Are you looking to enhance your smile or the smile of someone dear to you? You might be curious about how braces function to align your teeth and boost your smile.
Braces are a popular method to align teeth and create beautiful smiles for children and adults. You’re in the right place if you’re wondering how do braces work. This article simplifies the process and answers common questions about braces.
How Braces Actually Work
Orthodontic braces straighten teeth by applying consistent pressure, using brackets attached to each tooth and an archwire to exert the necessary force. This pressure gradually moves the teeth into the desired positions, enhancing your smile.
Your teeth are anchored in the gum tissue known as the gingiva, with a periodontal membrane or ligament holding the lower part in place. When braces apply pressure, this membrane stretches on one side and compresses on the other, making the tooth slightly loose.
This loosening allows for bone remodeling, where new bone cells form around the tooth’s new position. This process is essential for the teeth’s gradual and controlled realignment, resulting in a straighter and more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Exploring Various Brace Types and Their Suitability
Braces come in diverse styles, and the best type for you is determined by several factors, such as your dental condition, its severity, and your personal preferences.
Ceramic or clear braces work like metal braces, with a distinct aesthetic difference. The brackets, wires, and ligatures match the color of your teeth, making them less visible than metal braces, though they can still be seen. Ceramic braces are more susceptible to breakage due to their fragile nature.
When we think of braces, we often picture traditional metal braces first. They consist of stainless steel bands, brackets, and wires that gently reposition your teeth over time. A bracket is attached to each tooth by the dentist or orthodontist, followed by the securement of a thin, flexible wire over the brackets using small elastic bands called ligatures.
Even though metal braces can be seen when you smile, you can use clear or tooth-colored ligatures for a less conspicuous appearance. For a fun look, you also have the option of vibrant-colored ligatures!
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but they’re fixed on the inner sides of your teeth, making them less noticeable. This type is preferred by individuals who want a more discreet orthodontic treatment.
These braces mimic the look of traditional metal braces but differ subtly. Instead of small elastic bands (ligatures), self-ligating braces include a built-in system for attaching the wire.
Another popular choice in orthodontic treatment is clear aligners, sometimes called “invisible braces.” They aren’t braces traditionally but rather align your teeth gradually using a series of personalized trays.
Each pair of clear aligners should be worn for around two weeks before moving on to the next pair in the sequence. The advantage is their removability, but they must be worn for at least 22 hours daily. Clear aligners should be removed only for eating, drinking, and performing oral hygiene procedures.
Stages and Common Issues Tackled by Braces
The process of using braces typically involves three main stages. The specific problems being corrected determine the duration and methods used.
Stage 1: Leveling and Aligning
The first step of treatment usually involves moving your teeth into the correct alignment. This might require shifting teeth up, down, or sideways until they form a straight line.
Stage 2: Correcting Bite Problems
The second stage involves adjusting the braces to fix bite-related issues, like overbites, underbites, or crossbites. If there are gaps between the teeth, this stage also closes those spaces.
Stage 3: Refining
As your treatment approaches its end, the focus turns to refining the position of each tooth. The necessary adjustments are made to ensure all teeth are perfectly placed before removing the braces.
When Can You Expect to See Results with Braces?
Braces work by putting steady pressure on your teeth, but this doesn’t mean your teeth are moving all the time. After an adjustment, your teeth might feel sore as they get used to the new pressure. Between visits to the orthodontist, the braces keep your teeth in place.
It’s crucial to proceed with caution while using braces. Rushing the process can cause pain and potentially cause damage to your tooth roots and adjoining bone. Moving teeth delicately balances shifting them to new positions and allowing the bone to adapt by either absorbing itself or creating new bone to support the tooth’s new location.
Every brace treatment case varies. You might only need braces for as little as six months for minor cosmetic adjustments. However, you should retain your braces for up to three years for more complex issues involving multiple teeth and jaw corrections.
Contact Han Orthodontics for High-Quality Braces
At Han Orthodontics in Riverside, CA, we understand that dental issues can impact your confidence. Our qualified dental team is ready and eager to discuss the most suitable possibilities tailored to your oral health needs.
To schedule a consultation with our experienced orthodontists, reach us at (951) 686-5301. We’re excited about the opportunity to assist you in achieving your perfect smile!