Many people have a smile that is less than perfect. For some people those imperfections relate to chips and other damage; for others it may be staining, while others yet may have teeth that appear crooked or misaligned. There are treatments available to help patients achieve a better smile, and when it comes to treating crooked or misaligned teeth, orthodontics can help.
In dentistry, orthodontics relates to the practice of studying and treating issues of dental displacement. An orthodontist seeks to improve on or alter the appearance of a patient’s smile through the use of treatments, such as braces, in order to move and realign teeth towards a desired position.
Crooked or misaligned teeth are commonly attributed to previous hereditary traits that are passed down. However, ancestry is not the sole determination of whether a person will have crooked teeth, and other factors can contribute to how teeth appear in the mouth.
There are treatments available to help patients achieve a better smile, and when it comes to treating crooked or misaligned teeth, orthodontics can help.
In childhood, for example, many young children have a tendency to suck on their thumb or use a pacifier for comfort. Once teeth begin to emerge, continued sucking can cause the in-growing teeth to alter from their natural position due to the softness and pliability of the developing jawbone.
Other sufferers might simply have a mouth that is naturally too small to properly accommodate their teeth with comfort, leading to overcrowding of the teeth and malocclusions, where there is misalignment and disparity between dental arches.
Facial trauma, gum disease, tooth loss and tumors in the mouth can also each contribute to the problem of misaligned teeth and jaw structure.
Braces are a common orthodontic treatment option used to correct issues relating to crooked or misaligned teeth. Braces work by slowly pulling teeth that are out of position into a more desired position within the mouth. Using a series of brackets and wires, the orthodontist makes regular tweaks to the various tensions that are applied to the teeth by the braces apparatus, in order to ensure that the teeth respond and move towards the desired position in order to improve the appearance of the smile.
Whatever the cause of crooked or misaligned teeth – often there is no one single cause – braces and other orthodontic treatments can help deliver a better, more attractive smile and alleviate the problems that can be associated with out-of-position teeth.