If you're about to get braces to straighten your smile, you may be curious about how they work. Here our Coquitlam orthodontists share a little about how braces help to straighten your teeth.
Having a good understanding of how your orthodontic treatment works can help you to get through your treatment without a hitch. So, if you're getting traditional metal braces you may be wondering how braces work to straighten teeth? Here's a brief explanation about what happens during your braces treatment.
How do traditional metal braces work?
Each individual component of your braces works with the others to gradually straighten your smile by applying pressure to your teeth. This continuous pressure gradually moves your teeth into their correct positions over the course of a number of months. As your teeth move, the supporting jaw bone also changes shape as a result of the pressure applied by your braces.
What are the parts of my braces?
Your braces are made up of a collection of parts, all of which play a vital role in moving your teeth to where you want them. Here are the basic parts that make up traditional metal braces:
- Brackets - Each orthodontic bracket is a small square that is bonded to one of your teeth in order to hold your arch wire in place. Brackets can come in a variety of materials, and can be placed on either the fronts or backs of your teeth depending on which style of braces you have.
- Orthodontic Bands - Your orthodontic bands are made of stainless steel, and function as anchors for the brackets. Your orthodontic bands may be only on your back teeth but could play a more significant role in your braces treatment.
- Arch Wire - The arch wires are attached to your brackets and create the pressure that moves the teeth. These can be clear, tooth-coloured, or metal. Your orthodontist will change your arch wire at each adjustment appointment in order to apply just the right amount of pressure to your teeth.
- Orthodontic Elastic Ties - Orthodontic elastic ties are small rubber rings that fasten your arch wires to the brackets. Each time you visit your orthodontist for an adjustment you will be able to pick new colours for your elastics.
- Elastic/Rubber Bands - These elastics or rubber bands are much bigger than the tiny elastic ties and attach to hooks on the brackets. The elastic bands are used to apply pressure that will move your upper and lower teeth into their correct positions in relation to each other, helping to align your bite.