The teeth are the toughest part of the body essential to bite and chew food and for speech.The prevention and treatment of the teeth problems, malformations of the teeth, gums, and oral cavity care is managed by dentist. Orthodontics deals with correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaw thereby improving the appearance and health of the teeth, gums and jaws as it evenly distributes the biting pressure of the teeth.

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Orthodontic devices are of two types fixed and removable.

Fixed appliances-

Braces-Braces consist of brackets, wires, and bands that are fixed around the teeth and serve as anchors for the appliance. Brackets are connected to the front of the teeth. As the wire is tightened, tension is applied to the teeth to gradually move the teeth into proper position.

Fixed-space maintainers- used in children who have lost a tooth, to prevent the teeth from either side from closing in until the permanent teeth come out. 

Removable space maintainers

Removable orthodontic appliances- treat minor problems, like thumb sucking or correcting slightly crooked teeth.

Examples of removable appliances include:

Aligners: resemble braces and useful for adults

Headgear: helps slows down upper jaw growth keeping the back teeth in position while the front ones are pulled back.

Lip and cheek bumpers: relieve the pressure of cheeks or lips on the teeth.

Palatal expander: designed to make the arch of the upper jaw wider. It consists of a plastic plate with screws placed on the palate(roof of the mouth). The screws put pressure on the joints in the bones, forcing them outward expanding the size of the area in the roof of mouth.

Retainers:  to stop the teeth from moving back to their original positions. There are two types of removable retainer:

Permanent retainers are fixed to the back of the teeth. 

Splints, or jaw repositioning appliances- placed either on the top or lower jaw to help close the jaw properly. Splints are commonly used for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). 

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