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About twenty-five per cent of all orthodontic treatment performed today is on adult patients. And chances are that you can benefit from orthodontic treatment, too.

In today's world, every body wants to look their best. Crooked teeth can be well aligned by an orthodontist. For children, the orthodontic treatment can be started at the age of 12 years. However, children should be seen by the orthodontist as early as 6 years to make use of their growth spurts and correct, prevent or minimize any disfiguring.

Orthodontic treatment boosts self-confidence by improving appearance-the look of the face, or the beauty of a smile. Brushing becomes easier and there is lesser chance of developing gum disease. Also, there is increased efficiency in chewing food.

What happens when we start orthodontics?

Your teeth, jaws, bite and profile will be evaluated. Special x-rays showing your head, face and jaws are taken to help the doctor analyse and take special measurements, to plan your treatment. Impression of your teeth are taken to record the way your teeth and jaws fit together. Sometimes the doctor takes regular photographs of your face, teeth and profile. (Often to note the difference before and after the treatment).

From these diagnostic records, your doctor will determine the type of malocclusion (improper bite) you have, as well as any other orthodontic problems.

Types of Malocclusion

There are three types of Malocclusions (improper bites).

Class I Malocclusion

In this class, the jaws line up correctly but the teeth are crowded, rotated, crooked or spaced too far apart.

Class II malocclusion

Here the upper jaw is too far forward or the lower jaw is too far backward.

Class III malocclusion

Here the lower jaw is too far forward or the upper jaw is too far back.

Other common orthodontic problems include open bite, closed bite or cross bite. These conditions can be corrected to give you a set of teeth that are functional and a smile as beautiful as possible.

How teeth are moved

Your doctor will move your teeth into position using one or more appliances such as braces and retainers. Braces work by gently applying pressure on your teeth. This causes resorption on one side and deposition (+) of bone on the other.

New bone then grows in and slowly hardens on the other side, holding teeth in position.

Treatment considerations

A number of factors will determine the best method of treatment depending upon each individual case.

  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment planning
  • Amount of time required to achieve the desired result

Other considerations

Proper home care and nutrition are more important than ever in keeping your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment. This is because the appliances in your mouth provide extra area that can easily catch and trap food particles. Brush regularly after every meal and floss your teeth regularly. Oral irrigation is also very helpful in cleaning the appliances. While you can enjoy most of your favourite foods, there are some which one should avoid eating, during orthodontic treatment. These include sticky foods like chocolates, caramels, chewing gum and crunchy hard foods like nuts and popcorn.

Orthodontics is a personal decision and commitment that will affect the test of your life. Be sure to work as a partner with your doctor to get the best possible aesthetic result. You can do that by wearing your removable appliances for the prescribed time, keeping up with your appointments, and attending frequent checkups for monitoring your treatment.

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Disclaimer: is an information and educational purposes web site only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Do not rely upon any of the information provided on this site for medical diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your primary health care provider about any personal health concerns. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this site.