Orthodontic treatment is used to move teeth and involves the use of appliances.
There are two main types. Braces and Removable Appliances.
Braces are attached to the teeth. Removable appliances are put in and taken out by the patient. These devices can be used to:
Correct an irregular bite
Close unsightly gaps
Bring teeth and lips into proper alignment
They also can help with procedures in other areas of dentistry. Examples include cosmetic and implant dentistry.
In young children, orthodontic treatment also may guide proper jaw growth and permanent tooth eruption.
Many people's teeth are irregular in some way. For example, teeth may be slightly crowded or unevenly spaced. In fact, experts say many adults have an irregular bite. Sometimes the main problem with a "bad" bite is appearance. In other cases, it can cause difficulty in chewing, talking or even breathing.
You may have inherited an irregular bite, but not all bite problems are genetic.
Other causes include:
Trauma — When teeth are broken or knocked out and then replaced, they may fuse with the bone that surrounds them. This is called ankylosis or abnormal root fusion to the bone. If this happens in a growing child, the teeth will not be able to line up properly in the jaw. An irregular bite will result.
Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use — These habits can cause bite problems. For example, it may cause your upper teeth to protrude (stick out) in front of your lower teeth. A tongue-thrusting habit when you swallow can cause a similar problem.
Premature loss of primary (baby) teeth — If a primary (baby) tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide. It can drift or come into the mouth (erupt) incorrectly. In some cases, the permanent teeth may be crowded, or they may come in only partially. Sometimes the teeth next to the lost primary tooth can move or tilt into the space left by the missing tooth. This may prevent the permanent tooth from coming in.