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Patient education


1.What is Orthodontics?

  • 'Orthos' means straight / correct and 'donto ' means teeth

Orthodontics, sometimes called Dentofacial orthopaedics, is a special part of dentistry that deals with straightening teeth and influencing bone growth. It is concerned with facial growth, with the development of dentition (teeth) and occlusion (your bite), and the diagnosis, interception and treatment of malocclusion.

Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of teeth and how they work.It can also help to look after the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw joint, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth. Orthodontic treatment is done by many sorts of appliances, which most people call a 'brace".

Malocclusion can be defined as occlusal anomalies or a variation from what is considered ideal that may be considered aesthetically and functionally unsatisfactory.


2.Why do I have a malocclusion?

You may have inherited it. For example, the mother may have large teeth and the father has a small jaw and the child may inherit a small jaw that is too small to support the large teeth.

Habits like finger nail biting ,tongue thrusting, thumb sucking or mouth breathing can also cause a malocclusion.They put a steady pressure on the teeth and make them move out of line.

Other factors such as dental disease,early loss of baby teeth , accident and injuries can be reasons for a malocclusion. There is usually no specific reason and it is just a result of interaction between genetics and the environment during development and growth of both the jaws and the dentition.


3.Why should I have my teeth straightened?

Benefits of having orthodontic treatment includes:

  • Good appearance and a great smile, improved self-confidence and psychosocial well-being
  • Close gaps between teeth.
  • Straightening crowded teeth enables easy cleaning and improve oral hygiene and reduce risks of decay and gum disease.
  • Reduce risk of accidental injury to protruding teeth. Improve facial profile .
  • Prevents teeth from biting into gums/palate.
  • Interceptive (early intervention) treatment can reduce the complexity of treatment when older.
  • Positioning of teeth too for placement of bridges or implants .
  • Improvement of speech.
  • Beautifully arranged teeth can make you look younger.

See also Patient Journey to understand taking your first step to a beautiful smile.