Orthodontic treatment can improve the appearance, health, and function of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontics means “straight teeth”. It is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws. Crooked teeth are a common dental problem. Some experts have estimated that up to seven people out of 10 would benefit from orthodontics treatment at some point in their lives.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment
Appearance: people are very aware of how their teeth look to others. An attractive smile can play an important role in enhancing self-confidence.
Cleaning of teeth: Teeth that are crowded and overlapping can be difficult to clean. Inadequate cleaning is a major factor in tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause tooth loss. Teeth with good alignment are much easier to floss and brush.
Chewing: Your ability to chew food is best when your occlusion (“bite”) is correct. Proper and thorough chewing of food aids digestion.
Speech problems: Some people have difficulty speaking properly because of alignment problems with their teeth and jaws.
Gum damage: In cases of incorrect bite (malocclusion), teeth may damage gum tissue. For example, in cases of deep bite, the lower front teeth can injure the gum behind the upper front teeth.
Tooth wear: Crooked teeth often show abnormal, and sometimes damaging, patterns of wear.
Occlusion: Occlusion describes how the upper and lower teeth meet during chewing or when the jaws are closed. This is commonly called “bite”. Proper occlusion is important for good oral health and for an attractive appearance of the mouth and teeth. A person who has an alignment problem with their teeth or jaws has a ‘malocclusion”, which literally means “bad bite”. The aim of orthodontic treatment is to correct the malocclusion.