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If you are a parent to kids with braces, you may be worried about what will happen if their wisdom teeth begin to come in. Will their teeth become misaligned again? Will you have to start from scratch with their orthodontic treatment? While there has been a long-running debate in the dental community about whether or not wisdom teeth cause crowding, most new research indicates that the growth of wisdom teeth has no effect on teeth after orthodontic treatment. 

So where did the belief about wisdom teeth and crowding come from? It started with former orthodontic patients reporting that their teeth have  shifted after having their braces removed. To them and many of their dentists and orthodontists, the emergence of wisdom teeth seemed like the logical culprit. 

While their reasoning makes sense, multiple studies conducted over the past few years have disproved this theory. One such analysis found that in a group of orthodontic patients who experienced relapse, only 11 percent of them even had wisdom teeth. Additional studies have found that having wisdom teeth extracted before orthodontic treatment makes little difference in preventing later misalignment.

So what causes relapse? There are multiple possible culprits, but one of the most common is that patients are not wearing their retainers as instructed by their orthodontist. For the most part, if patients wear their retainers, the risk of shifting is significantly diminished. 

If your child needs to be screened for braces, contact a New York City orthodontist today. Dr. Tanya Vaysman and the staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists would be happy to work with you and your child. 

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