Braces have been the go-to treatment for a straight smile for many, many years with millions of people reaping the benefits of what they can do. Though, despite their major presence in our world and their trusted results, most don’t understand how braces get the job done.
Below you will find out everything you need to know about how braces work— including answers to some of the most common questions.
The Key Parts of Braces
Traditional braces are made up of three key parts: brackets, archwires, and ligatures.
Brackets are the metal piece that is bonded to the front of each of the teeth. While there are different types based on your specific need, these act as the anchors for the archwire. This metal wire is set in the brackets and used to encourage the teeth to move. It is flexible and can be tightened and loosened as needed to achieve the desired results.
Orthodontic ligatures are often referred to as bracket clips and o-ties. You may see these in different colors, fitted around the brackets. They, too, play a role in the function of braces.
Braces come with many different parts, but these are just three of many that you may encounter when trying to achieve your orthodontic goals.
Do Braces Move Your Teeth?
The idea of having all of this hardware on your teeth is to gently move them. The wire held by the brackets controls this movement, along with other tools. And because braces are not removable, they are always working.
A tooth’s root is located deep down under the gum and into the bone. So, in order to move the tooth, it has to force its way through, along with its blood vessels, gums, bone, etc. This involves the process of bone resorption and new bone formation.
Braces can address many different orthodontic issues which may require your teeth to move in different ways. To accomplish this effectively, your dentist will often move your treatment through varying phases. For instance, most work to get teeth straight before moving on to handling bite adjustments.
Your orthodontist should be able to provide you with a timeline for treatment.
How Long Do Braces Take to Work?
Braces take time as teeth will not move overnight. Thankfully, traditional braces are constantly putting pressure on the teeth. Trips to the orthodontist to tighten the archwire will set things in motion. This will take place routinely throughout your treatment.
How long you will have to wear braces will depend on your orthodontic need. On average, most patients can expect to be in braces for about 18 to 24 months. If only minor treatment is needed, it could be less—say, 9-12 months.
Learn More About Braces
Want to learn more about how braces work?
Dr. Garrick F. Wong DMD Orthodontics will answer any questions you may have and help you uncover the best orthodontic treatment to meet your needs. Boost your oral health by transforming your smile.