Everyone would love to have a beautiful and straight smile. And while the majority of us are not born with perfect teeth, braces allow us to achieve them. They are great for adjusting orthodontic issues such as overcrowding, misaligned bites, gaps, and moving teeth in the appropriate direction.
Orthodontists have the capability of using metal brackets and wires to transform smiles. And, they’ve been doing it for decades.
How Do Braces Work?
Generally speaking, braces work by placing constant pressure on teeth and jaws – changing their position as time passes. A bracket is glued to each tooth with the purpose of holding the archwires in place. The orthodontist can then tighten and adjust the wires to help move the teeth and jaw into the proper place.
It may seem like a great feat to move teeth that are held in place by the jaw bone. But, braces are capable of making it happen thanks to periodontal ligaments, the soft tissue that surrounds the teeth and bone. These ligaments are meant to hold each tooth in place. So, as the braces move the teeth along, the ligaments can either stretch or compress.
While this is the general way in how the braces work, the process varies slightly depending on the treatment. Let’s look at how braces work to correct two of the most common orthodontic issues.
Overcrowding. Overcrowding is common, resulting from either too many teeth, teeth that are too big, or a jaw bone that is too small. Braces work to move teeth in all directions to make room so that they sit neatly side by side. Tooth extraction may be necessary in order to make this happen.
Overbite or Misalignment. When the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth, this is considered an overbite. Though, any type of misalignment can throw off the bite and require adjustment using braces. To treat it, there is a lot of movement that needs to take place. For instance, upper teeth in the front may need to be moved up some while the lower teeth in the front may need to be moved down. Or, any combination of movement by the teeth can help get everything in order.
Order of Treatment
Braces aren’t just put on and expected to handle everything that needs to be done without any sort of order. Rather, there are different phases of treatment that most orthodontists follow.
First, braces work to move the teeth. They do so in whatever method will get them side-by-side. The edge of the teeth needs to be neatly lined. Next, bite issues are addressed. This second phase includes correcting overbites, underbites, crossbites, and other misalignments, including closing gaps. And, finally, the third phase is when your orthodontist will do any last-minute adjustments. This helps to ensure the teeth are exactly where they need to be before the braces are removed.
It is important to remember that braces take time. And this slow movement not only makes the experience more effective but also more comfortable. With a little patience, you will have the smile you have been dreaming about.
Braces at Smith Orthodontics
Now that you have a better idea of how braces work, Smith Orthodontics wants to help you get started on your smile transformation. We offer different orthodontic treatment options to meet the needs of all our patients.