August 9th, 2022 by

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with prevention, interception and correction of
mal-positioned teeth and jaws. These abnormally positioned teeth and jaws are referred to as
malocclusions. Orthodontics also involves modification of facial growth.
According to WHO, malocclusions are one of the most important oral health problems after dental
caries and gum diseases. The prevalence is highly variable and is estimated to be between 39% and 93%
in children and adolescents.
Oral health is a window into your overall health. Orthodontic treatment helps ensure proper function of
teeth and create healthy smiles. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. Teeth that
are misaligned are harder to clean and can cause abnormal wearing of tooth enamel which can lead to
extensive and expensive dental procedures. Orthodontic treatments also improve someone’s facial
An orthodontist is the qualified specialist who is trained to offer such treatments. A general dental
surgeon who has undergone some training in orthodontics can also offer the treatment but limited to
less complex cases.
There if you recognize any of these signs or concerns in your child or yourself, it might be time to
schedule a consultation with an orthodontist or your dental surgeon
 Early or late loss of baby teeth
 Difficulty chewing or biting
 Mouth breathing
 Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
 Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
 Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
 Speech difficulty
 Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
 Protruding teeth
 Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
 Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
 Grinding or clenching of teeth
 Inability to comfortably close lips
To move your teeth in their ideal positions, your orthodontist will use an “appliance,” braces or
aligners, for example, to deliver controlled forces that gently and predictably reposition

teeth. Advances in orthodontics have made treatment more comfortable and less noticeable
than ever. Many of today’s treatment options are designed to minimize the appearance of the
appliance to better fit any lifestyle. Today’s options include clear aligners, tooth-colored braces,
tiny but more traditional metal braces, and braces that go behind the teeth.
Not every type of appliance is suitable for correction of every kind of orthodontic problem. This
is another reason to make sure you are being treated by orthodontist – selecting the right
appliance to correct your problem. Orthodontists have access to the full range of appliances,
and more than anyone else in the dental profession, orthodontists know which appliance is
right for an individual patient’s care.

Dr. Namanya Rogers
BDS, MSc. Orthodontics (Resident)

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