The field of orthodontics focuses on the correction of teeth and jaws that are improperly positioned. To become an orthodontist, a dentist must complete an additional two to three years of training after finishing dental school. Orthodontics is recognized as one of several dental specialties by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Check out these interesting tidbits about orthodontics:
• Orthodontists treat over 5 million patients in the U.S. and Canada, more than double the number of patients treated in 1982, the first year that the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) tracked the number of patients.
• Orthodontic treatment has continued to grow in popularity. Since 1982, the number of patients who seek orthodontic treatment has increased by 115 percent.
• While you can achieve a straight smile at almost any age, most patients begin treatment between the ages of 9 and 14.
• Adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. Approximately 20 percent of patients are 18 years or older.
• Treatment time will vary from cases to case, based on individual circumstances. Most orthodontic treatment, however, takes 12 to 36 months, with the average time being 24 months.
• Though metal braces are still a choice, other options exist to straighten your smile. Invisalign clear aligners, lingual braces, and ceramic brackets offer subtle options to correct crooked or crowded teeth.
• The first certified orthodontist in the U.S. was Dr Charles Tweed.
• Pierre Fauchard constructed the first braces in 1728, which consisted of a flat strip of metal that connected to teeth by pieces of thread.