Orthodontics is a series of procedures that correct irregularities of teeth or misaligned jaws. Orthodontics are commonly referred to as braces.

What is it?

Orthodontics is a set of procedures performed by an orthodontist that assist in fixing teeth and jaw irregularities. Also referred to as braces, orthodontics correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and the abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth (malocclusion). These irregularities are treated with the use of braces, expanders, oral surgeries, and more.

What should I do to prepare? 

In the days after braces are applied or tightened, it is helpful to eat soft foods. Additionally, over the counter pain relievers can be taken. It is important to discuss the different orthodontic options with the orthodontist to best prepare.

What happens during the process?

Crowding of teeth in the mouth is the most common problem among children and teens. Baby teeth are removed so that permanent teeth have room to grow in. An expander is placed in the mouths of children who need their jaw moved into a better position so that their jaws grow to the proper width. Braces are then attached to allow the teeth and the jaw move into the correct positions over time. A dental glue solution is prepared and used to place braces onto the teeth of the patient. The glue solution is hardened using a curing light.

What are the risks and potential complications?

There are several complications that may come with orthodontics in one’s lifetime. Pain is commonly associated with baby teeth removal and the use of expanders in children.  Expanders can help jaw alignment in children, but the only way to fix jaw alignment in adults is through oral surgery.  The need for braces can range from a few months to several years, and could also be necessary for one’s adult lifetime as well.


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