Orthodontics is the practice of preventing and correcting irregularities of the teeth and jaws by the use of braces.
An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
Orthodontic dentists undergo an additional 3 years of specialised education beyond dental school to learn the proper way of aligning and straightening teeth to deliver both function and aesthetics.
Benefits of Orthodontics
Problems with teeth can be inherited or caused by factors such as:
- Crowded or spaced teeth
- Irregular position of teeth (ectopic teeth)
- Extra or missing teeth (hypodontia)
- Thumb sucking
- Dental disease such as decay or gum disease
- Premature loss of baby teeth
- Accidents or trauma.
The benefits of orthodontics are evident at any age:
- Good appearance, great smile and improved self esteem
- Straight teeth are easier to clean reducing the risk of decay and gum disease
- Reduced risk of accidental injury to protruding teeth
- Re-arranging teeth to improve the bite
- Elimination of stress on jaw joints and abnormal tooth wear
- Preparation of teeth for future restorative care