Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that treats malocclusion, a condition in which the teeth are not correctly positioned when the mouth is closed. This results in an improper bite.
Treatment can be cosmetic, to improve a person’s appearance, but it often aims to improve oral function, too.
An orthodontist can carry out work that aims to achieve the following:
- closing wide gaps between the teeth
- aligning the tips of the teeth
- straightening crooked teeth
- improving speech or chewing ability
- boosting the long-term health of gums and teeth
- preventing long-term excessive wear or trauma of the teeth
- treating an improper bite
Treatment can improve the appearance of the teeth, but it can also lead to better chewing and speech function and help protect teeth from damage or decay, in some cases. To achieve these goals, the orthodontist uses a range of medical dental devices, including headgear, plates, and braces.