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Orthodontics is a series of treatments for malocclusion, or misaligned teeth. Various corrective procedures are available, but the most well-known procedure employs mechanical braces that force misaligned teeth into proper alignment.

Protruding, crowded, or irregularly spaced teeth and jaw problems may be inherited. Thumb-sucking, losing primary, or 쐀aby, teeth prematurely, and accidents can also lead to these conditions. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. Though the teeth may appear straight, the patient may have an uneven bite.

Of greater importance than a fine smile, orthodontic treatment results in healthier teeth. Crooked and crowded teeth make cleaning teeth very difficult, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and possibly tooth loss. An improper bite can interfere with chewing and speaking and can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel. Moderate to severe malformations and misalignments can lead to problems with the jaw joints.

Although treatment plans are customized for each patient, most plans call for wearing braces from one to three years, depending on the condition of the teeth needing re-alignment. Treatment entails wearing a mechanical 쐒etainer that holds teeth in their new positions. Over time, the jawbone reshapes the tooth셲 supporting bone, thus making a permanent re-alignment. When correct alignment has been attained, treatment ends and the braces are removed.

Although a little discomfort is expected during treatment, today셲 braces are more comfortable than ever before. Newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth and usually require fewer adjustments.

Good oral hygiene is especially important when braces are worn. Brushing regularly, as directed by our office, flossing daily, and cleaning during monthly visits can help keep teeth healthy while the braces are installed. You also should maintain a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. We recommend avoiding foods that could interfere with braces or that could accidentally bend the wires; these foods include: nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice, and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel, or other chewy candy.