Orthodontics is a special discipline of dentistry concerned with aligning the teeth and jaws to improve both your smile and oral health. Your dentist often recommends braces to improve your physical appearance, but may also be concerned about problems like overbite, incorrect jaw position, and disorders of the jaw joint (TMJ). More importantly, patients without straight teeth often develop gum disease since it is difficult to brush and floss the teeth if they are misaligned. An ideal time for placement of braces is between ages 8 and 14 year of age because facial structures are still developing and it is often easier to mold the teeth and jaws. Thanks to modern techniques, adult orthodontics is also very successful. Most patients wear braces for between 18 and 24 months, followed by a retainer. Retainers should be used to ensure that teeth remain in position.*Drakeshire Dental Center doctors are not certified as specialists in orthodontics.