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28 thoughts on “Ask A Question

  1. Hello! So, I have an impacted canine and I plan to get exposure surgery and the braces to pull that tooth down. I haven’t been to the orthodontist recently to ask this question but I was wondering if I would have to wear a retainer after I get the braces off. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi. Yes, you need to wear a retainer after your braces are removed. Right after your braces are removed, your teeth are slightly mobile and need to stabilize. The retainers help keep your teeth in their new positions.

  2. Hi i would like to know what is TP Tubes? as that is what they are using for my braces thats being applied tomorrow but i cant find any answers of what they are or look like

    1. Hello. Every office uses abbreviations. “TP tubes” is not a common one that I know. The only thing that comes to my mind is TransPalatal bar tubes. This is a tube placed on the lingual side of a upper molar band for a removable transpalatal bar. A transpalatal bar is used to create an anchor unit with the posterior teeth. It’s then used to help retract upper anterior teeth. That’s my best guess.

  3. Hello,
    So I currently have ceramic braces on my top and bottom teeth. I have had them for a little over a year now for minor crowding and “overjet” or “flair” of my upper teeth as my orthodontist says. At the beginning of treatment she said possible extractions in the future but most likely not. A year later this morning at my tightening she takes an x-ray and say that I need extractions in order to pull the teeth back. I am extremely hesitant to extract and asked her if there is any other option and she said that they could file some enamel to make a little room but in order to get the teeth to be in it’s perfect position 4 extractions would be needed. My question is if it’s correct for her to be pushing the solution of doing extractions? 4 extractions for a bit of top teeth flair seems a bit extreme. I’m not going for absolutely perfect teeth. I am honestly satisfied with what they look like now but am intimidated by my ortho. If you are able to give me any input I would appreciate it!

    1. Hi. You need to ask your orthodontist to give you enough information to make an informed decision about your treatment. We call this informed consent. If your orthodontist thinks that four extractions is the best course of treatment, she should be able to tell you why to the extent that you can decide if it is best for you. If you are satisfied with the positions of your teeth now, and they will be stable, you could ask your orthodontist to finish treatment without the extractions. The person that is in charge of your treatment is you. You have the control over what treatment you consent to.

  4. Class I malocclusion with poor arch coordination. That’s what I found out at my consult the other day, I was told have braces for 18 to 22 months. Would I need an expander to help the arch issue or any other appliances? I didn’t get the full treatment details from the ortho but she said the braces and elastics for sure, but nothing about appliances or could that come after.

  5. Ive had braces for almost two years now and I still have one baby tooth in the upper left back side of my mouth. Just in this mouth I’ve noticed that my tooth has started to wiggle and yesterday the back side of my tooth is out of my gums. I can feel that it’s about to come out and I want to pull it out but I have a bracket on that tooth and I’m not able to. What should I do? Very urgent I need a respond ASAP

    1. If the primary tooth comes completely loose from your gum tissue, you can call your orthodontist’s emergency number and see if they want to see you at the office. In some cases, your orthodontist may suggest that you clip the wire yourself to remove the baby tooth. Otherwise, if the tooth is not loose and it’s just mobile, call the office when they open for instructions.

  6. Hi,

    I’ve had braces for 18mths. My ortho thinks they are ready to come off. However, my lower 1st molars on both sides have been rotated out of alignement during my extraction space closing & got worse when I had class 2 elastics. My molars were straight before braces.

    My ortho tells me that there is nothing he can do to derotate them & that the cusps of my 1st molars lines up well with the 2nd molars. Can someone tell me if it’s true? The misalignment is obvious & I don’t want to finish like this.

    1. Hi. You could ask your family dentist their opinion about the molars. Or you could get a second opinion from another orthodontist in your area. I think if the molars rotated more when you wore elastics, one should be able to de-rotate them.

  7. Hello 🙂 I have had a permanent fixed retainer for some time now (in combination with my Hawley). I have found that the wire flexes slightly when pushed on, but seems securely bonded and properly secured. Is it normal for the wire to flex slightly when I push on it with my fingers? Or has it stretched or deformed? Is this to accomodate tooth movements when biting? I have had no movement from my teeth.

    1. Hi. Yes, it is normal for the wire to flex a little bit. As long as the wire is secure and your teeth have not moved, it’s doing good.

  8. Hi, it’s my second day with braces!the doctor put some white ceramic like things on two Of my bottom teeths!its very werid and when I can’t close my teeth when it hits my upper teeth it causes so much and it’s annoying in general I can’t stop feeling it with my tongue? I thought maybe its too high?or are these feelings normal

    1. Hi. The white ceramic things are called bite turbos. They are suppose to be in the way of your bite and to separate your teeth so that the lower teeth can move better. It takes a little time to get use to the bite turbos, also called bite ramps, and your experiences are normal.

    1. Hi. For me I use bird beak pliers, three prong pliers and wire cutters most of the time for making and adjusting removable appliances. Some people like to use Jarabak, arch forming and optical pliers too, as well as arch forming pliers. It just depends on what pliers you like to use.

  9. hi, I lost my original retainer and it cost around $400 for a replacement from my orthodontist. I have found a website online that sells replacement retainers for less than half the cost. They send you the impression kit and then create your retainer. Is this a reliable option?


    1. Hello. The State Board of Dental Examiners are in charge of protecting the public for dental treatment in each respective state. They do this be requiring a license to practice dentistry in their state and they are issued to people who have met the educational requirements. When a dentist needs an appliance (ie medical device) made, a prescription is sent to the dental lab to make the device. The dental lab uses materials that are FDA approved for patient usage and the dentist provides the lab with the models they need for fabrication. So using a company that makes retainers over the internet, you are by-passing safeguards that protect you, the public. You don’t know what materials they are using and that company may be using grey market dental materials that come from overseas that are not regulated, just to save costs.

      Also, if there is distortion in your retainer, who is responsible in determining where the distortion occurred? Was it in the impression that you took or in their fabrication. Will you be responsible for the cost to take another impression? Finally, the fit of a retainer cannot be determined by the lay public. An ill fitted retainer can move teeth or damage your gum tissue. Your best option is to continue with your orthodontist and let them fit you with a new retainer. So, to answer your question, no, it is not a reliable option and I feel that the state boards will clamp down on companies that offer these services.

  10. How long do teeth need to stay in position before getting braces off? I’ve had braces for 4 years and the only thing wrong with them now is my first molars aren’t aligned, if I get them off early will those teeth disrupt the others or will my retainer keep my teeth in place. I need them off asap

    1. Hi, Your retainer will keep your teeth in good positions while the periodontal ligament goes back to it’s pre-braces width. Talk to your orthodontist about taking them off.

  11. Hello, I’m wearing my retainer everyday but my wisdom teeth are coming in. Two of them are basically fully grown in and straight and one of them is like 1/4th of the way in but its coming in crooked. I can’t get an appointment until in about a month and I am afraid that something will go wrong by then. I thought i had more time to get them removed since I’m only 17 but apparently not. The wisdom tooth that is growing in crooked is probably going to try to push on my other teeth since i don’t have enough room for it. I would ask my orthodontist but he moved away. Do you think wearing my hawley retainer will prevent my wisdom tooth from moving my other teeth?

    Also, another question, I stopped wearing my clear retainer about 6 months after treatment and only started to wear my wire one at night (which is what my orthodontist said to do), but i tried putting in my clear one again because I noticed a veryyy tiny, not very noticeable gap starting to come back between my front teeth. Like I can get a little bit of water out through it which i wasn’t able to do before so I started to worry it would grow but my clear retainer is really hard to put in and doesn’t fit very well. Do you think I should keep trying to wear it or just stick with my wire one at night?

    1. Hi, Until you can meet with your orthodntist, try to wear your clear retainers during the day and your hawley (wire) retainers at night time. That is probably what your orthodontist wanted you to do. Wearing your retainers will lessen the effects of the 3rd molars erupting.

  12. Hello Doctor, My just turned 5 year old has been diagnosed with a posterior crossbite. He has a high, narrow palate and low tongue position. One avenue of advice suggests use of myofunctional therapy, myobrace and possible Planas direct tracks (I have little hope of his compliance with the first two). Another avenue says he’s too young and just to wait. When should I act and what do you see as the most likely treatment trajectory? Many thanks.

    1. Hi. I would not start treatment until the 1st molars were completely erupted. At age 5, they are probably not in far enough. Once they are in, I would use a rapid palatal expander (RPE), attached to the 1st molars, to expand the palate and get rid of the posterior crossbite.

  13. I am gonna have my wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday and then about a week or 2 later i’m getting braces for both my top and bottom teeth. So, I’m wondering how long do you need the separators in your teeth and do you have it only until you get the surgery for the wisdom teeth or do you have it on when you have braces too, and since i have crooked teeth how long does it take normally to get it straightened out?

    1. Hi. Separators are used to create space between the teeth so that a band can be placed on the tooth. The separators are usually placed one week before the bands are seated. It takes about two years to correct a malocclusion.

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