Orthodontics is the science of bringing teeth into alignment and keeping them there.
The word comes from the Greek words “orthos” meaning “straight, true, correct, or regular,” and “odon” meaning “tooth.” As with many scientific words, it was taken from the Greek and introduced into modern Latin as “orthodontia” in the nineteenth century, when Latin was viewed as the international language of science. It wasn’t introduced into English until 1909, after the first instance of “orthodontist” and the term was actually not adopted by the profession until the 1930s.
In the late 19th century, physicians studying the teeth began to realize the importance of the way teeth fit together. They studied the role of jaw development and orientation on the proper function and appearance of teeth. Orthodontics is often thought of as being cosmetic, but properly aligned teeth are more efficient than poorly aligned teeth and proper tooth alignment can help people avoid many symptoms associated with TMJ.
If you would like to learn more about orthodontics and how it can benefit you, please contact Sheridan Dental for a consultation at our Columbus, Ohio office.