When you come to an orthodontic consultation for either yourself or your child, you’ll probably have a lot of questions for the doctors and their staff. For example: What am I allowed to eat when I’m wearing braces? How long will I wear my braces? However, one thing you may never think about is: How do the braces actually move my teeth?
Braces are designed to gently position your teeth to fix any bite problems and to ensure that problems with your teeth, like overbites, under bites, gaps, and crowded teeth, are corrected. Your orthodontist will create a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Traditional metal braces use gentle pressure, applied in a particular way, to make teeth move. The main parts of braces all work together to position teeth.
- Arch wires. These thin, durable wires are the component of braces that move your teeth. They are threaded through each bracket. Depending on how your orthodontist adjusts them or the heaviness of the wire, they apply a certain amount of pressure to the teeth, which causes them to slowly shift.
- Brackets. These small, square-shaped pieces are cemented to each patient’s teeth. They have small openings in them that hold the arch wires in place from tooth to tooth.
- Bands. Bands are metal pieces that fit around your molars and are cemented in place. They help to hold brackets in place.
- Elastics. These removable pieces are attached to the bracket and are used to guide your bite.
Each part of your braces has an important job, so if one of them is damaged, you should let your orthodontist know right away so it doesn’t disrupt your treatment.
In the past 10 years, the materials that are now used to produce braces have undergone many changes. The material is now lighter, but stronger, and guide teeth into place much more quickly. Gone are the days of everyone wearing braces for three or four years. Now, many teens and adults have their braces on for as little as one to two years. With so many kids now receiving two-phase treatment, that has cut the treatment time down even further.
If you’d like to learn more about how braces position your teeth into a beautiful smile, call Kings Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation. We have offices located in Wexford, downtown Pittsburgh, and our newest location in Bridgeville.