How do braces straighten crooked teeth?
Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main components of your braces are: the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment. To discuss getting braces in the Seattle WA area, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.
The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind.
Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.
Different Types of Braces
We offer several different types of braces. Depending on your bite problem and on your preference, your options may include the following:
- Metal Brackets are most common. They’re durable and allow the archwires to fit securely on the teeth. These brackets are easier to maintain and less likely to need replacement. So, treatment may go more smoothly and appointments with your orthodontist may be shorter.
- Ceramic Brackets blend in with the color of your teeth. This makes it less noticeable than metal brackets. However, ceramic brackets may move the teeth more slowly. This means treatment could take longer. Read more about Ceramic Brackets.
- Invisalign or Aligners are a series of transparent, removable teeth aligners that are more difficult to detect than traditional brackets and wires. For this reason, some adults prefer this method of treatment to braces. However, to reach your treatment goals, the aligners must be worn at least 22 hours every day. Read more about Invisalign.