In our selfie and Instagram culture, everyone wants a beautiful, straight smile. That’s one reason why orthodontics has become increasingly popular among teens and adults alike over the past decade. Traditional metal, ceramic, invisible, and lingual braces are all great options for those who desire a major smile upgrade. But have you ever wondered how they work? Our esteemed orthodontist, Dr. David Markham explains exactly how braces move your teeth.
If you or your teenager needs braces, there’s no reason to wait. We offer treatments to fit every lifestyle. Contact our friendly team at Markham Orthodontics today at 916-924-8970 to schedule a consultation.
How Braces Move Teeth
The teeth are not fixed. They can be shifted over time because they are suspended inside the bone, not attached. The boney structures are surrounded by periodontal ligaments that compress and stretch when pressure from the braces is applied. New bone forms in the space that has been vacated while the existing bone is reabsorbed to make room for tooth movements.
Many people wonder if this process damages the teeth and surrounding structures. Actually, it helps strengthen your teeth. Just as lifting weights makes muscles stronger, your teeth and jawbone grow stronger when they work against the pressure that is being applied to them.
Components of Braces
Braces consist of several components. Depending on your situation, other parts may be necessary, but the basics include:
These are the tiny metal or ceramic links that are bonded to each tooth with a strong adhesive.
This long piece of wire stretches from one side of the mouth to another. The metal wire encourages correct alignment by pulling your teeth together.
These colorful or clear elastic bands connect the archwire to the bracket. They are responsible for most of your tooth movement and often need to be switched out every time you visit your orthodontist.
Also known as orthodontic separators, these are made of either rubber bands or metal and are about a centimeter in diameter. Spacers work to push molars apart to create more room in the mouth. You could need up to eight spacers if you have extremely crowded teeth.
Not everyone needs molar bands, which are also known as orthodontic bands. These bands are custom-made for each patient to correct overbites, underbites, and extreme misalignment. Once created, they are placed and cemented onto your back teeth and then anchored to the archwire.
Benefits of Braces
Straight teeth don’t just make your smile more attractive — they improve your oral health. Crowded, misaligned teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and bone erosion.
Braces can also correct embarrassing or frustrating speech patterns. By altering the position of your teeth, your speech will become sharper, and your ability to pronounce certain words will become more distinct. Closing a gap in your teeth can also improve impediments such as a whistle or lisp.
Your digestion could also be impacted by a straighter smile. Correctly aligned teeth break down food much more effectively, allowing your stomach to easily digest and process food.
Schedule Your Orthodontic Consultation Today
At Markham Orthodontics, we love helping our patients feel more confident in their own skin. Braces are just one of the many orthodontic services that allow us to do that. If you’re ready for a smile transformation, contact our Sacramento, CA office today at 916-924-8970.