How do braces work to straighten teeth? Many of us had braces when we were younger and some of us wore them as adults. Have you ever wondered how we go from an awkward, misaligned, and crooked smile in the beginning to the miraculous beautiful smile we end up with in the end? We can see and feel our teeth move over the course of treatment, but how exactly do they do it?
There are some main components involved in braces to be familiar with so you can understand the question of how do braces work.
Brackets – The brackets are the main metal portion of the braces that are attached to each tooth with bonding material. This bonding material is a type of glue that keeps the brackets firmly attached to the teeth over the course of treatment.
Arch Wire – The arch wire is a thin piece of metal placed over the brackets. The arch wire puts pressure on the teeth and gives them the direction they need to become aligned and straight.
O-Rings – The O-Rings are also known as ligature elastics. When the braces are tightened, o-rings are changed. There are a variety of colors of o-rings to choose from if you are looking for a more colorful smile while you wear your braces.
Elastics – In the case of an overbite or an under bite the orthodontist may use elastics. The elastics create added pressure to straighten the teeth and can be used to build more tension to direct the teeth and jaw into the desired position.
How Do Braces Work Over The Course of Treatment
During the time the braces are on the teeth, the teeth will loosen and move because of the pressure created by the wire and elastics. This causes the surrounding membrane of the teeth on one side to expand. The other side constricts. This causes the teeth to loosen from the gum line. As the teeth become straighter they move less. The bone around the membrane then grows to support the new position of the tooth. This process must go slowly, because if it happens too fast, the patient could lose their teeth. Because of this, braces need to be worn on average one to three years so this process can occur gradually. This is the basic answer to the question of “how do braces work?”
Each person will have a slightly different course of treatment depending on their needs. Some people will have other devices that may be needed along the way to get the desired results in the end. In certain cases headgear will need to be worn at night. This allows certain teeth to stay in place, while moving other teeth.
How Do Braces Work – What Happens After The Teeth Are Straight
After the teeth have become straight and the braces have been removed comes the final step. This is the retainer. Usually the retainer is worn 24 hours a day, or as determined by the specific orthodontist. The job of the retainer is to keep the teeth in their new position while the bone around the teeth becomes stronger and can support the teeth on their own. It is critical to wear the retainer as directed. If not, you can risk your teeth moving back to their old position, causing all the time and money spent on the braces to be wasted.
This is the overview for how do braces work. The process is one that really creates miraculous results at the end of the process. The video below will gives a fun visual of how do braces work with the use of time lapse photos of the process of creating a beautiful smile.