What Can an Orthodontist Do for You?

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Orthodontics refers to a branch of dentistry that corrects misaligned teeth and jaws. Crooked teeth can alter a patient’s appearance and increases the risk of oral problems and periodontal disease. When the jaws are not aligned, the muscles around the jaws are exposed to stress. This could lead to migraine headaches, TMJ syndrome as well as back pain and shoulder pain. Misaligned teeth and jaw cause speech problems and difficulty in chewing.

A person that specializes in orthodontics is called an orthodontist. An orthodontist will determine how to correct the alignment of the jaws and teeth. His diagnosis will be based on a patient’s dental history, plaster models, special X-rays, and clinical exams. After reviewing the patient’s information, he or she can develop the best plan to correct a dental issue.

An orthodontist can correct the following problems:

Over Bite

Also known as buckteeth, an overbite occurs when the upper front teeth sit too far forward the lower teeth when the mouth is closed.

Under Bite

Also known as the bulldog, this condition occurs when the lower teeth sit too far forward the upper teeth when the mouth is closed. In some cases, the cause of the under bite is an upper teeth that sit too far back the lower teeth.

Cross Bite

This condition occurs when the upper teeth are not aligned with the lower teeth when biting together or when the mouth is closed.

Open Bite

An open bite occurs when there is an open space on the surface of the front/side teeth when the mouth is closed.

Misplaced Midline

This condition occurs when the center of the upper front teeth is not in line with the center of the lower front teeth.


This term refers to the spaces or gaps in between the teeth. This condition is often caused by missing teeth.


This condition occurs when too many teeth are occupying the dental ridge, causing crooked teeth.

What Can an Orthodontist Do?

Correct Anteroposterior Deviations

An orthodontist can correct anteroposterior deviations such as underbite and overbite. These anteroposterior deviations can cause speech defects and difficulty in chewing. These conditions could also lead to oral problems because the teeth are grinding together in an abnormal way.

Correct Spacing

An orthodontist can also correct overcrowding of the teeth. The specialist can correct the space between each tooth to improve alignment and reduce pressure on jaw using unobtrusive devices and certain orthodontic treatments. In some cases, the orthodontist will remove a couple of teeth to free more space in the dental ridge.

Improve Face Shape

Did you know that your teeth affect your face shape? This is the reason why anteroposterior deviations and other orthodontic issues are more apparent. A bad bite, crooked teeth or malocclusions could affect the entire face negatively. An orthodontist can address all these issues and improve your face shape.

Perfect Smile

Who does not like having a perfect smile? An orthodontist can address all types of problems related to the teeth and jaw. Although it will take several sessions to get there, you can achieve a perfect smile by seeing an orthodontist!