All posts by AO Smiles

xray showing highlighted wisdom teeth

Are Wisdom Teeth Genetic?

A person’s third set of molars, also known as wisdom teeth, can appear later in life. They usually appear in our early 20s or late teens. That is the age when people can be considered adults, ergo the moniker wisdom teeth. However, it might surprise you that there are people without wisdom teeth, which prompts others to ask, are wisdom teeth genetic? Another related question is: how common is it to not have wisdom teeth? We’ll answer these questions in the discussion below.

If you experience any issues with your wisdom teeth, it’s best to consult with orthodontic specialists. Advanced Orthodontics has seasoned experts who use the latest technologies and techniques to alleviate the pain and discomfort when your third molars begin to grow. We apply custom solutions to provide you with the best care possible.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Your third molars typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Historically, they’ve been labeled wisdom teeth because they often appear when one reaches a mature age. When they come out properly, they can be an added help if you need to chew tougher food.

Some people who grow wisdom teeth only feel minor discomfort when these third molars finally spring up. However, experts from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry confirm that 60% to 70% of patients will experience problems with their wisdom teeth. Some may even require extraction and surgery due to pain and other related dental issues.

Are Wisdom Teeth Genetic?

The short answer is yes, your genetics will have a say in whether or not you will grow wisdom teeth. According to a study published in the Dental Research Journal, around 5% to 37% of people may have one or more third molars missing throughout their lifetimes. If one or both of your parents didn’t have wisdom teeth, there is a chance you won’t have yours as well. However, genetics is only one factor that can influence third molars’ growth or absence.

Factors That Impact Their Growth

Since many people don’t grow wisdom teeth, it is vital to understand the factors that impact their growth. Scientists believe specific influencers may determine whether you’ll develop one or not:

  • Genetics: As stated earlier, genetics play a crucial role in the possible growth of a person’s third molars. We have already shown studies that point to a possible genetic mutation that occurred thousands of years ago, which caused the disappearance of third molars in some people.
  • Environment: We have also shown that people from various ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and environments have fewer occurrences of wisdom teeth in their populations. In some parts of the world, having wisdom teeth may be prevalent, while it is possible for entire people not to have them. It is believed that one’s environment has a 20% to 40% influence on the potential growth of wisdom teeth.
  • Natural Selection: Some studies suggest that as mankind developed smaller jaws over the centuries, those who still grew wisdom teeth experienced pain due to impacted teeth. They felt a lot of pain as a result of this condition. The people who experienced such terrible pain were believed to be less likely to mate and reproduce. Thus natural selection favored ancient people who didn’t grow their third molars.
  • Exposure to External Factors: Studies also suggest that certain external factors, such as certain medications, viruses, and chemotherapy, may have a substantial impact on the development of permanent teeth. These factors can also reduce one’s chances of growing wisdom teeth.
  • Dental Procedures: Some studies suggest that specific dental procedures, such as anesthesia injections, can reduce one’s chances of growing wisdom teeth. Children who get anesthesia injections in their gums early in life, from two to six years of age, may likely not have wisdom teeth.

How Common Is It to Not Have Wisdom Teeth?

After discovering that wisdom teeth are genetic, some people may be prompted to ask how many people don’t have them. Our ancestors grew wisdom teeth to adapt to their world, where they had to chew tougher foods, including some raw food.

This required them to grow larger and stronger mandibles, including a third set of molars to help them eat better. However, as centuries passed, humans learned how to cook and eventually ate softer and easily digestible foods. With the dietary change came genetic adaptations, which made wisdom teeth unnecessary. Human jaws got smaller, and some people no longer have wisdom teeth. Some researchers believe that humans won’t grow them sometime in the future, or at least they will be a rarity in our communities.

The absence of wisdom teeth, known as third molar agenesis, is more pronounced in some cultures and other countries. Studies show that 41% of Koreans, 38.4% of Bangladeshis, and 11.5% of Indians don’t have wisdom teeth. It is also interesting to note that 100% of indigenous Mexicans never grow wisdom teeth.

This slow disappearance of the outburst of wisdom teeth seems to become more prevalent. One study shows 53% of people aged 25 and above only have one wisdom tooth, which supports the theory that wisdom teeth will one day become a thing of the past.

Further, it is also shown that wisdom teeth are more common in women than in men. Studies show that 65.6% of women and only 34.4% of men have had wisdom teeth extracted. However, the trend is changing since more women are likely to have one wisdom tooth missing than men.

Dental Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of issues, including the following:

  • Teeth Crowding: Since there isn’t enough space in the mouth, the extra teeth can misalign and move other teeth out of place.
  • Compacting: The molars can get impacted when wisdom teeth grow to cause a lot of pain and damage to other teeth.
  • Gum Disease: Compacted, crowded teeth are more difficult to brush and clean, which can lead to gum disease.
  • Cysts: When teeth are poorly cared for, and the condition goes on for long periods, cysts may form due to damaged, unhealthy teeth.

When to See Specialists

You should consult with specialists when you observe the following symptoms:

  • Swelling jaw
  • Jaw pain
  • Gum or tooth sensitivity or pain
  • Bad breath
  • White fluid coming from molars or other teeth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Trouble breathing
  • Developing a bad taste in the mouth
  • Bleeding swollen gums
  • Stiff jaw

Consult with Orthodontic Experts

At Advanced Orthodontics, we offer you custom solutions to alleviate any pain or discomfort associated with wisdom teeth problems. Our treatment goal is to restore dental function quickly and comfortably, providing patients with a uniquely caring experience. Call or text (480) 357-4900 today for more information and to schedule an appointment.

young child getting braces

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces?

How much of an overbite is normal? Parents can become concerned about their children’s dental health and wonder if their kids need braces when they have an excessive overbite. Specialists from Advanced Orthodontics can diagnose the condition of your child’s teeth thoroughly and recommend appropriate treatments if necessary.

In this post, we’ll answer several crucial questions, such as:

  • What is an overbite?
  • Are overbites normal?
  • Do children need braces if they have an overbite?
  • Is it normal to have a slight overbite?
  • What are the signs that you need braces?
  • When to see your orthodontist?

It’s important to remember that getting braces can be a financial investment and in some cases, inconvenient for your child. This corrective procedure often requires prolonged treatment and might take a year or two. Nevertheless, orthodontic treatments involving braces have a high rate of success.

Aside from giving you that perfect smile, braces can significantly improve oral health. However, it is best to have a seasoned orthodontist evaluate your child’s condition before you can make an informed decision.

What is an Overbite, and Do I Need to Get Braces for It?

Some label overbites “bucked teeth”, believing two of a person’s front teeth have become oversized. However, this condition isn’t always the case when you discuss malocclusion with your dentist. This condition is actually due to a misalignment of the teeth, not an overgrowth.

The misalignment causes the overlap of the top row over the bottom row of one’s teeth. The condition depends on several causes, such as the number of teeth on your upper jaw versus the ones in the lower row. An excessive overbite occurs when the top row overlaps more than 50% over the teeth at the bottom. It is best to consult your orthodontist before you get braces.

Is a Slight Overbite Normal?

Some parents ask, “is it normal to have a slight overbite?” Yes, slight overbites are normal, and all people will have a bit of an overbite for several reasons. Sometimes the upper row of teeth needs to be moved forward a little to facilitate better chewing. This type of overbite is minimal and won’t significantly impact your overall dental health.

An orthodontist can examine your teeth and is better positioned to tell you whether or not an overbite is within normal limits. At Advanced Orthodontics, our specialists use the latest in orthodontic treatments to assess the health of your teeth, so you’ll know when to get braces.

Causes of Overbites

After determining if a slight overbite is normal, parents should become aware of potential causes to help prevent the condition from worsening. Several factors, such as genetics and other medical conditions, can cause an overbite.

Here are some of the factors you should watch out for:

  1. Impacted, Missing, or Extra Teeth

Broken and extra teeth can cause misalignments that can lead to an overbite. This condition can cause the crowding of teeth. Further, when a tooth gets extracted, the large space caused by the procedure can also cause the upper teeth to misalign and overlap the teeth at the bottom.

  1. Pacifier Use and Thumbsucking

Overbites can occur if your children thumbsuck a lot or continue using pacifiers after they’ve grown their first set of teeth. However, it isn’t recommended for young children to get braces immediately. Weaning your children from pacifier use is best since it puts them at a higher risk for malocclusion.

  1. Cysts and Tumors

Older folks who develop tumors and cysts in the mouth are at risk of developing an overbite. These disorders can cause a lot of pain and cause the upper teeth to move forward due to persistent swelling.

  1. Tongue Thrusting Habit

Another habit your children might have, which you’ll need to curb, is tongue thrusting. The pressure caused by the push of the tongue can cause the upper teeth to move forward. This habit can cause the teeth to misalign, becoming an overbite. However, there are instances where children enact this behavior while sleeping. You can ask your orthodontist for tips and advice to prevent this habit.

When Do You Need Braces?

Braces are dental fixtures that help align and straighten teeth. Studies show that 20% of people today may need braces at one point and that only 35% of U.S. adults have perfectly aligned teeth.

Here are some of the signs that you or your child may need braces:

  • Stress or fatigue of the jaw when chewing food.
  • You make clicking noises when you chew.
  • Difficulty pronouncing certain words due to teeth misalignment.
  • Teeth that don’t close over each other when you’re not talking.
  • You accidentally bite your tongue frequently.
  • Difficulty flossing around crooked teeth.
  • Teeth are visibly overcrowded or crooked.

In the case of young children, genetics, inadequate nutrition, and bad dental hygiene practices contribute to an overbite and may necessitate the application of braces when they’re old enough.

At What Age Should Children Get Braces?

Whether or not your children have misaligned teeth, it is best to have them see an orthodontist before they reach seven years old. This is according to specialists from the American Academy of Orthodontics. Early detection can help prevent the onset of overbites that will necessitate the application of braces at an early age.

However, many dental practitioners recommend therapy with braces for children from nine to 14 years of age. This age range is when kids begin to grow their permanent teeth. For this reason, getting braces for your children at this age will benefit them a lot.

No one is too old to get braces, which means if you still have an overbite as an adult, you can get braces to correct teeth misalignment. However, sometimes adults will need other dental procedures to correct any misalignment.

Expert Treatment For Overbites and Not Just Braces

At Advanced Orthodontics, we perform a thorough assessment to determine the best treatment that suits your dental condition. In addition, our goal is to provide clients with a uniquely caring experience. Call or text (480) 357-4900 today to schedule an appointment.



Invisalign Before and After Overbite

Invisible aligners, or Invisalign, provide a revolutionary treatment option for correcting patients’ dental issues. These custom-made, clear braces can align teeth into their correct place over time. However, they offer distinct advantages over metal braces, such as being easily removable, less noticeable, and easier to clean. 

Below, we’ll go over several examples of before and after Invisalign overbite cases, demonstrating how effective they are for patients who have malocclusion.

Why Overbites Need Treatment

Treating an overbite goes beyond just mere cosmetics. In most cases, it is a necessity as it may have adverse side effects, such as the following:

  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Sleep apnea
  • Mild to severe pain in the jaw
  • Speech impediment
  • Difficulty chewing food

Some patients might feel like they don’t need an overbite addressed immediately by an orthodontist. However, it is best to get treatment sooner rather than later, especially for younger patients who are still growing and developing. If left untreated, the symptoms mentioned above can get worse over time. Getting your overbite treated as soon as possible will save you from pain and further issues later in your life.

Invisalign Benefits

As mentioned earlier, invisible aligners offer several crucial benefits, which is why many orthodontists opt to use them instead of traditional braces with brackets and wires. These clear braces can be used to fix some of the most common alignment problems:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gap teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Crowded teeth

Invisalign also allows patients to eat any food they prefer. They can be easily removed, making them easier to clean than regular metal braces. When you use Invisalign, you don’t need to visit your orthodontist as often since they don’t require tightening or adjustments.

In addition, they’re more comfortable to wear and use. You don’t feel much tension in your teeth, which means no soreness in the gums. Whenever you eat, floss, or brush your teeth, you can remove them.

Below, we’ve covered several examples of Invisalign before and after overbite cases.

Can an Invisalign Fix an Overbite

Plenty of Invisalign before and after overbite examples serve as evidence of its efficacy. Dental practitioners use invisible aligners to treat overbites, underbites, and overcrowding. These are the three classes of malocclusion or misalignment of human teeth. 

Treatment for Class 1 Malocclusion

Class 1 is one of the most common types of malocclusion treated by orthodontists.

Patients suffering from this issue will have a normal bite. However, you can quickly notice that the upper teeth overlap slightly with the lower ones.

In class 1 Invisalign before and after overbite cases, the patient will have a normal molar position. However, the other teeth can be misaligned in one way or another. Specific issues such as gaps, rotated, and overcrowded teeth may contribute to a class 1 malocclusion. 

Orthodontists can use Invisalign as an effective treatment for this type of overbite. Clear aligners gently pull teeth into alignment by slowly reshaping the underlying bones in the tooth sockets.

Treatment for Class 2 Malocclusion or Retrognathism

This class is called an overbite. It occurs when one’s upper jaw and teeth severely protrude over the teeth of the bottom jaw. In some cases, the overbite can be accompanied by overcrowding. The treatment type will vary depending on the degree of severity of a patient’s overbite.

Orthodontic specialists can use invisible aligners as part of one’s overall treatment. In some before and after Invisalign overbite cases, orthodontists may recommend corrective and preventive therapies, especially when treating children who are still growing.

Can Invisalign fix an overbite in children? From the case above, invisible aligners can help improve mandibular growth. However, in some cases, orthodontic specialists may recommend using Invisalign along with elastics.

This treatment is usually used for mild cases of overbites, especially in adults. It is important to note that your orthodontist may recommend surgery, especially in more severe cases of malocclusion. Since each overbite case is different, you must consult your dental health provider to help determine the best treatment.

Treatment for Class 3 Malocclusion

A class 3 malocclusion is also known as an underbite or prognathism. An underbite occurs when a person’s lower jaw protrudes forward. This dental condition can cause the lower teeth to overlap the teeth on the upper jaw. Treating underbites using Invisalign is an effective corrective measure without impacting the long-term stability of the lower teeth, mouth, and gums.

Orthodontic specialists will consider the underlying causes of an underbite to determine the best course of treatment. Professionals will look into genetic causes such as a misaligned jaw and the size of one’s teeth. Other potential causes include facial injuries and tumors. Orthodontists can use Invisalign to correct alignment and prevent future recurrences.

Reliable Orthodontic Care At Advanced Orthodontics

Treating an overbite as soon as possible helps reduce the risk for specific dental health issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw pain. At Advanced Orthodontics, our specialists use Invisalign to provide holistic treatments to patients, improving their quality of life. Call (480) 357-4900 today for more information and schedule an appointment.


How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?

Are you concerned about how your child’s adult teeth are popping up? A simple trip to the orthodontist’s office will put your mind at ease. By heading to an orthodontist early in your child’s dental development, a dental professional can check on your little one’s oral health and explain what’s happening with their teeth and any potential steps forward. 

Straightening your child’s teeth and checking for other dental issues will put them on a track to good dental health. At Advanced Orthodontics, we often encounter worried parents and kids that we aim to reassure. Our experienced orthodontists will advise on when to get treatment with braces or Invisalign clear aligners, whether they are necessary, and what is happening with your child’s teeth, bite, and jaw development. Not everyone with crooked teeth will require braces, but an assessment is essential. 

If you are feeling nervous and have questions such as “how old do you have to be to get braces?”, this article will help you get the answers you need. Here, we’ll cover what age kids’ permanent teeth come in, answer the question “what age do kids get braces?”, and other factors to consider. Remember, visiting an orthodontist and treating any dental issues as early as possible is essential in ensuring minor problems don’t escalate. 

Why Would Young Kids Need Braces?

There are a few things you can look out for that will help you determine if your child will need braces. First off, braces aren’t only for fixing crooked teeth. They can also be vital for overall dental health. Here are a few things to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether your child may need braces.

  • Did your child lose their baby teeth very early or very late?
  • Do they have trouble chewing or biting?
  • Do they breathe through their mouths only?
  • Do they still suck their thumb or finger?
  • Are their teeth crowded or misplaced?
  • Is there something odd about their jaws? For example, do they make a sound, are they recessed, or do they protrude?
  • Does your child have difficulty speaking?
  • Does your child bite their cheek or the roof of their mouth a lot?
  • Do their teeth fail to meet?
  • Do they grind their teeth or clench their teeth excessively?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, it’s advisable to make an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible. This way, you are not delaying treatment and proactive early intervention can help fix a minor problem so that it doesn’t evolve into a serious or long-term issue.

How Can You Tell If Your Kid Needs Braces?

As children lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth move up, they don’t always pop into the perfect position – all aligned. Their teeth may come up at an angle but then straighten and move as your child grows, and more of their teeth fall out and move in. However, as your child grows older, if you notice that these misaligned teeth are not straightening, it’s time to book an appointment with the orthodontist. 

How old do you have to be for braces? The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children at the age of 7 be seen for their first orthodontic evaluation. This is when their permanent teeth are beginning to come in, so it’s a good time for an orthodontist to check whether they may suffer from dental issues or crooked teeth. At age 7, the orthodontist will assess your kid’s airway, bite, and general oral habits. They will be able to determine if your child may need braces and when this will be. Although children can get braces from this very young age, most kids are between 9 and 14 years old when braces are put on. 

If the orthodontist determines that braces may be a good idea, they will take a state-of-the-art 3D X-ray to check the teeth’s alignment, and they can determine if the adult teeth will come in straight or not. As mentioned, there are many reasons a child may need braces, aside from crooked teeth. The type of braces your child may get and how long they must wear them will vary according to their dental issues. 

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Braces?

Although children can get braces from the age of 7, generally the best time for braces is once all or most of the permanent teeth have settled in. The average age for braces varies from 9-14. 

What Other Problems Will Braces Fix?

A couple of early problems an orthodontist can help fix include:

  • Limiting the risk of overcrowding by making room in your child’s mouth for their new teeth
  • Enhancing facial symmetry
  • Limiting any possible trauma from protruding teeth
  • Holding space for teeth that are slow to move in
  • Decreasing the need for removing teeth or surgery
  • Correcting a bad bite that can lead to further issues such as wearing down of teeth, speech issues, accidental chipping, or gum diseases

What Happens If You Opt Out of Getting Your Child Braces?

It’s always best to follow your orthodontist’s advice, but if you’re considering not getting your kid braces, for various reasons, know that it could have an impact on their dental health. For example, they may endure pain when chewing food, the gaps in their teeth may widen – causing teens to become very self-conscious, or their teeth may permanently shift and eventually cause discomfort or their jaw to protrude. 

Braces will positively impact your child’s life and dental health as an adult. They can also help reduce cavities, gum disease, and plaque buildup. Braces can even help make chewing, brushing, and flossing easier. Additionally, the beautiful, healthy smile they will enjoy once their braces are removed is worth the effort.

Contact Advanced Orthodontics today to schedule an initial consultation and to find out more about the average age for braces.

young girl smiling with braces

How Long Can You Go Without Adjusting Your Braces?

When it comes to bonding braces, your orthodontist doesn’t just see you once, bond them, and off you go for the magic to begin. Having braces and Invisalign requires regular reviews, adjustments, and visits to your orthodontist. 

The top two ways to get your braces off on time are to go for your regular adjustments; this way, your orthodontist can assess all oral health challenges and braces adjustments as needed. The second way is, if recommended, to wear your elastics for at least 22 hours daily. Braces and Invisalign are the safest and most effective way to realign your teeth, and you must attend all your appointments to complete your treatment in the shortest possible time. Remember, braces are a marathon, not a sprint. 

This article explores the questions: how long can you go without tightening your braces, and when do you get your braces adjusted? It also delves into why regular adjustments are needed and the potential oral health issues that may crop up if your orthodontic appointments are avoided. 

It’s Essential To Get Your Braces Adjusted

Orthodontists are specialists in straightening teeth, but sometimes their best plans may need to be adjusted as your teeth move in ways they don’t expect. Sometimes your doctor may need to apply more pressure than expected and in a different direction to achieve the desired results. This is why attending your regular adjustment appointments is so vital. 

If you don’t come in to adjust your braces, there is a possibility you won’t obtain the results you desire. For your teeth to move as planned with your braces, the tension that the wires and elastics produce will need to be changed too. Once you can feel the pressure on your teeth decreasing or even stopping, it’s probably time for an adjustment. It’s not just the pressure you need on your teeth to make them move; it’s the correct pressure. 

By attending all your scheduled appointments, your orthodontist will check all movement is going according to plan, change your elastics, and replace or adjust your wires. 

Frequency of Adjusting Your Braces

The reason your orthodontist must reevaluate your braces often is because they need to plan each stage of your teeth’s movement and assess whether the pressure is working as expected. If not, adjustments need to be made. 

Every person’s treatment plan is unique and will differ according to your dental needs. At the outset, your orthodontist will assess your alignment requirements and create an adjustment schedule. Your schedule will be determined by assessing your age, oral health, and jaw and teeth alignment. The more crowded or crooked your teeth, the more frequently your doctor will want to adjust them. 

If you’ve asked yourself the question, “do you get your braces tightened every month?”, the answer is that it’s not required that often. Generally speaking, braces are adjusted only every 10-12 weeks. 

Possible Oral Health Issues from Skipping Your Checkups

If you skip your appointments, you may run into some oral hygiene issues. When visiting for these checkups, your orthodontist can assess your overall oral health and ensure everything is in order. And sure, skipping an appointment or two may be fine, but it will most likely delay your treatment for a couple of months, meaning you will be wearing your braces for longer. 

Here are a couple of things that you need to keep an eye on when your braces are fitted and why you shouldn’t skip your adjustment sessions:

  • Brushing can be tricky. Brushing and flossing correctly with braces can be challenging. Tiny bits of food can get stuck between the brackets and wires without you noticing, making it tricky to get your teeth cleaned effectively. 
  • Plaque build-up. If you aren’t cleaning your teeth well, you give plaque a chance to build up on your teeth. And if this turns to tartar, your dentist will have to remove it before it leads to gum disease. 
  • Nerve damage. This is possible if you wear your braces for too long. Your orthodontist will know how to look for this potential problem.
  • Snapped wires and brackets. If you wear your braces for too long without having them checked and adjusted, there is a chance they dislodge or break, which in turn can teeth to move in unwanted directions.

How Can We Help?

Scheduling bi-annual professional cleans and exams are highly recommended when you have braces or Invisalign fitted to keep your oral health in good condition. 

Advanced Orthodontics uses the latest in orthodontic treatment to help minimize soreness associated with braces. Self-ligating brackets allow the teeth to be moved with a constant, lighter force versus heavy on-and-off adjusting. Our team is known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles throughout the Valley. We use the latest orthodontic technology to treat patients of all ages from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and the Globe. See the difference in our clients’ smiles by visiting our Smile Gallery.

Advanced Orthodontics offers high-tech self-ligating braces, which are smaller and more discreet than traditional braces and don’t involve colored elastic ties. Contact the team at Advanced Orthodontics for a professional answer to any of your braces or oral health questions.