- Category: Orthodontic
How do Dental Braces Work?
Orthodontic treatment is comprised of a combination of the following major dental gadgets, each designed for a specific purpose to ensure you are on your way to your ideal smile:
Brackets: Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning orthodontics, dental brackets are small metal or ceramic attachments that are fastened to the teeth and used to hold the arch wire in place. The brackets are bonded directly to the teeth with no damage to the enamel and are available in a variety of types to service a wide array of cases.
Dental Bond: The adhesive resin or ‘glue’ used to secure the brackets in place on the teeth.
Arch Wire: The thin metal wire that is secured to the brackets applying pressure to the teeth. The wire is created in the form of an ideal arch. When attached to the brackets, it is forced to take the shape of the patient’s arch. The wire is created in such a way that it constantly wants to return to its original ideal arch and is able to do so with the help of a patient’s body heat. Once inside the mouth, the wire will constantly exert pressure on the teeth slowly moving them into the ideal position.
Ligature Elastics: Sometimes referred to as an ‘o-ring,’ orthodontic elastics are small rubber bands that are used to hold the arch wire to the bracket. They are usually changed with every adjustment appointment and come in an assortment of colors.
Note: There are orthodontic brackets which are self-litigating that do not require the use of elastic ligatures.
Rubber Bands: Elastic attachments that are used move the teeth. These orthodontic elastics latch onto hooks that are strategically located on the brackets. The strength in the elastics allows the teeth to move and straighten more quickly, effectively decreasing the duration of orthodontic treatment. The rubber band is hooked onto one upper bracket and one corresponding lower bracket in order to move the teeth as needed. The rubber band will be placed either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally from one bracket to another, a method greatly effective in correcting problematic bites.