I began wearing braces at age 15 to close a gap between my front teeth. I had an orthodontist who failed to recommend removing the tissue mass between my front teeth. After braces, I did well for a few years but finally stopped using a retainer. Without a retainer, my teeth shifted quickly. Of course, my gap is back. Last fall, I began using teeth bands to close the gap. I wore the bands every night until last month when I noticed that my front teeth are loose. Now I am afraid of losing my teeth and embarrassed about using bands to close the gap without seeing my dentist. My anxiety level is high because I think that I ruined my teeth. Is it too late to save my loose teeth? Thank you. – Savannah from SC
We are glad that you stopped wearing the tooth bands because they are known to loosen tooth ligaments from the bone. You need immediate help from a skilled dentist to examine your teeth and try to prevent tooth loss. We encourage you not to delay treatment because you are embarrassed. Many people get frustrated with their teeth and attempt to correct the situation at home. A dentist will be understanding and readily help you.
When Your Teeth Are Loose from Bands
When your teeth are loose from bands, if a dentist can save them, you have two options–a removable retainer or a permanent retainer.
- Removable retainer – A dentist can take an impression of your teeth and send it to the lab to make a removable retainer. Many dentists use digital scanners to take tooth impressions. You will need to wear the retainer full time.
- Permanent retainer – After taking impressions, a dentist or orthodontist can bond retaining wire on the backs of your teeth to hold your front teeth together.
Labial Frenum Between Front Teeth
The labial frenum is the tissue between your front teeth that can cause a gap and prevent it from staying closed. Frenectomy is a procedure to remove the tissue. A dentist can use a laser or small scalpel to remove the frenum. It is a quick procedure. And the dentist will numb the area for painless treatment.
Look for a dentist with advanced training and schedule an appointment for an exam. The dentist will explain your treatment options and the result you can expect.
Dr. David Finley of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post. Dr. Finley is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.