What is orthodontics?
Crooked teeth, gapped teeth, overbite, under bite- these are common terms used in orthodontic dentistry. Fortunately, all these conditions can be treated effectively by helping the teeth move into the correct position. That’s what orthodontics is all about. When the mouth is closed, improper positioning of teeth creates a bad bite (malocclusion). A bad bite can affect chewing food, speech, and even lead to overwhelming physical stress on the opposing teeth, damaging them
The field also includes managing facial growth and the development of the jaw. Someone who specializes in orthodontics is known as an orthodontist. In Greek, orthos means proper or straight, while dontos means teeth; and that’s how the term orthodontics was coined.
Cosmetic dentistry is also a part of orthodontics because straightening teeth enhances one’s looks.
A dentist will be using a wide array of dental and medical tools including braces, plates, and headgear.
What does orthodontics achieve?
- Closes (narrow to wide) gap between teeth
- Straightens crooked teeth
- Aligns the tips of the teeth
- Improves speech
- Improves chewing function
- Maintains oral health over the long term
- Prevents wear of teeth and also dental trauma
- Corrects an improper bite
What is meant by malocclusion?
A bad bite is known as malocclusion in dental circles. From childhood, the jaws and teeth may not properly develop, leading to misaligned and crooked teeth. This usually means a negative relationship between the upper set of teeth and the lower set of teeth. When you close your mouth, the two sets of teeth may put pressure on each other, causing accelerated tooth wear. The reason for malocclusion may be genetic or due to early bad habits such as thumb sucking, extended use of baby bottles, and injury, among others. This condition is not a disease but it can affect the shape of the face as well as the smile.