How Do Braces Work?


If you’re considering starting orthodontic treatment with braces, you likely have a few questions you want answered. While you’re no doubt familiar with what braces are, you might still be wondering how they actually work.

Parts of Braces

To know how braces work, it helps to learn about the different parts that make up this popular orthodontic treatment. The most visible parts of braces are the brackets. These are the metal bases attached to the front of your teeth. The brackets act as anchors and provide a route for the archwire. The brackets stay firmly on your teeth thanks to a safe dental bonding material. The archwire runs along the brackets to connect the structure of your braces and to guide the movement of your teeth.

Another common part of braces you may get is a set of elastic bands, which runs from the top teeth to your lower teeth, connected by attachments on your brackets. Finally, there are the ligatures, also known as elastics. The ligatures do a lot of the work when it comes to straightening your teeth, attaching the archwires to the brackets, and creating the pressure that moves your teeth in the right direction.

All of these elements of your braces work together to create the pressure needed to straighten your teeth and give you a straight and healthy smile.

How Braces Straighten Your Teeth

If your teeth were simply attached directly to the jaw bone, it would be hard to actually move teeth without causing damage. However, each of your teeth is surrounded by an elastic membrane. As your braces are tightened over the course of your treatment, the roots of your teeth generate pressure against this membrane, causing it to break down. As one side of this membrane breaks down, the other side, where there is now empty space, fills in with new cells. This is why your teeth simply don’t move back in place immediately after your braces are taken out, although you’ll need to wear a retainer for the prescribed amount of time in order to keep your straight smile.

This process happens gradually, which is why you will come in for adjustments roughly every six to eight weeks. Each time your braces are adjusted, your teeth will be moving one step closer to their final position.

Benefits of Braces

While the obvious benefits of braces include getting straighter teeth, there are other advantages that make braces beneficial, even if you’re happy with your smile. For one, the process of getting straight teeth actually strengthens your teeth and your jaw bone, resulting in reduced chances of chipping or injuries. Getting rid of crowding, overbites, and underbites also improves your oral health in the long run, reducing your chances of tooth decay.

Schedule a free consultation by contacting Dabney Orthodontics today! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about braces and figure out which treatment option works best for you. We look forward to helping you get your new smile!