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The process of aligning teeth is technically called Orthodontics. It may be loosely defined as the science of moving teeth, aligning irregular, crowded or spaced teeth. Dentists who have expertise in this field are called Orthodontists.

Anyone with mal-aligned or irregular teeth, crowded, overlapping teeth, or with gaps in between may require orthodontic treatment.

The Cause - There are many reasons for irregular teeth:

  • Heredity

  • Thumb-sucking

  • Lip and tongue habits

  • Mouth breathing, nail biting, etc.

  • Incompetent lips

  • Injury / accidents

Why Teeth Sometimes Need to be Extracted

In cases of severe crowding of teeth, there may not be any space available to align the teeth. Then it becomes necessary to extract some teeth to create enough space for the other teeth to get aligned correctly.

Whether Spaces created by Extracting Teeth will get filled

As the teeth are moved for aligning them correctly, they move into the spaces created by the extraction. Hence the spaces created by extraction are completely filled once the teeth are aligned.

Will Teeth Move Back to their Original Positions after Treatment

About 15-20% relapse is bound to occur over a period of time. Hence Orthodontists sometimes over-correct the alignment, anticipating the rebound. This can be minimized by following the instructions given to the patient during the maintenance phase of treatment.

The Treatment

This is commonly done by fixing braces to your teeth and using a thin guiding wire to straighten them out. The treatment does involve a certain amount of pain, which may be mild to moderate and lasts for upto a week after treatment begins. After that there is generally no pain. However, each time the wire is adjusted or changed, expect to have some pain.

You will be required to eat soft food, food that is cut into small pieces, or well-cooked. Anything sticky or hard is best avoided during treatment.

Brushing will require an extra effort on your part. You may use a soft brush twice a day in gentle circular motions, making sure to dislodge any accumulated food particles and plaque.

Another area of concern is sports. Be careful to take care of your braces during any sporting activity to prevent damage to teeth and lips.

Having undergone treatment, get ready to receive compliments


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