Can Lower Braces Fix 3 Slightly Shifted Teeth Without Messing Up my Bite Too Bad?

top teeth are straight. fixed retainer on bottom. two of my lower front teeth shifted out a little. I went to my ortho and he said top teeth look great. He said he could make a spring retainer but it would only keep my teeth from moving more, not straighten them. He put bottom braces on me for 6 months or less. He said it will straighten those teeth. I am worried that moving the teeth will affect my bite. He said it won't, he can "polish" the teeth to help the bite. Does this sound right? Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

Good solution to crowded lower front teeth.

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Slightly crowded lower front teeth are often easily fixed with a spring retainer modifed to permit movement rather than just holding things in place. Slightly reducing the widthof the teeth ("polishing") can be used to both gain a bit of space and help to ensure no further changes take place. In addition it may make sense to use a bonded retainer that attaches to all the lower front teeth rather than to just at the ends on the canines. Hope this helps!

Mercer Island Orthodontist

Sounds like a good plan !

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Unfortunately, the lower front teeth seem to be the ones most prone to movement long-term.  On occasion, if only a few teeth are slightly out of position, a retainer can be used to reposition the teeth.  More predictably, partial front braces can be used to realign the "crooked" teeth.  Generally if only a small degree of realignment is needed, this can be done without changing the bite significantly or involving the upper arch.

Kara J. McCulloch, DMD
Mercer Island Orthodontist

Your Orthodontist is on the right track!!!

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Slight crowding can happen years after braces are removed.  If the bonded retainers is bent or some cement comes loose, it may allow slight shifting.  A limited set of braces on six or maybe eight teeth is the most efficient way to take care of this.  It is unlikely to change the bite as long as it is kept short term.  But you/he/she will want to keep an eye on the transition between the last tooth with a brace and the one behind it, as sometimes that contact can slip.  Slight polishing of the surfaces between the teeth will help align the teeth without interfering with the top ones.

Doug Depew, DMD
Atlanta Orthodontist

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The definiton of "slight lower crowding" can be misleading.

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I spring retainer can realign teeth but is less efficent than braces,

Your definition of slight crowding can be interpreted  for any thing for .2 mm of crowding to 4mm of crowding. The diagnosis of the amount of crowding can dictate what the best ultimate and efficient means of correcting your problem. I can't tell you what the best means of correcting your problem is with out seeing it unfortuately. I do belive that the use of braces will probably give you the best prdictable outcome. Doing an occlusal adjustment or doing a little of interproximal reduction might be necessary to "sock in" the occlusion.

R. Scott Smith, DMD
Springfield Orthodontist

Orthodontic braces on "slightly crooked lower teeth" often do not affect the bite

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Many times simply polishing the sides of the lower front teeth to create a "smidge" of space will allow proper alignment without affecting adjacent teeth, which in turn preserves the current bite situation.

Your orthodontist is on the right track!

Straightening your lower anterior teeth

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Hi. . Your orthodontist is on the right track. It seems that your lower teeth have shifted. Lower braces or lower invisalign are good options to straighten your teeth and move them back into proper alignment. With invisalign, it is possible to only move the teeth that are misaligned. If your bite is in a good position to start, then aligning the lower teeth a little, with an orthodontist who know what he/she is doing, should not effect your bite that much. 

Gabriela Hricko, DDS
New York Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.