Orthodontics refers to services relating to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oro-facial irregularities, dental deviations or skeletal abnormalities. An orthodontist is an expert on perfecting smiles, with the help of orthodontic tools such as braces, retainers and headgear.

The most common reasons to visit an orthodontist are crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, and the most common form of treatment is braces or other appliances to move the teeth or jaws to a correct position.

While most malocclusions (bad bite) are inherited, some are developed due to trauma or accidents, thumb or pacifier sucking, premature loss of primary (baby) or permanent teeth or because of a dental disease.

There are numerous reasons why you may wish to visit the orthodontist. These include malocclusion (bad bite), or your teeth being unevenly spaced out, crowded, crooked or not fitting together just right. Most orthodontic cases involve some form of realignment of teeth or jaws to improve facial development and overall appearance.

Other cases may be more drastic and may require more extensive treatment, such as when dental irregularities have occurred due to some form of trauma or accident. ​

Although both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic conditions, it is recommended that consultation should begin at a young age, and The American Dental Association recommends that all kids should visit and be evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of 7. This is because the orthodontist is able to identify subtle problems with developing teeth and jaw growth at an early stage, and in most cases kids are able to begin active treatment between 9 to 14 years of age.

An evaluation by a dental specialist working with the Teeth and Skin Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital, at any age is advisable if you notice a problem. evaluation.

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started. ​​

In the attempts to determine the best course of treatment for your teeth, the orthodontist will begin by asking questions about your medical and dental history. He/she will then conduct the following tests:

  • Clinical examination impressions (for making plaster study models of your teeth)

  • Standardized  photos of your face and teeth,

  • A panoramic or other x-rays of all the teeth, a facial x-ray

  • Any other relevant imaging tests that may be needed​

The time and extent of orthodontic treatment will depend on your age, the type and seriousness of the problem, and the form of treatment that is selected. Treatment can last from anywhere from 6 months to 2 or 3 years and typically involve visits every 4 to 7 weeks.
The primary means of treatment is braces, which slowly move teeth to a more desirable position by placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction. Over the course of treatment, your orthodontist will adjust your braces (the bands, brackets, wires etc.), so as to improve the end result. Children often choose their favourite colour of rubber bands (elastics) to use with their braces, which is a fun way to make their experience more enjoyable.  
You may be given the option to choose Aesthetic Braces treatment. It is a viable option for those that want to have healthy and aesthetically pleasing smiles without the treatment being too conspicuous. Braces that match the colour of your teeth, ceramic, lingual braces or clear aligners are now available, and these are the least visible and least noticeable forms of treatment. This form of treatment may not be appropriate for people requiring more extensive work, and therefore it is important to consult your orthodontist about your options.
Further orthodontic treatment or aftercare options include retainers, headgear or other special fixed appliances and fixed space maintainers.
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.