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Research & Innovation | Overview

Over the past decade, observing the aesthetics of a smile has become a key element of orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Marc Bernard Ackerman, DMD, MBA, FACD, director of Orthodontics at Boston Children’s, was one of the first to publish smile studies. Focusing on the aesthetics of a smile, Dr. Ackerman looked at patient smiles before and after orthodontic treatment, observing the conventional way braces were being put on and looking at how teeth were lining up relative to lips.

Dr. Ackerman found that both orthodontists and patients prefer a smile where the arch of the upper teeth parallels the lower lip. He coined the term “smile arc," which is now one of the desired objectives of orthodontics treatment.


Our program believes every child is entitled to family centered care delivered by a collaborative team of experts. Our team works closely with dentists and specialists in other departments to develop individual care plans that meet patients' medical and emotional needs, as well as their family's need for information, support, and assistance.

James Maclaine, BDS, has been an innovator in the orthodontic treatment of patients with cleft lip and palate. He designed and patented a special appliance that prepares children for lip repair with our plastic surgeons. It is helping to improve outcomes in lip repair.

In our dental clinic, we employ the latest advances in computerized diagnostics, orthodontic materials, and treatment techniques. This, combined with the clinical skills of the dental staff, ensures the highest level of patient care.

We also stress the importance of ongoing oral care for your child. For instance, if your child gets braces, our orthodontists will suggest a follow-up regimen that includes flossing and the avoidance of certain foods such as popcorn, caramel, and nuts.