Here’s How Braces Work
IT’S A WELL-KNOWN FACT THAT braces shift crooked teeth into their proper position over time, but have you ever wondered exactly how that process works? Today, we’re going to walk you through it, because it’s actually really neat!
The Pieces Of The Braces Puzzle
The different parts of your braces all contribute to the orthodontic treatment process in specific ways. You might have additional appliances tailored to your specific treatment plan, but everyone with traditional braces has brackets and arch-wires, tied together with fun colored o-ties (also called bands or ligatures).
If you look carefully at braces brackets, you may notice that they aren’t all placed in a straight line. At first, the braces may even seem to emphasize the crookedness of the teeth. The way Dr. Barakat positions the brackets is what allows braces to shift teeth into their proper place. Throughout your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Barakat will reposition the brackets at fractions of millimeters to create perfect alignment. By the end of the treatment, the brackets — and, more importantly, the teeth and bite— will be straight!
The arch-wires run through the brackets on each row of teeth. Dr. barakat chooses the thickness and material of the arch-wire carefully based on your treatment plan goals. As they try to straighten back into their original shape, archwires provide steady, gradual pressure in the right direction so that your teeth will shift towards their proper position. The colorful o-ties are what keep the archwires in place in the brackets.
The most common addition to braces beyond the basics of brackets, archwires, and o-ties are elastics. If you have a malocclusion (bad bite) or misaligned jaw, elastics apply pressure to bring your jaws into proper alignment. In order for them to do their job, however, it is essential to exactly follow Dr. Barakat’s instructions. Wearing too many or too few rubber bands, or not wearing them consistently will interfere with your treatment and make it take longer.
The Biology Of Shifting Dental Alignment
So what’s actually happening on the cellular level during orthodontic treatment? Specialized cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts respond to the pressure around the periodontal membrane (the pocket of gum tissue connecting the tooth’s root to the jaw bone). Osteoclasts break down the bone tissue so that the tooth can move, while osteoblasts gradually form new bone tissue behind it. So it’s not just your teeth moving into position; your jaw bones are reshaping themselves too!
Want To Learn More About Your Orthodontic Treatment?
If you have any questions about how your braces are working to give you that properly aligned, more functional smile you’ve always wanted, just give us a call, or ask us about it at your next appointment. We want all of our patients to have the information they need to feel confident in their treatment!
We love seeing our patients’ smiles!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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