Orthodontics is an important branch of dentistry that works to correct teeth and jaws that are improperly positioned.
In addition to this, crooked teeth and teeth that do not align well together are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ syndrome), neck, shoulder and back pains.
Teeth that are crooked or mis-aligned can also detract from one’s appearance and may also affect ones self confidence.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasant appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
How do you know if you need Orthodontics? An orthodontist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite, sometimes called “buck teeth” — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth
- Underbite — a “bulldog” appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
- Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
- Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
- Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
- Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not “fill up” the mouth
- Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work? Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws.
The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.