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Orthodontics focuses on the study and treatment of malocclusion (an improper bite). Traditionally, orthodontics was regarded as a treatment plan devoted to pre-teens and teens. Today, however, 30 percent of orthodontic patients in the U.S. are adults. Professionals encourage parents to get their children evaluated for orthodontics as early as age seven.

Regardless of age, orthodontics help treat your improper bite, allowing you to perform daily functions such as chewing, all the while boasting an aligned smile. Orthodontic treatment can also restore the shape of your facial areas, aligning your lips, neck and jaw.

With straight teeth, you can enjoy an enhanced aesthetic appeal as well as better oral hygiene.


What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who practices orthodontics. Such a specialized field of dentistry requires two to three years of additional education after dental school.


What Causes an Improper Bite?

An improper bite can be caused by:

1)      Misaligned Jaw Structure: If you have a misaligned jaw or bone structure, it could place stress on your teeth, leading to a malocclusion.  An improper bite may then lead to difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, chewing or even developing TMJ symptoms.

2)      Small Mouth: If you have a small mouth, you run the risk of not having enough room for your teeth to grow which causes them to cluster and grow crooked.

3)      Too Many or Too Few Teeth: If you have either too many of too few teeth, it could affect your jaw line and the way you bite.

4)      Tongue Thrusting: Tongue thrusting occurs when a child pushed his or her tongue forward with too much force, often resulting in an overbite.

5)      Bad Habits: An improper bite could also develop as a result of bad functional habits such as thumb-sucking.


Candidacy for Orthodontics

To determine if you are a candidate for orthodontics, talk with your family doctor who will then refer you to an orthodontist. In your initial visit with the orthodontist, a few assessments will take place so the orthodontist can formulate an efficient treatment plan.

1)      Panoramic and cephalometric x-rays.

2)      Oral and facial examination

3)      Intraoral and facial photographs

4)      Personal impressions of your tooth structure

Once your orthodontist evaluates your mouth, jaw and tooth structure, he or she will study the results in order to customize a treatment plan based on your needs. In your next visit, you and your orthodontist will talk about the treatment plan and what the treatment will entail. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and voice your concerns over what you can expect during the next few months of treatment.


Invisalign—also known as invisible or adult braces—is a discreet way to straighten your teeth. In past years, orthodontics were often seen as an awkward stage most teens would have to endure. Now, more and more adults seek teeth straightening treatment, and what better way than with Invisalign?

To use Invisalign, your orthodontist or cosmetic dentist will supply you with a bunch of clear aligners. You will be instructed to remove these aligners every two weeks in order to encourage your teeth to shift.

In about nine to 15 months, your teeth should straighten completely. Keep in mind, however, that each case varies. You may require more or less time to complete Invisalign treatment.

Consult with your orthodontist or cosmetic dentist every six weeks to make sure your Invisalign treatment is running smoothly.

With Invisalign, you can achieve straight and attractive teeth within a few months without anyone knowing!