Orthodontics aims to create an attractive smile and improve or maintain dental health. This is achieved with 'appliances' (braces) which correct the position of the teeth and the fit of the bite.
In the growing child, orthodontists also aim to modify growth to improve the bite and facial appearance.
Treatment varies enormously. This can take as little as four months or as long as two years but, for most patients, this takes 12 to 18 months with visits every five to eight weeks. After this, the teeth usually need to be held in their new positions with retainers.