How Braces Work

Happy teen with  braces

Braces are taken for granted as a rite of passage. They still fix smiles and correct orthodontic issues at the same old rate. But the process is much more inclusive since the advent of self-ligating braces and superior materials. The actual process of braces is fascinating science, but is still not really thought about by most people, with or without braces.

Teeth straightening is really about bone remodeling. This is the biomechanical phenomenon that strengthens bone when a weight is introduced, and weakens bone when that weight is taken away. The right mix between the two, of adding weight and taking it away, stimulates bone density and provides movement, in this case of teeth into better position.

How is this formula achieved? Our braces dentist in Northridge, who completed three extra years of training to become an orthodontist, installs your braces in just the right way. She puts a bracket, not always made of metal anymore, on each tooth. Archwire connects the brackets to each other. Ligature elastics, or O-rings, ensure the brackets stay on the archwire (self-ligating braces do not need O-rings, hence their name.)

Most of the work falls on the archwire, which is naturally bent on staying straight and also reacts favorably to temperature conditions in the mouth, which make it even stiffer.

Straightening occurs over 10 months, which is about the time it takes for bone remodeling to complete its back-and-forth weight distribution, and the results to be finalized.

For more about braces science, contact your Northridge dentists.


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