Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain.

Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also affect one's appearance. The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.

How Do I Know If I Need Orthodontics?

Only your dentist or orthodontist can advice you on the benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, special X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics should be recommended or not, and develop a treatment plan that's suitable for you.

If you have any of the following, you may undergo an orthodontic treatment:

Over bite- sometimes called "buck teeth" — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth

Under bite — a "bulldog" appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back

Cross bite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally

Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together

Misplaced midline — when the centre of your upper front teeth does not line up with the centre of your lower front teeth

Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not "fill up" the mouth

Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate

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