How Do Braces Actually Work?
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Braces work by putting steady, gentle pressure on your teeth. Over time, this slowly moves your teeth into the right place. The path your teeth follow is controlled by the archwire, which is a wire that goes around your mouth and through each bracket on your teeth.
They are well-known for making teeth straight and work well for both kids and adults. If you’ve ever wondered, “How do braces actually work?” you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explain how braces work and answer some common questions about them.
How Braces Move Teeth
Braces shift your teeth by applying continuous pressure over a long period, and your jaw shape gradually adjusts to this pressure.
While our teeth are solidly affixed to our jaw, they are anchored to it by a membrane housed underneath the gums. This membrane controls your teeth’s position and is sensitive to the pressure applied to your teeth via braces.
Installing braces generally takes about one to two hours, and while this process doesn’t hurt, you might feel soreness during the initial week of adjustment. Every orthodontist visit for braces adjustment might also result in a few days of soreness.
Essential Components Of Braces
Understanding how braces move your teeth starts with knowing the essential components involved. Though braces comprise several parts working together to ensure effective teeth movement, here are some of the most significant ones:
Brackets made of ceramic, plastic, or stainless steel are glued to your teeth. These brackets evenly distribute pressure across your teeth and are connected by stainless steel, nickel-titanium, or copper titanium wires.
Elastic bands, often called O-rings or ligatures, are positioned around the brackets, increasing pressure on your jaw and forming an integral part of traditional braces treatment.
These rubber bands or metal rings are inserted between your molars to create space at the back of your mouth. They push your jaw forward and provide room for braces, particularly if the back of your mouth is too cramped. Only some require spacers, typically used for just a week or two.
As links between the brackets on your teeth, archwires are crucial for applying the necessary pressure to shift your teeth into position. They could be made of stainless steel or other materials like nickel titanium or copper titanium.
A buccal tube is a metal component that can be attached to one of your molars. It’s used to secure the various parts of your braces at the back of your mouth. Your orthodontist can then adjust different components of your braces with ease.
Coil springs are occasionally needed and positioned on your braces’ archwire. They apply pressure between two teeth, separating them and creating additional space.
Headgear use is quite uncommon and typically worn just at night. This band connects to your braces and provides extra pressure when advanced correction is necessary.
Overcrowding occurs when a jaw or teeth are too large, creating inadequate space for teeth to be positioned. Braces help by guiding each tooth backward, forward, or sideways to ensure enough room.
Younger patients with overcrowding can use an expander to enlarge their jaw. However, an expander alone isn’t sufficient when a patient’s palate has already fused. Instead, small pins might be inserted from the expander into the roof of the mouth to assist with expansion, or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon might be involved to create incisions on the upper jaw sides to allow for jaw expansion. Tooth extraction is another alternative to create more space. Your orthodontist will thoroughly explore all available options.
An overbite involves the vertical overlap of upper and lower teeth, whereas overjet refers to the protrusion of the upper teeth compared to the lower teeth. Treating either condition may require moving both the top and/or bottom teeth. For overbite correction, the upper front teeth may be moved upward, the lower front teeth downward, or a combination of both; alternatively, the lower back teeth could be elevated slightly to allow the lower jaw to open wider. To manage overjet or protrusion, braces gradually apply constant pressure to shift the teeth’ arrangement, resulting in the bone around the teeth adjusting to their new location.
Pulling Teeth Forward
Many assume braces only push teeth toward the palate but can also pull them outward toward the lips. A shape memory nickel-titanium archwire achieves this. Although the wire is initially bent to attach to the tooth’s bracket, it eventually reverts to its original U-shape, effectively moving the tooth forward and helping to create an ideally positioned smile.
How Long Does It Take To See Results?
Braces work by steadily applying pressure to your teeth, but this doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth are always moving. Post adjustment, you may experience some discomfort as your teeth adjust to the newly imposed pressure levels. In the intervening periods, braces maintain your teeth in their current position until your subsequent orthodontist visit.
Moving teeth effectively with braces is a gradual process. Attempting to accelerate this could lead to pain and potential damage to your teeth, roots, and the surrounding bone structure. The process must delicately balance reshaping teeth into new positions while allowing the bone to adapt by either undergoing resorption or generating new bone to support the repositioned tooth.
Every orthodontic case presents a unique challenge. If your needs are minor, primarily cosmetic adjustments, you might only need to wear braces for approximately six months. However, for more intricate cases involving multiple teeth or jaw problems, maintaining braces for up to three years may be necessary.
Contact Diamond Bar Dental Studio In Diamond Bar, CA, Today!
Are you considering starting your journey with braces? Schedule a 100% free consultation and discover if clear braces are the perfect solution for you. We cater to every individual’s needs, whether you’re looking into braces for kids or adults.
We recognize dental imperfections can harm self-esteem at Diamond Bar Dental Studio in Diamond Bar, CA. Our team of professional dental specialists will gladly discuss the best options for your dental needs.
If you have any questions about how braces can address your orthodontic concerns, don’t hesitate to make an appointment or speak with one of our team members. You can reach us at (909) 455-9979 to book a consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists today. We look forward to helping you achieve that perfect smile!
646 N. Diamond Bar Blvd.
Diamond Bar, CA 91765