So your dentist told you that you have to get braces to straighten out your teeth or bite. But how do they actually work? We’ll give you the run-through.
Tooth movement is your body’s natural response to light pressure applied by braces over a certain period of time (typically about two years). Brackets are glued onto your teeth, and have small slots that hold the orthodontic wires. These are kept in place with small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, so the brackets are custom-made for the particular tooth that they will go onto. As time passes, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions.
When you first get your braces on, we start out with wires that are flexible, but still strong enough to apply a constant force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, however, we use progressively thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an ideal bite.
Every time you visit our office for an adjustment, we swap out the wires in order to keep putting pressure on your teeth, which is why it’s so important for you to keep your adjustment visits during your treatment. Most adjustment appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move.
Most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatments. These elastics typically go from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, and pull on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an optimal bite. You’ll go through a few of these tightening, and before you know it--voila! You’ll have a straight, healthy, beautiful smile.
Not long ago, orthodontists had stainless steel wires and that was about it. Today, however, we have a number of different high-tech wires at our disposal to move your teeth faster and more comfortably. While the basic principle of how braces works remains the same, we have a number of different options to fit your specific needs.
Give us a call at 541-848-6642 to schedule a complimentary consultation and see how our staff can work their magic on your smile.