What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry and it is the first dental specialty to be formed in the United States and the world. The American Society of Orthodontia who felt that the specialty field of orthodontics should have an official certifying body founded the official American Board of Orthodontics on July 16, 1929. At the time, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology were the only other health care specialties that had certifying boards. In 1938 The American Society of Orthodontia changed its name to the current American Association of Orthodontists to which Dr Leo Toureno is a member of.

An orthodontist is someone who has usually graduated from college with a Bachelors degree, then goes through four years of dental school, becomes a dentist, then goes through another two to three more years of post-graduate residency training. That is a total of ten to eleven years of education and training after high school.

Orthodontics is commonly known as braces-today many young people and adults are getting them. Most people think of braces as a way to straighten their crooked teeth and have a great smile. Many people think that orthodontics is only for children or teenagers. This could not be further from the truth. More adults are getting orthodontics done to lift up their confidence and have a better lifestyle.

Not only is orthodontics a way to straighten your teeth, it is also to mould a person’s face, especially the lip positions in order to make them more harmonious with the rest of the face. My thesis during my orthodontic training was researching the esthetic lip position that is alterable with orthodontics to a certain extent. For example, a person who may have straight teeth but have protruding lips and could not close his lips as he has a "mouthful" of teeth. Orthodontics in combination with the removal of certain teeth can retract his overly protrusive "bucked" lips and make his facial proportions more harmonious.

Orthodontics can advance your life and increase your confidence, and as you smile more at other people, they will smile back at you! What a great way to live life!