A Basic Guide For Parents On How Braces Work
A lot of patients and parents express tremendous curiosity about how braces work to straighten teeth. We field a lot of questions about how exactly these little pieces of metal work together to create beautiful smiles. Lots of patients are also curious why braces have to stay on so long – some patients wear their braces for up to three years.
Here is our basic guide for parents and patients about how braces work.
The process of installing braces begins when the orthodontist attaches a bracket to each tooth using a bonding product. Each bracket is designed especially for the needs and structure of its specific tooth. Then, the brackets are connected to each other using arch wire.
The process begins with very thin, round wire, which will be replaced repeatedly until thick, rectangular wire is in place. This is because repositioning teeth and their roots is best done at a gradual pace. Plus, starting your child with hard wires would cause him or her tremendous pain. Once the teeth are better positioned, a more flexible wire will be placed so that the orthodontist can fine-tune the alignment by bending the wires. For patients with under- or overbites, rubber bands may be used to move the jaw into a straighter bite position.
Throughout the orthodontic process, the pressure place on the periodontal membrane shifts. The bone structure of the tooth roots changes, which allows for the continued movement of each tooth. It can take up to a year for this bone remodeling process to be completed, and that is the main reason why many patients wear braces and/or retainers for so long.
Serenity Orthodontics knows that your child’s desire for straight teeth is delicately balanced against your concerns for their safety and comfort. We work hard to ensure that all of your questions and concerns are fully addressed before planning for your child’s braces.
If you have more questions about how braces work, check our Early Treatment page to see if the answers you seek are there. Then contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.