What are Orthodontics


Orthodontics is a dental specialty focused on aligning your bite and straightening your teeth. You might need to see an orthodontist if you have crooked, overlapped, twisted or gapped teeth. Common orthodontic treatments include traditional braces, clear aligners and removable retainers.

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating “bad bites” (malocclusion). Common orthodontic treatments include braces, clear aligners and retainers.

The way your teeth fit together has a significant impact on your oral health. By improving the way your upper and lower teeth meet, you can reduce your risk for a host of oral health issues, including cavities, gum disease and excessive wear (erosion).

Common orthodontic problems

Types of orthodontic problems include:

  • Overjet, when your upper teeth stick out over your lower teeth.
  • Underbite, when your lower teeth stick out further than your upper teeth.
  • Overlapping teeth.
  • Crowded teeth.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Rotated teeth.
  • Impacted teeth (which are partially or fully trapped in your jawbone).
Contact Us

Interceptive Orthodontics

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as interceptive orthodontic treatment or two-phase orthodontic treatment, is when children begin treatment while they’re still growing and have most of their primary teeth.

The goal is to direct a child’s growth and development in order to fix or prevent certain kinds of malocclusions (problems with the size, position or spacing of the teeth or jaws), so that treatment is easier down the road. In cases like a severe underbite or overbite, for example, when the face and jaw are fully developed, it’s much harder to manipulate them and get dramatic results and waiting until adulthood could mean needing surgery. With early orthodontic treatment, we’re intercepting and correcting the issue before it has a chance to become a full blown problem.

Typically, phase 1 orthodontic treatment involves a child wearing an appliance like a space maintainer, a palatal expander or limited braces. At Hawley Orthodontics, we always aim to finish early orthodontic treatment in 12 months or less. As soon as we achieve our goals of phase 1 orthodontic treatment, your child will get a resting period where we let the remaining baby teeth fall out. Then, around the age of 12 or 13, they’ll usually begin phase 2 treatment, which may consist of braces or Invisalign Teen. This will help us lock in their bite and make any necessary tweaks to give them a beautiful, healthy smile.

Contact Us