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What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the discipline of dentistry which specializes in correction of irregular and malpositioned teeth, correction of imbalance between the jaw bones and treats problem related to jaw joint.

What is the best age for treatment?

The earliest age to screen a child is seven years. If the jaw bones are disproportionate in size the Orthodontist can modulate the growth to normalize their size at this age.

Is there an age limit after which Orthodontic treatment cannot be carried out?

Orthodontic treatment can be done at any age. In fact a significant number of patients seeking treatment today are adults who were either unaware of the benefits of Orthodontic treatment or did not have access to one when they were young. Braces can be made less conspicuous in adults by using ceramic braces or even invisible by fixing braces on the inner side of the teeth (Lingual braces)

Are there any other benefits of having straight teeth other than better esthetics?

Perfectly aligned teeth produce an alluring smile which certainly augments one's personality but this is only one of the “fringe” benefits of Orthodontic treatment. Irregular teeth can lead to accumulation of bacterial plaque which will lead to gum disease and early tooth loss, spaces between the teeth will result in speech defect such as lisping. Malaligned teeth produce a “bad-bite” and compromises chewing efficiency which ends up in indigestion and digestive disorders. Improper contact between the upper and lower teeth can trigger jaw joint problem which can manifest as pain in the head, neck and shoulders region.

What are the types of braces available?
Modern day orthodontics offers a variety of braces to choose from.

Metal braces : Metal braces are the conventional type of braces made of stainless steel. They are still widely accepted by majority of the patients. Though they are aesthetically inferior to the newer varieties.

Ceramic braces : As the name suggests these are made of ceramic. Ceramic braces appear less conspicuous as they are white in colour. These are aesthetically superior to metal braces.

Invisible braces : These braces are fixed on the inner side of the teeth and hence are practically invisible. They are also known as Lingual braces.

Clear Aligners : A series of clear, removable teeth aligners can be used as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces in certain patients.

What about extracting teeth?

With the advent of new techniques it is now possible to treat most cases without removing/extracting teeth. However, in some cases removal of teeth becomes mandatory to straighten and align the teeth.

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