What exactly is orthodontics?
"Ortho" means "correct" or "straight" and "odont" means "tooth". Orthodontics is a special discipline of dentistry concerned with aligning the teeth and jaws to improve one's smile and oral health. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in this type of treatment.
Why do people get braces?
Not everyone's teeth are perfectly straight. In fact, many people have crooked or overcrowded teeth. If your dentist thinks your teeth need straightening, he or she may refer you to an orthodontist. The orthodontist usually recommends braces to improve a patient's physical "orofacial" appearance. Through orthodontic treatment, problems like crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints are corrected.
Braces do a lot more than improve your smile. They play an active role in correcting overcrowded and misaligned teeth. This is important because malocclusion (an abnormal bite) may cause other problems, such as impaired plaque removal around misaligned teeth which can lead to gum inflammation and cavities.
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