Orthodontics is a specialised field in dentistry that focuses on the proper alignment of the jaws and teeth, and practices the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of such problems. The problem of alignment is medically known as “malocclusion”, the meaning of which is “bad bite”.

The importance of teeth and jaw alignment, and hence orthodontics, goes way beyond the physical appearance. Non-aligned and crooked teeth cause various problems - they compromise hygiene greatly, since such teeth are much harder to keep clean, and therefore can lead to premature tooth decay. Crooked teeth also cause headaches, neck pains, and back pains as their ill-positioning exerts greater stress on the chewing muscles. This is also one of the causes for TMJ disorders, which are a group of complex problems of the jaw joint, and of course, the one of the obvious factors that highlight the importance of teeth and jaw alignment is the very obvious, physical appearance, as mentioned previously. Bad alignment distracts the observer from all other elements of the appearance, and makes it unpleasant.

All in all, by undertaking orthodontic treatment, you’re giving yourself a healthier and more hygienic oral cavity, an appearance that is much more pleasing, and a relatively longer tooth life.

The question arises as to whether or not you even require orthodontic treatment.  There isn’t a way of knowing that on your own. Your dentist can advise you on whether or not you can benefit from treatment and give you an opinion on what kind of treatment is appropriate. The factors that will help determine this are your demographics (mainly age), your health history, x-rays, photographs, various clinical tests and plaster models of your jaws.

The main tools used in orthodontics are braces, plates and retainers. Braces are further divided into dozens of tools like bands, wires, brackets and power chains. Which tools are used depends entirely upon individual cases and the state of the teeth and jaws.

Here are some different alignment problems that you should have in order to consider yourself as a prospective candidate for an orthodontic treatment.

- Buck teeth. Buck teeth are also known as dental overbite. In this condition, the teeth of the upper jaw protrude excessively over those of the lower jaw.

- Bulldog Appearance. The bulldog appearance is also known as under-bite. This condition is the reverse of the overbite; the teeth of the lower jaw are the ones that protrude excessively as compared to those of the upper jaw.

- Open bite. In this condition when the back teeth close in a bite, either the front teeth, or the side teeth, or both, are unable to meet, resulting in a gap between the biting surfaces.

- Cross-bite. When the back teeth of the mouth close into a bite, the teeth of the upper jaw are not located, as they should be, slightly in front of the teeth of the lower jaw.

- Crowding. This condition occurs when the jaw or dental ridge is apparently too small to accommodate all the teeth, or the size of teeth is too great to fit the jaw.

- Misplaced midline. When the back teeth close in a bite, the centre line of the upper front teeth does not correspond with that of the lower front teeth.

In order to get a FREE first orthodontic consultation or learn more about which orthodontic treatment is right for you visit http://www.epsomdentalcare.co.nz/