When should you extract teeth to do orthodontics?
Interesting question! As it turns out, there is almost no reason to extract permanent teeth to do orthodontics. Only in the extremely rare exception of when there are too many permanent teeth or when there is a genetic mutation.
So why are so many kids getting permanent teeth extracted to have their braces in San Antonio done? As it turns out there are a number of misconceptions contributing to the mistreatment. It has taken decades to unravel this mystery and it is now safe to reveal how this all came to be.
Years ago there was a flawed study that showed how the jaws didn’t grow after 8 years of age and that the full set of crooked teeth the small child presented with would “inevitably” cause severe crowding that would never resolve. This turned out to be a wrong assumption on two counts.
For all you mathematics buffs out there, here’s an interesting discovery. As it turns out, all of the room needed to straighten teeth was overlooked mathematically. A misunderstanding of a simple middle school math concept proves that the room was there all along. This formula says that if you increase the width of your smile by only a 1/8th of an inch you would get more than 3/8ths inch of space around the arch. (The formula is 2pr if you want to look it up). This is more than enough room to stick a whole tooth into the set. This alone is an incredible revelation that makes it fascinatingly easy to see how you could get a tooth or several teeth completely blocked out of the arch to fit in easily. Just widen the smile a little!
The other assumption was that the teeth were stuck in a jaw that wasn’t going to grow. Well, the fallacy of this is easy to spot. Just look at the jaws of any 30 year olds and you will have your answer. The 30 year olds are obviously bigger… unless they’ve had their permanent teeth pulled and braces.
For thirty years now we have been straightening thousands of adults’ teeth without pulling any teeth and invariably they fit. Why is this? It’s because when the teeth are moved in a way that encourages the jaw to expand, the jaws expand. It’s as though they “want” to be correct.
Now, why would this be? Well it’s almost unfair how simple this explanation is. Let us say there’s some sort of divine intervention. Let’s pretend for a moment that God had something to do with this. Do you suppose somehow He messed up and put too many teeth in millions of children? I doubt it. Even if you don’t believe this and you are an “evolution” buff – how in the world did millions of years of evolution screw up and in just the last 100 years start putting too many teeth in humans? It’s just not logical. It makes no earthly or heavenly sense that “things” are just screwed up in our kids and we have to start pulling their permanent teeth out. Think about it. Millions of mutant children! What’s going on?
Once again, it’s something very simple with a very simple remedy! All you have to do is wait a little bit for crying out loud. Wait until the child has a head a little closer to a grown-up before you go straightening the teeth of a 30 year old in it. Trust me, they are the exact same teeth the kid will have at 30! So if you wait until high school – that alone will make a huge difference. The head is very nearly the full adult size.
So what gives? Why does modern man suddenly have this problem? Well, we’ve seen how the math is misunderstood, so what is causing this problem developmentally – you know, making the smile narrow? Unfortunately it turns out that this common cause of malocclusion is also the most overlooked and least appreciated problem with the smile!
Thumb sucking and sleeping on a pillow on the side of your face are two reasons why this problem occurs. Apparently applying pressure to the side of a developing face 8 hours or more a day (while they are sleeping) for years and years is enough to cause the dental arch to collapse inward a 1/16th of an inch or so! This is more than enough to cause all the crowding and all the unfortunate extractions of permanent teeth in our children.
Just so we know, this “least understood” and “least treated” aspect of the human smile is how narrow the smile is. By simply widening the smile is how we get the room to straighten the teeth (a little wider equals a lot of room around the arch). When adequate room is created there is no need to extract. The teeth all fit in like they were meant to. Only rarely does anyone measure or calculate how wide the smile should be especially calculating how wide a 30 year olds smile is supposed to be! It is because of this lack of appreciation that so many parents are being told their child needs their permanent teeth pulled.
So how do we know this? All too often we see adults (30 years and up) arrive in our office asking what we can do to make their smile larger and more attractive. They often come in complaining that their profile is unattractive. They feel their nose and chin are too prominent and the smile “too small”, kind of like the profile of a witch. Orthodontists refer to this as the “dished in face”. Yes, believe it or not, it has a bad name to try to get orthodontists that are pull-happy to stop. It is caused by extracting yours or your child’s permanent teeth.
We have consulted with individuals so disfigured over tooth extraction that they’ve considered having part of their nose and chin removed by plastic surgery to correct this look. Instead, more times than we can count, we have moved the teeth back out to where they belong and put in 4 bridges or 4 implants right where they had their teeth pulled when they were younger and got braces. How expensive, time-consuming, and painful can you get?
It’s much easier to do it the way mother nature intended in the first place. So, if you’re curious about this, come see how we can fit all of the teeth your child was born with into their smile. Getting braces in San Antonio can be a painless experience with the help of our experienced dentists.