Orthodontic dentistry specializes in treatment for patients who have improper positioning of their teeth when their mouth is closed (malocclusion) that has the result of an improper bite. Orthodontics is also the treatment of the development and shape of the jaw as well as controlling different aspects of facial growth.
A Brief History of Orthodontics
Modern orthodontics can be traced back in time to the practices of ancient dental practitioners. In fact, you can find references in medical writings from ancient Greece and Rome of how dentists of the day were correcting teeth irregularities.
Around 1830 a French dentist named Lefoulon coined the phrase “orthodontise” to describe the practice of working on crooked teeth. And by the time the American Civil War occurred, instruments that were used in moving teeth were beginning to become more refined. However, they only worked on individual teeth and there had been no successful attempts in treating the dental arch as a whole.
Today, modern orthodontics spans the field of cosmetic dentistry which includes the patient’s objective to improve the appearance of one’s teeth, smile, and facial structure.
Dentist who perform orthodontic services employ a number of medical devices that include plates, headgears, braces, etc. to assist them in correcting the following teeth irregularities:
- Removing gaps between teeth
- Aligning the tips of teeth
- Straighten out teeth that are crooked
- Improving one’s ability to eat or speak
- Improve the long-term health of teeth and gums
- Avoid long-term trauma or excessive wear
- Correcting a person’s improper bite
When Can Orthodontic Treatment Start?
Markham NS dentist Dr. Nalini can only begin orthodontic treatment after adult teeth have appeared and are fully developed. This does not occur until the person reaches 12 or 13 years old. Treatment may start a few years later if dental problems were not noticed earlier.
One exception is that children born with a cleft lip and palate may have to undergo orthodontic treatment prior to their adult teeth being fully developed.
Nevertheless, good oral hygiene is critical before a person undergoes orthodontic treatment. Particles of food can become lodged under devices (such as braces) placed on a person’s teeth; therefore, the patient must brush more consistently and carefully to avoid tooth decay once treatment is underway. Patients who have not practiced good oral hygiene prior to receiving orthodontic treatment are more likely to experience tooth decay once treatment has begun.
To learn more about whether you’re a candidate for orthodontic treatment contact Dr Nalini Sutharsan for a free consultation.