What is orthodontics and why should I care?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the correction of misaligned teeth and jaws. While many people may think of orthodontics as a cosmetic procedure, the importance of orthodontics extends far beyond just improving the appearance of your smile. In fact, orthodontic treatment can have a significant impact on your overall oral health and quality of life.

One of the main benefits of orthodontics is that it can help to prevent dental health problems. When teeth are misaligned, it can be difficult to properly clean them, which can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment can help to realign the teeth and jaws, making it easier to brush and floss effectively and reduce the risk of these dental health problems.

Orthodontic treatment can also improve the function of the teeth and jaws. Misaligned teeth and jaws can cause issues with biting, chewing, and speaking, which can lead to discomfort and difficulty with everyday activities. Misalignment left untreated may have long-term negative consequences including excessive tooth wear, jaw/joint pain (i.e. Temporomandibular Joint Disfunction), gum recession, tooth mobility, and bone loss. Orthodontic treatment can correct these issues, improving the function of the teeth and jaws and making it easier to perform everyday tasks.

In addition to the practical benefits, orthodontics can also have a positive impact on a person's self-esteem and overall quality of life. A healthy and attractive smile can boost confidence and improve social interactions, leading to a better overall quality of life.

It is important to visit an orthodontist for a consultation if you are concerned about the alignment of your teeth or jaws. Early detection and treatment can often lead to better results and can prevent more serious dental health problems from occurring in the future. While orthodontic treatment can take some time, the long-term benefits to your oral health and overall quality of life make it well worth the investment.

NOTE: The author, Dr. Graydon Carr, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Chico, California with his partner Dr. B. Scott Hood. Dr. Graydon Carr was trained at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas School of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Dr. Graydon Carr & Dr. B. Scott Hood’s are experts in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems. This blog is for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. B. Scott Hood & Dr. Graydon Carr are licensed to diagnose and treat patients in the state of California. They cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can they select treatment plans for readers. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.