Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with teeth alignment to correct malocclusions (improper bites) and also the modification of facial growth. While orthodontic treatment has traditionally been recommended for functional reasons (i.e. to improve a patient's bite), it is increasingly used for aesthetic reasons to improve a person's appearance.
Common problems corrected using orthodontic appliances (such as braces) include improperly aligned teeth, crowded or unevenly spaced teeth, extra or missing teeth, misaligned jaws and bite problems.
Alignment problems could have arisen through accidents (e.g. jaw fracture), prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier sucking in older children, missing teeth, premature or late loss of baby teeth, tumors in the mouth, dental disease or improperly fitted fillings, crowns or braces