Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that deals with the correction and straightening of abnormally positioned teeth such as crowded or crooked teeth, over and under bites, or misaligned jaws. The primary method orthodontics uses to straighten teeth is a process in which braces, composed of fixed metal bands, wires, and removable plates, apply pressure to slowly move the teeth into the correct position. Such braces are commonly used with young adolescents, but they can correct the appearance of teeth at any age. Traditional braces are metal brackets that are cemented to the outside surfaces of the teeth. However, barely visible ceramic brackets may also be used, as well as brackets that can be placed, or hidden, on the inside surfaces of the teeth. Because braces cover the majority of the tooth's surface, proper oral hygiene must be given careful attention. Orthodontic treatment can often improve your appearance and provide self-confidence. For more information on braces, contact a local orthodontist.