How Do Braces Work Exactly?

teen smiling with braces
You will probably need spacers before getting your braces

A brace is a wonderful human invention that can permanently move or correct a misaligned or an improper set of teeth.

But, how do these braces go about doing their job?

A standard brace would have four basic elements to it: i) brackets, ii) bonding material, iii) arch wire, and iv) ligature elastic. Brackets are made out of ceramic or metal and are attached to every individual tooth.

Also known as a metal band, the bonding material brings the tooth and the bracket together.

An arch wire is a fine metal wire running across brackets, thereby exerting force on the teeth. Also known as “o-ring,” the ligature elastic is a small, tinted elastic holding the bracket onto the wire.

The positioning of these ligatures is usually altered with every adjustment visit to the dentist. Some brackets may not require elastic ligatures – these are known to be “self-ligating.”

Types of Braces – How Do They Work?

There are basically two types of braces

i) Traditional Braces

In this brace setup, the orthodontist alters teeth positioning via specialized orthodontic hardware, permitting steady pressure application over a time period to move the teeth into its rightful place.

As the treatment moves ahead, one must make periodic, but frequent visits to the orthodontist to have the wires replaced. With every new wire placed, a new tooth movement gets created. The process remains a continuous affair until the teeth get to their quintessential location.

ii) SPEED Braces

Though based on the traditional truss, this revolutionary appliance differs from regular braces in a few ways, offering several benefits in due course. These braces have a unique component built into them, known as a spring clip.

The clip addresses a couple of purposes. First and foremost, it collaborates with the arch wire quite actively. Secondly, it eliminates “ties,” usually needed for binding the arch wire and the brace.

As a result, the teeth move much freely with very little external pressure needed. Consequently, the treatment tends to tread ahead much quicker and comfortably.

How to make braces work faster?

11973988556_95bcf2ccfd_oAs mentioned above, braces help people get the smile they desire. However, the process is not necessarily a beautiful journey and several patients invariably want to get through the procedure as quickly as possible.

While not much can be done medically to expedite the affair, there are certain tips to cut-short the process.

A proper and clean mouth allows teeth to reach its destination positioning quickly. Solid foods must be avoided and cut into small and chewable pieces so that there’s no pressure applied on the teeth when trying to bite through harder and bigger food substances.

And, now that we are talking about masticating, one must ensure it is restricted only to edible items. Chewing straws and pens is not a wise idea. Indulging in such acts may cause the brackets to break or fall off the teeth. The damages incurred would only elongate the brace period.

Nail-biting or fiddling with elastic items may also prolong the brace period. As far as food items that need to be avoided, the list includes chips, nuts, popcorn, bubblegum, caramels, toffee, cookies, ice cubes, etc. Munching ice cubes is both detrimental to the brace and the health of the teeth.

The bands must be worn as per the orthodontist’s instructions. If one deviates from the norm or doesn’t wear them entirely, it may take longer to attain proper alignment.

This is easier said than done and restricting the palette can be tough for anyone who’s a craver for a variety of dishes or food items. The waiting has to be patient and can be difficult, but will be worth the ordeal in the end.

One mustn’t miss the scheduled orthodontic appointments. Skipping these sessions may push back wire-tightening and bracket-replacing procedures, lengthening the time period one has the braces on.

Do Invisalign braces work?

If marketing reports have to be believed, Invisalign is one of the most successfully promoted dental appliances. Invisalign is a clear (completely transparent), replaceable orthodontic

aligner placed above the teeth to achieve the straightening effect.

9442455279_0a879bf390_zGenerally, the patient puts a set 20 hours a day for a period of 14 days. These can be removed during meals, and the number of sets a patient puts on depends on the case’s severity and objective.

As far as the tool’s efficacy is concerned, it does the job. While specific treatment cases may not find Invisalign appropriate or ideal, the millions of dollars invested in the product’s research and development certainly hasn’t gone broke.

However, the result may vary and is greatly correlated with the doctor’s skill and familiarity with the appliance. Basically a piece of plastic, the aligner sequence, attachment placements, and elastic usage is in the doctor’s hands. The plan is highly customized and needs proper diagnosis and planning for the treatment.

Ordering the ideal set of aligners is just the beginning. Sans adequate experience and training, the treatment’s end results may be hard to assume right. If one’s under the watchful eye of a specialist, such as an orthodontist, the several issues would be out of the window.

How do braces work for adults?

Braces work quite well for adults, too. Metal or traditional braces would be perfect for adults with crooked teeth and who want things done speedily.

Clear braces do just fine too, but the adhesive holding the bracket may stain from smoking and dark drinks, and could be costlier than metal braces.

Most adults who don’t want to publicize their orthodontic treatment go for the clear brace route.

Invisalign can also be a viable option for adults. However, there are certain limitations. For instance, Invisalign may not address the vertical positioning of the teeth. It may also not work well on teeth that are severely rotated; correcting bite issues or fixing overly crowded teeth are also not feasible.

To get a clear understanding of how braces work for grownups, one can check out any ‘how do braces work video’ online, which explain the fundamentals in a much clearer way.

Want to know how braces work exactly? Simply watch the video above in order to find out.