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Orthodontics is the branch of dental medicine that deals with dental misalignment and jaw alignment corrections. Orthodontic treatments can be carried out during growth and development, i.e. at a young age, but also later in life. Though it is often thought that orthodontic treatments are mainly used for aesthetic purposes, this is not the case, as correct teeth and jaw alignment are crucial for the health of the whole mouth, that of the temporomandibular joints and of the muscles, while also affecting adjacent tissues and aiding correct chewing.
A correct alignment of the jaws and the teeth is important in the homogeneous transmission of chewing forces, which will thus not have a negative impact on teeth and supporting tissues, aiding to avoid excessive ware and degradation, and problems to the temporomandibular joints.
Types of orthodontic appliances
To correct bad teeth alignment and malocclusion orthodontic appliances are used. They can be of two types, i.e.:
Mobile orthodontic appliances as those that allow the patient to place it or remove it by himself, while the fixed ones, commonly known as braces, are permanently fixed to the teeth, being removed only at the end of therapy. Fixed appliances are placed directly in the patient’s mouth, while mobile ones are created at the laboratory and delivered to the patient.
It is never late for starting an orthodontic therapy, which can be equally successful in children and adults, and while the latter will often choose it have in mind aesthetics, the health of teeth and gums is the priority in all treatments.
When to start orthodontic therapy?
Taking care of dental health should be an imperative from the youngest age, and if anomalies have been noted the first orthodontic check-ups should be scheduled between the ages of 7 and 10. At 9 or it is possible to start treating problems of tooth crowding and jaw alignment. hese can be efficiently resolved with a mobile appliance or it can be used in preparation for therapy with braces, thus avoiding the extraction of permanent teeth. Therapy with fixed appliances is usually started between the ages of 12 and 13, and its duration varies between one and three years.
Nevertheless, it is possible to start orthodontic therapy at any time as both types of appliances can lead to excellent results at all ages.
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