How Do Braces Straighten the Teeth?
Straighter teeth can be achieved with a number of orthodontic treatments, but the basic process is similar in all cases. Constant pressure is placed on the teeth, causing movement toward their ideal positions. Below, you can read more about the principles behind how orthodontic care works.
How Teeth Are Held in Place
Teeth do not only stay in place because of the gums surrounding them. The teeth are anchored in the jaw bones by their roots, and periodontal ligaments work to further stabilize. Although the positioning of these tissues does not change significantly under normal conditions, it can be adjusted with constant pressure over a long period of time.
Changing Tooth Positions
With metal braces, brackets are bonded to the teeth individually so that they can be moved with a wire, which is threaded through the brackets. Clear braces use aligners, which are worn over the teeth and push them toward their proper positions. Both treatments rely on regular appointments, during which the metal braces require metal tightening, and the clear braces require aligner replacement.
Teeth still start to drift back to their improper positions after orthodontic care, especially in adults. For this reason, retainers are given to patients after they finish wearing braces. The retainers are made of clear plastic, like aligners, and may be worn overnight or around the clock depending on the patient’s needs. At a consultation with Dr. Sanders, our braces dentist, patients can learn more about how different types of braces are used to straighten teeth.
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