How Do Braces Work?

added on: January 2, 2020

Braces aren’t the only orthodontic option on the market but they are arguably the most common. As clear aligner companies like Invisalign and Smile Direct Club become more popular, the need for braces becomes even more apparent. Although clear aligners can do amazing things, traditional braces can fix (almost) any misalignment problem — big or small.

We recommend braces over clear aligners for people who:

  • Have tightly packed teeth
  • Exhibit large gaps (bigger than 6mm per arch) between teeth
  • Have severe tooth rotation
  • Have had a lot of dental work done in the past
  • Exhibit a midline discrepancy of over 2mm
  • Don’t want to worry about constantly putting in and taking out clear aligners

Braces work a bit differently than clear aligners, which is why they’re, in certain cases, more efficient. If braces could be summed up in one word, it would be pressure. Braces work by using pressure over a long period of time to align the teeth. Because they’re made of strong, durable metal, they’re able to apply that pressure exactly, pushing some teeth that way and some teeth this way.

Parts of braces

The different parts of orthodontic braces include:

  • Brackets: When you go in for your braces delivery, your orthodontist or dentist will place the brackets first. Brackets are small squares that your dentist bonds directly to the tooth using dental bonding and a curing light. The brackets hold the archwires (which are the pieces that actually move the teeth) in place so they’re pretty important. In many cases, your dentist may place an orthodontic band first and then bond the bracket to the band. It all depends on your unique case.
  • Arch Wires: Braces depend on archwires to do the heavy lifting. They attach to the brackets and help guide the teeth into the desired position. They’re typically made out of metal though they can be tooth-colored.
  • Ligatures and Ties: These assist in the process of attaching the archwires to the brackets. They have to be strong in order to endure the pressure needed to move the teeth.
  • Rubber Bands: Small elastic bands may be placed between the upper and lowers arches. They use pressure to create a good “fit” between individual teeth on each arch.

Have more questions?

If you have additional questions about the different types of braces, come into our office for a free orthodontic consultation.

Posted In: Orthodontics