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About 80 per cent of the population suffer from malocclusion, the technical term for teeth that do not fit the jaw, and the positioning of teeth affects their rate of wear, the health of the jaw joint, head, neck and spine and as a consequence overall health.

Orthodontics is the specialism in dentistry responsible for studying the mouth and correcting the position of teeth so they remain permanently where they should be for a balanced bite and an attractive smile.

Orthodontic treatment begins with a study of the mouth and jaw using x-rays to make a detailed plan for moving teeth into sustainable positions, often using fixed braces, which are usually tightened every six weeks over a period of 12 to 24 months.

Braces may be suitable for people who experience difficulty chewing food or have noticeably crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, gaps in their teeth, a deep overbite where the front teeth overlap too much, or an open bite where some teeth cannot be brought into contact.

Orthodontic treatment can be undertaken at any age and adult treatment is growing rapidly, largely because it is now recognised for its role in improving self-confidence in patients who are unhappy with their appearance.

Anyone who is reluctant to talk or smile in public without hiding their teeth, assuming this is not because of tooth loss, may be able to benefit from orthodontic correction.

It is recommended that children are brought in for their first orthodontic evaluation when they are between seven and nine years old because early treatment usually requires less work, making it better value and less disruptive to the patient’s life.

Patients can choose from a range of treatment options that cater for different cosmetic sensibilities and budgets including traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and clear braces. The orthodontist at Harley Street Dental and Implant Clinic will talk you through the long term results you can expect from each option to help you decide which one offers the best outcome for your circumstances.

If you have crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, gaps in your teeth, an overbite or an open bite, book a consultation with a Harley Street Dental and Implant Clinic orthodontist who will examine your mouth and discuss whether you could benefit from orthodontic treatment.