Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of
tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. The word comes from the Greek words
ortho meaning straight and odons meaning tooth.
Orthodontic treatment can focus on dental displacement only,
or can deal with the control and modification of facial growth.
In the latter case it is better defined as "dentofacial
orthopedics". Orthodontic treatment can be carried out for
purely aesthetic reasons—improving the general appearance of
patients' teeth and face for cosmetic reasons—but treatment is
often prescribed for practical reasons, providing the patient
with a functionally improved bite (occlusion).
Orthodontics is the study of dentistry that is concerned with
the treatment of improper bites, and crooked teeth. Orthodontic
treatment can help fix your teeth and set them in the right
place. Orthodontists usually use braces and retainers to set
your teeth.There are, however, orthodontists who work on
reconstructing the entire face rather than focusing exclusively
on teeth. After a course of active orthodontic treatment,
patients will typically wear retainers, which maintain the teeth
in their improved positions while surrounding bone reforms
around them. The retainers are generally worn full-time for a
short period, perhaps six months to a year, then part-time
(typically, nightly during sleep) for as long as the
orthodontist recommends. It is possible for the teeth to stay
aligned without regular retainer wear. However, there are many
reasons teeth will crowd as a person ages, whether or not the
individual ever experienced orthodontic treatment; thus there is
no guarantee that teeth will stay aligned without retention. For
this reason, many orthodontists prescribe part-time retainer
wear for many years after orthodontic treatment.