Braces can be used to straighten teeth, correct an irregular bite, close unsightly gaps and bring teeth and lips into proper alignment. Crooked teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean and are at risk of being lost early because of tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Malocclusion can accelerate wear (attrition) on the teeth, and increase the likelihood of tooth fractures. It can also cause jaw joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction (TMD), fatigue/pain in the chewing muscles (myalgia), gum recession (from off-axis forces on the teeth); and can be a contributing factor in improper nutrition.
Moving the teeth and influencing the growth and development of the jaws, such that they align properly and provide proper support for the lips and cheeks is what orthodontists do. Moving teeth orthodontically can be done with fixed braces, adjustable retainers the patient can remove, or rigid acrylic positioning trays