Braces offer reliable tooth straightening for improved appearance, oral health, and comfort. To produce their effects, braces rely on the interaction between constant pressure and adaptable oral tissues. Here is an overview of this process.
Before the teeth can be straightened, their irregularities must be assessed and the resulting information must be used to design a customized plan. For patients who choose braces with brackets, the brackets are bonded to the teeth and threaded with wires, which are held in place by elastic bands. Patients who choose Invisalign get aligners, which are clear plastic trays worn over the teeth.
While aligners may seem different from the combination of brackets and wires, they work using similar principles. Both treatments move the teeth to their correct positions slowly by applying pressure on the ligaments and bone tissue that hold the teeth in place. Every few weeks from the start of treatment to the end, the wires are tightened or the aligners are replaced so that the teeth continue to move towards their ideal positions gradually.
The teeth start moving within days of starting orthodontic treatment. However, long-term changes take a few months to start arriving as the bone begins to remodel around the new tooth positions. After movement is complete, patients wear retainers for a specified period so that their changes are permanent.
This basic process is similar among patients of all ages and with different treatment needs. At a consultation with our braces dentist, you can find out what your own orthodontic treatment will involve.