What is Orthodontics?

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Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly.  Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to clean, and are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay.  Malaligned teeth can cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to TMJ problems, neck and back pain.  Teeth that are malaligned can also cause self- esteem problems.  A specialist in this field is called an Orthodontist

How do you know if you Need Orthodontics?

Only your dentist and orthodontist can determine whether you need braces or not.  Based on diagnostic tools such as clinical exam, xrays, photographs, and models of your teeth help the dentist and orthodontist to decide whether orthodontics is recommended.

You may be a Candidate for Orthodontic treatment if you have:

• Overbite: Sometimes called “buck teeth”- where the upper front teeth are too far forward over the lower teeth.

• Underbite: The lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth are too far back.

• Crossbite: When the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally.

• Open bite: Space between the biting surfaces of the front and or side teeth when the back teeth bite together.

• Spacing: Gaps or spaces between the teeth either from missing teeth or diastemas.

• Crowding: Small mouth where there are too many teeth for the dental arch to accommodate.

When you stand in the mirror to brush your teeth begin to look around in your mouth to see how do your teeth come together when you close and smile and say “cheese”.  If your teeth don’t seem to fit together correctly and your bite doesn’t look right, visit your dentist to see if you need orthodontic treatment. Remember the benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier smile, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.  I hope this Tooth Talk has help to explain what Orthodontics is and if you have any questions please call Integrity Dental Care, PLLC  at (615) 445-8700 or email me at dr.jmitchell@integritydentalcares.com

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