Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with straightening and correcting the tooth alignment and the dental specialist who does this is called an "Orthodontist".
Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
Today children as well as adults are choosing to have orthodontic treatment since age is no longer a factor that governs the feasibility of the treatment. But as you grow older the duration of the treatment is increased since it is easier to shift and align teeth during the growth phase of the jaws. Orthodontic treatment corrects -malocclusion (bite or occlusion is off)
-tooth malalignment (crooked teeth)
Why Treat Malocclusion?
Orthodontics is not only used to improve your appearance.
Malocclusion or malaligned teeth can have long term effects, such as:
interference with normal growth and development of the jaws
abnormal swallowing patterns
abnormal facial muscle function
impairment of chewing
susceptibility to cavities due to the difficulty of removing plaque from crooked teeth vulnerability to accidents or fractured teeth (if your front teeth stick out, they may be more easily injured)
How Do Braces Work?
Teeth can slowly be moved and shifted into proper position by applying pressure in certain directions. Bands, wires and elastics are placed on the teeth to move them in the right direction. This takes place slowly and carefully over an extended period of time. Shifting teeth back into a functional position can take months to years, but eventually you'll have a new and improved mouth! Retainers are often used after the braces, to hold the teeth in their new position until they are stable. It is important to wear the braces or an appliance for however long it takes. If you quit at any point during treatment, the teeth can shift back into their old position.