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How Do Braces Move My Teeth?

May 14, 2014

Whenever we recommend orthodontic treatment to a patient, we often get asked, “How do braces move my teeth?”

For you to under how braces work to straighten teeth, you need to be familiar with its parts and how they function:

  • The brackets are the main metal portion of the braces that are attached to each tooth with bonding material, a type of glue.
  • The arch wire is a thin piece of metal placed over the brackets. It is what puts pressure on the teeth and gives them the direction they need to become aligned and straight.
  • The O-Rings are also known as ligature elastics. When the braces are tightened, these are changed. These come in different colors.
  • In the case of an overbite or an under bite the dentist may use elastics. The elastics create added pressure to straighten the teeth and can be used to build more tension to direct the teeth and jaw into the desired position.

How do braces move teeth?

Braces put continuous, but gentle pressure on the affected teeth. The pressure shifts the teeth into the correct position if they are worn correctly during the duration of treatment.

Over the course of the treatment, the teeth will loosen and move because of the pressure created by the wire and elastics. This causes the surrounding membrane of the teeth on one side to expand while the other side constricts.

As the teeth become straighter they move less. The bone around the membrane then grows to support the new position of the tooth. This is a slow process so braces need to be worn on average of one to three years, but it's different for each person undergoing treatment.

Orthodontic treatment is very customized. No treatment is the same. You can watch a full time lapse video of how braces straighten teeth in YouTube.

What happens after braces?

After the teeth are straightened and the braces are removed, the dentist usually has you wear a retainer 24 hours a day. Its job is to keep the teeth in their new position while the bone around the teeth becomes stronger and can support the teeth on their own. You need to wear the retainer as directed. If not, you can risk your teeth moving back to their old position, wasting all the time and money spent on treatment.

Get Orthodontic Treatment if It’s Advised by Your Dentist

Physically, crooked and crowded teeth are hard to take care of and clean, which may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and possibly tooth loss. Bad bites can also cause difficulty in speaking and chewing, abnormal wear on tooth surfaces, and can lead to problems with bones, joints, and gum tissue.

Orthodontic treatment today is more affordable than ever and we can create payment plans that work within your family’s budget. Please contact our office today at 317-882-0228 to arrange an orthodontic evaluation for you or your child. It will be something you can smile about for time to come!