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About Orthodontics

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a form of dentistry dedicated to straightening your teeth.

For comprehensive orthodontic treatment, metal wires are inserted into orthodontic brackets (braces), which can be made from stainless steel or a more aesthetic ceramic material. The wires interact with the brackets to move teeth into the desired positions. Invisalign or other aligner trays consist of clear plastic trays that move teeth.

Functional appliances are often used to redirect jaw growth, additional components—including removable appliances (“plates”), headgear, expansion appliances, and many other devices—may also be used to move teeth and jaw bones. Functional appliances, for example, are used in growing patients with the aim of modifying the jaw dimensions and relationship if these are altered. This therapy, termed Dentofacial Orthopedics, is frequently followed by fixed multibracket therapy (“full braces”) to align the teeth and refine the occlusion. Hawley retainers are the most common type of retainers.

Symptoms of Malocclusion

The most obvious sign of malocclusion is crooked or protruding teeth. Physical symptoms of malocclusion are uncommon but can range from mild to severe. Have your general or paediatric dentist evaluate whether a poor bite is causing:

  • Problems chewing food.
  • Problems with biting the cheek or roof of the mouth.
  • Slurring speech, trouble saying certain words, or other speech problems.
  • Pain in the facial muscles or jaw.
  • Permanent teeth coming in (erupting) at the wrong position.

Adult malocclusion symptoms will typically remain the same or get worse over the years. Symptoms in a child who has mild malocclusion may improve over time. Through the teen years, the jaw grows dramatically. This growth period may correct mild crowding of teeth or teeth shifting as a result of thumb-sucking.