Your teeth play many important roles in your daily life. They bite and chew. They control airflow when you speak. They give you a beautiful, confident smile. Of all of your teeth, the maxillary canines are two of the most important. Along with these daily functions, these teeth aid in guiding your jaw into proper alignment when you bite down. These critical teeth are the second most likely teeth to become impacted, or unable to erupt properly through the gum tissue, following right behind the wisdom teeth.
Extracting the wisdom teeth does not have any effect on the functions of your mouth or your smile. Extracting wisdom teeth can be quite beneficial and improve your oral health. Extracting your maxillary canines, however, can be detrimental, harming the functions of your mouth and diminishing your smile. Smiling Springs Orthodontics, we can expose impacted canines and bring them into proper alignment, improving your oral health and functions of your mouth.
The Importance of Your Canines
Unlike your wisdom teeth, the maxillary canines have several essential functions.
They aid in keeping the rest of your teeth in proper alignment. Crooked teeth can lead to a variety of different issues, including grinding, uneven wear on the teeth, a diminished smile, and jaw pain.
They play an important role in the alignment of your whole mouth. When you bite down, the maxillary canines are the first teeth to touch down, helping to bring the rest of the jaw into proper alignment.
They complete your beautiful smile. The adult maxillary canines are the last to emerge, erupting around the age of 13. When they finally arrive, they help to fill in the last remaining gaps in your smile.
What Causes Impacted Canines?
Your maxillary canines can become impacted for a number of different reasons, including:
Your teeth are overcrowded. If your front teeth are misaligned, it can lead to overcrowding. In this case, there is usually not enough space for the maxillary canines to come in.
You have extra teeth. If you have developed extra teeth, the path of the maxillary canines can become blocked.
You have a growth on your gums, which can block the maxillary canines, preventing them from erupting.
Treating Impacted Canines
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This evaluation is recommended in order to spot any potential developmental issues, including impacted canines, that may need treatment later on. With early detection, an orthodontist can help the child to prevent future issues with canines. The orthodontist places a special brace in the mouth, which works to hold the space open for the adult canines to erupt on their own. Younger patients do not usually require surgery unless teeth need to be extracted.
As you get older, it becomes much less likely that your unerupted canines will come in on their own. This is where we come in. First, we remove any teeth that are blocking the path of your maxillary canines. Next, we make incisions in the gum tissue, exposing the impacted canine underneath, and bond a bracket to the tooth. A metal chain is attached to the bracket, and this chain is connected to your orthodontic braces. Your orthodontist then places a rubber band on the chain, which will provide light pressure to help encourage the canine through the gums and into alignment. The whole process takes about one year to complete.
Exposing and properly aligning your maxillary canines can greatly improve your oral health, the functions of your mouth, and your appearance. For more information, call Smiling Springs Orthodontics at 719-487-9303 today.