[VIDEO] How Do Braces Work? Like, Really?…
Everyone knows what braces are and the benefit they have making a misaligned smile straight, but do you actually know how they work?
With the wires and brackets and tightening and pain, you go through a lot to get that smile you want. To really understand how braces work, this video takes a very complex topic and breaks it down with helpful visual images. Keep reading or watch the video to see the marvel that has revolutionized modern dentistry!
Types of braces
While there are other types of devices that align your teeth like Invisalign, this video focuses on the traditional metal braces or brackets that may consist of bands, wires, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances.
The most common type of braces use brackets designed in small, square-shaped pieces, which are attached to an orthodontic band or chemically affixed to the tooth surface. Brackets can come in different materials ranging from stainless steel to tooth-colored ceramic. These are the building blocks for the moving of the teeth.
Bands are the rings that fit around the back teeth, or molars. Bands typically have welded metal attachments that allow arch wires to pass through them.
Arch wires are made of metal and formed explicitly to fit into the brackets around the mouth. Arch wire adjustments exert pressure on the teeth, and are responsible for the ongoing repositioning of teeth toward proper alignment. The wire is replaced often during the treatment process to heavier wire that can exert greater movement.
How does the science of braces really work?
The basic principal is that braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied. The biomechanical response that dictates how your teeth straighten is known as “remodeling.” Tooth movement depends on how the periodontal membrane and bone around your tooth react to the pressure applied by your orthodontic devices. The brackets hold the arch wire which then move the teeth. The arch wire then attaches to the brackets and act as tracks to guide the movement of the teeth.
Contrary to what we generally think with bigger and more powerful options being better, teeth respond optimally to a lighter force. Using a gentle and constant force will cause one side of the tooth to compress against the periodontal membrane, which will create tension on the opposite side, effectively creating a space between the two surfaces. The nature of the pressure applied to that periodontal membrane becomes important in the science of braces.
What to expect as a patient with braces
The average amount of time braces are worn is 1-2 years, and this is once again because slower is better. If too much pressure is applied or if the teeth are moved too quickly, the procedure won’t be safe and can even cause long-term (and potentially irreversible) damage to teeth and gums. During this time, you will need to visit your orthodontist monthly for slight adjustments. In no time at all, you’ll have the perfectly–straight teeth you have always wanted.