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Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry focused on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. The primary goal of orthodontics is to correct malocclusion, which is the misalignment of teeth when the jaws are closed, leading to issues like overbite, underbite, crowded teeth, and gaps.

Orthodontists use various appliances to correct these problems, the most common being braces. Braces consist of brackets, wires, and bands that gradually move teeth into the desired position. In addition to traditional metal braces, there are now ceramic braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign, offering more aesthetic options.

Orthodontic treatment goes beyond cosmetic improvement; it can significantly enhance oral health. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Better alignment can also alleviate stress on the jaw joints, decreasing the likelihood of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Treatment typically begins after most of the permanent teeth have erupted, often around ages 11 to 13, but adult orthodontics is also becoming more common. Early evaluation, around age 7, is recommended to identify potential issues and plan for future treatment if necessary.

Orthodontics is a significant investment in dental health, comfort, and self-confidence, providing benefits that can last a lifetime.

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