Once it is fixed, your gum tissues will heal.

  190. My permanent retainer has completely come out. I have had it for over 10 years. I’m 32 and they had suggested last time I was in possibly getting it out at 21. What do I do now?

    1. Hi. See your orthodontist if you have adhesive left on the lingual side of the teeth that needs to be removed. Watch your teeth for movement. Take two pictures pointing down on the tops of the teeth with your phone as a reference point. Compare those photos with your teeth in the future. If you see any of your teeth start to shift out of position, contact your orthodontist for a consultation.

  191. My orthodontist had taken off the upper wire and put a thicker one but this time she had cut the ends too short and she couldn’t make a small turn at the end so it wouldn’t poke me. She still managed to do it, but it hurt really bad as if she was almost yanking my teeth. After my appointment I had realized that my left main front teeth kind of shifted and started to come a bit inwards, as well as my bite changed, the left side would come inwards a tad bit while the right side stayed the same. My alignment changed a bit, could that be an effect to her tightening my wire more than what she should have ?

    1. Hi. The change in your alignment is due to the new wire. It is not from the orthodontist tightening the wire too much. After a couple of days, your occlusion should settle in.

  192. Hi,
    I have an impacted canine (my right canine) and have had the baby tooth removed and the adult tooth uncovered through surgery in July 2018. I have had braces for about 2 months (I got them a few weeks after the surgery) but my orthodontist has placed a spring over the wire where the canine should be. Each time I go for an adjustment they say the wire needs to be thicker to withstand the chain once it’s attached to bring the tooth in place. I was just wondering how many more times it will need to be changed or how thick the wire needs to be before the chain can be attached as I want the canine to be moving ASAP.


    1. Hi. It usually takes about two to three wire changes for me to start protracting a cuspid. I usually use a .016″ or .018″ Nickel Titanium wire to put pressure on the cuspid. Also, it could take a full year to get the cuspid exposed into the mouth. Sometimes it erupts quicker than that, but usually it takes a while. Protracting a cuspid is tricky and you have to be patient.

      1. Hi,

        Thank you so much! That’s sounding hopeful as I’ve had 2 changes of wire already and have my appointment for the third! Thanks for your help.

  193. Here’s the thing, I got braces on my top row of teeth and they hurt bad. They hurt so much that even soft food hurt it. Anything that remotely applies pressure on it will cause my teeth to hurt. I got wax but when I try to put it on, it hurts even if I rub it till the wax is soft, it hurts! What do I do and is this normal??

    1. Hi. The most difficult time with braces is right after they are placed. It takes 3 or more days to get use to them. You have to go to a soft diet and otc meds for the pain. Eventually, the soreness will subside.

  194. Hi! I’ve had my braces for going on 4 months now to correct my missing lateral inscisors. My ortho put an open coil spring on my front teeth connected to my canines to make space for an implant after braces. The first time he put the coil spring on, it pushed my teeth just enough to close my small front gap and create a little more space. I just went back a few days ago and they changed it to a longer spring and “activated” the spring. Within a day, my front teeth now overlap each other a little bit. Should I be worried and go back to have them see if the spring is maybe putting too much pressure on my teeth? Or is this normal and can be fixed after the space is made big enough?

    1. Hi. Sometimes an open coiled spring will make the central incisors crowd up when a very flexible wire is being used. A stiffer wire will eliminate this problem. You could call the office and ask if they want to see you now or at your regular visit. It can be addressed now or later. It’s not really a big issue. Just point it out to your orthodontist the next time you see them.

  195. Hi. I know orthodontists file teeth when needed with braces on. But can you bond the bottom of a tooth while you have braces on?

    1. Hi. Yes you can have an incisal edge of a tooth bonded while braces are in place. If it can’t be bonded, the wire and the bracket can be removed so the restoration of the tooth can be done. Once the bonding is complete, the orthodontist can place the bracket and wire back.

  196. Hi!
    I have had braces for more than 3 years now. My right hand side molar (2nd last tooth)is rotated at 30 degress backwards, with no gap between the teeth at the back of it and in the front if it. My dentist says it will take nearly 1.5 years to get fixed. I don’t want to wait till this long. Can I use rubber bands to move it? (Rubber band between 2nd last teeth and last teeth)

    1. Hi. All forces have to be approved by your orthodontist. Elastics can be used to move teeth. Usually a 2nd molar that is tipped mesial needs to be tipped distal before it is extruded. Discuss your concerned about the length of time with your orthodontist and see if there are other options.

  197. My daughter just recently got braces they placed blue ball on her back teeth one of the blue balls came off and the dentist office doesnt open tommorow what should i do in the time being

    1. Hi. That sounds like a bite turbo came off. I don’t think that is an emergency. Turbos are used to open the bite up to keep the malocclusion from knocking the lower braces off. You should call your orthodontist when they are open and see if they want to see your daughter sooner than her regular appointment.

  198. My son is 11 years old and just lost his final couple of baby teeth. Should we wait until his adult teeth come in to put braces on him or does it not matter?

    1. Hi. You don’t have to wait for the permanent teeth to completely erupt. Sometimes the permanent tooth is crowded and will not erupt. With the braces, your orthodontist can create space and the permanent tooth will erupt into a better position.

  199. Hi!

    I’ve had my “clear” braces for six months. While eating yesterday, the wire in-between my second last and last teeth bent and curved in a not straight direction. I’m feeling a lot of pressure on that side of my mouth now (especially on my more problematic teeth), and I’m worried I’m wrecking my progress.

    Is this something urgent to get fixed? Would you normally want to see a patient asap if this happened to them? Should I be seeing my orthodontist right away, or is it not as serious as it feels?

    I called my dentist/orthodontist office, but because my orthodontist moves around to different offices in the city, I haven’t heard back yet. I’m worried that my teeth are shifting. I either want some peace of mind, or to know that seeing my orthodontist as soon as possible is the right move.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi. When chewing food, the wire can be bent. This will sometimes move teeth in an unwanted way. In your case, you are dealing with the molars and they don’t move easily. It’s not an emergency. Just talk to your orthodontic office about the bent wire. They may want to see you sooner than your regular appointment.

  200. I’ve been wearing braces for a little over a year in preparation for orthognathic surgery at the end of this month. In the pre-operation appointment, it appears that one of the gaps that my orthodontist created on right side of my maxilla is only 1.9 mm (needs to be closer to 2.5 mm). I have been using coils and such, but is there any way to advance the process of widening the gap within a few weeks to a month?

    1. Hi. You should be able to get to the 2.5 mm space in a month by replacing the open coiled spring with a longer more active one. Getting 6/10 s of a millimeter shouldn’t take long.

  201. Hi, I am turning 20 next month. As a child, I had severe allergies that would cause my nose to be blocked quite frequently. This by its turn would force me to breathe from my mouth instead of my nose; i think i might also have a mild case of septum deviation. Throughout my teen years, i would rest my tongue on my bottom teeth not knowing that it could result in certain types of malloclusion. My jaw looks very weak from the front and my cheekbones are rather flat. My question is that if incorporate proper swallowing, breathing, and resting if the tongue (p.s i ‘ve been doing all this for the past 4 months) can my jaw shift its growth from vertical to a more horizontal growth? is my jaw fully developed at my age or can it still grow more? What can i do to achieve a more forward and horizontal jaw growth? Thank you

    1. Hi. At the age of 20 years old, you are past the point of modifying facial growth. You will probably need orthognathic surgery to correct your malocclusion. Have a consultation with an orthodontist and an oral surgeon.

  202. I recently broke my upper essix retainer into half so I was wondering does night guard prevents my teeth to shift and relapse other than preventing teeth grinding.

    If it does prevent any relapse can I wear a night guard as a retainer?

    1. Hi. A night guard (hard acrylic splint) can hold your teeth like an essix retainer and protect your enamel from wearing down due to bruxism. As long as the night guard covers the facial surface or incisal edge of the anterior teeth, it will work just like an essix retainer.

  203. When I got my braces, my orthodontist also attached bite blocks to the back of my upper front teeth. My right front tooth was chipped and fixed before I got braces. Today when I got the bite blocks removed, my right front tooth felt overly sensitive when my orthodontist removed the glue. After grinding the glue away, my tooth also seems significantly thinner, as if too much was grinded away, than the other one. Is this a concern? I am very concerned as a result of the tooth being chipped and fixed previously.

    1. Hi. If the composite filling is too thin, only time will tell if it will be a problem. Talk to your orthodontist about the thickness and also discuss this with your family dentist.

  204. Hi, I got braces on my top set in August and my teeth have pretty much straightened. But, I am waiting for my bottom set, which should be placed on next week. The thing is I’m worried about receding gums. I have always taken care of my teeth but there is a tooth sticking out due to overcrowding on my bottom set, and the gum has receded very slightly. The tooth is lower than the other teeth and is tilted but the orthodontist have not told me about any problems with this. Will the braces recede my gums even more, or will they pull the gums up slightly to realign it with the other teeth (which are higher up)? I am only a teen, so should I be so worried about this?

    1. Hello. Due to your age, chances are, you do not have gingival recession. You need not worry about the gum tissue levels. As the teeth are moved with the braces, the gum tissue will move as well. At the end of treatment, the gum tissue should be level and at the height of the cementum enamel junction (CEJ). Ask your orthodontist at your next visit if the tooth in question has gingival recession. If it does, you may need a gingival graft before the tooth is moved a lot.

  205. Hello, I am girl (22) and have an overbite that caused TMJ to me and I guess TMJ caused me a facial asymmetry. It really saddens me. I’m about to see an orthodontist ( I saved some money) to get braces. One orthodontist have already advised me to remove my top premolars to get rid of that overbite. But I dunno if this extraction would make my TMJ better or even worse (but I was told it is the only solution for my overbite). And then I would like to know a possible treatment of my TMJ and asymmetrical face. Do you think getting braces + that extraction will make my TMJ better and my face more symmetrical?

    I also want to ask what do you think about using clove tincture on bleeding gums? And should I buy and use GC Tooth mousse as a prevention against white spots when I will already have braces? Thank you, Veronika

    1. Hi. Your TMJ dysfunction, facial asymmetry and the overjet are all separate issues. Usually TMJ problems are due to stress and the patient grinds or clinches their teeth. Muscle tension builds up around the joint and causes displacement of the TMJ meniscus. A malocclusion can cause TMJ dysfunction. Asymmetries of the face are usually excessive unilateral growth of the mandible or adverse growth of the nose. Sometimes surgery to move the mandible is needed to correct the asymmetry. Finally, upper premolar extractions can reduce an overjet but may not address the assymetry or TMJ problem.

      If you have gums that bleed easily, you may have gingivitis or periodontitis that needs to be resolved before orthodontic treatment. I don’t recommend using clove tincture for bleeding gums. GC Tooth mousse is helpful in preventing decalcification.

  206. Hello,
    I am 41 years old and have recently had ceramic braces footed onto my top teeth for now. It has only been two months but I’ve noticed slightly hollow cheeks, prominent cheekbones and hollow temples. The braces have affected my eating habits, I. E not being able to chew properly and losing a couple of kilos in weight.
    Could the effects I have seen in my face be due to the alignment of my teeth over the last couple of months or more likely the weight loss.
    Thank you for your reply.

    1. Hi. Tooth alignment will not cause the facial changes you have described, buy losing weight does. I’d say it’s the weight loss.

    1. Hi. Keeping the area dry and not allowing the saliva to reach those areas will decrease the fungi that is causing the angular cheilitis.

  207. Hello, I’m 23 and just had my first orthodontist appointment for an overbite. I was given two treatment options, one included corrective jaw surgery and the other is removing two teeth on the top and lying the rest back. I know the surgery option would be more expensive, but my orthodontist seemed to be sure the main problem is my jaw. What would the benefits and risks be for the surgery over just pulling teeth?

    1. Hi. It depends on the analysis of the positions of your maxilla and mandible. Your orthodontist can determine which jaw is at fault, if any. Is the maxilla too far forward causing the protrusion or is the mandible too retrusive or a combination of the two? In the case that the mandible is very retrusive (ie weak chin), surgery to advance the mandible creates a better profile and a nice occlusion. If the maxillary teeth are too protrusive, upper premolar extractions can reduce the excessive overjet and reduce lip protrusion obtaining a nice profile and occlusion. This latter option (ie extractions) is usually selected more often than surgery.

  208. Hi Dr. Thompson. Recently my braces was removed and I got my plastic retainers. at the first day I found that a top one doesn’t fit well.( a lot of space in molar area. Also i was able to put my tongue between retainer and teeth, actualy it was super easy to take retainer off just using a toung) Next day when i back to the office, dr make some attachments on retainers, and i got a new problem, part of the plastic that covering my palet, push to hard on it and it’s pretty painful My palet become dry because there’s no way for salvia get under retainer. In a couple days dr gonna give me another one. So shoud i still wear this retainer before i got new one?

    1. Hi, I can’t change what your doctor told you to do. I’d wear the retainers as instructed. In some cases, essix retainers can be distorted because the impression of your mouth was distorted. Eventually, your orthodontist will get you one that fits well.

  209. hello I have braces , and my crown is loose do I have to have brackets removed to have crowns cemented

    1. Hi. Probably not. But if they need to remove the brackets, it will only be a few in that area. They will place them back once the crown is cemented.

  210. I had a bite turbo installed in my mouth by my orthodontist 4 days ago since i have a deep bite. My concern is that yesterday i have noticed a rather big vein on my neck going from lower jaw, beside my Adam’s apple. It still hasn’t shrunken, it only got bigger. Will it go away when my mouth adjusts to the bite restriction or should i seek medical help? Thank you!

    1. Hi. Bite turbos usually don’t cause that type of reaction. Consult with your family physician.

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