• LaurenWallace

Bringing Teeth Into Alignment With Orthodontic Treatment



The American Association of Orthodontists reports that in the United States 4.5 million people are wearing braces or other dental appliances to straighten teeth and provide a healthy, beautiful smile1. As many of us know, an orthodontist is a dentist with additional clinical training to treat malocclusions (improper bites), which may result from tooth irregularity and jaw issues. Why Do Teeth Become Crooked? Terry Pracht, DDS, past president of the American Association of Orthodontics says that both heredity and environmental factors can create crooked teeth and bite problems. Dr. Pracht mentions that hereditary factors include crowded teeth, teeth where there is too much space and malocclusions. He also mentions that crooked teeth can be caused by thumb sucking and tongue thrusting as well as accidents occurring to the jaw(1). What are Treatment Options to Straighten Teeth or Malocclusions? There are three stages of orthodontic treatment. The first is when appliances are used to gain space in the mouth. For example, palatal expanders are used to expand the width of the palate and lingual bars are used to expand the lower jaw. The active corrective stage is next when the braces are placed on the teeth. The teeth are then adjusted and then straightened an