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HOW DO BRACES WORK?

“Creating Straighter, Healthier Teeth”

All orthodontic appliances (braces) use the same principle to achieve their aim. By applying light forces to the teeth, they gradually move into the desired position.

Braces are impressive little gadgets. Over time, they move your teeth. But how do they do it? 


Braces have four basic parts (more are shown in this photo):

  • imageBrackets made of metal or ceramic. A bracket is attached to each tooth using a special adhesive (glue).
  • A metal band is placed over the molar teeth. This is not always necessary and in some cases, we can bond a special tube to the tooth to aid movement.
  • An Arch Wire, which is a thin metal wire that runs from bracket to bracket, putting pressure on the teeth and moving them into their new position. These are now available coated in tooth colour for better aesthetics.
  • The Ligature Elastic (also called an "o-ring"). This is a small elastic that ties the arch wire onto the bracket. The ligatures are usually changed at each adjustment visit. Some types of brackets do not need elastic ligatures (they are called "self-ligating"), this can reduce friction significantly and therefore shorten treatment time.

But how do they do it?

The teeth move when the arch wire engages the brackets and pressure is applied to the teeth. Sometimes, springs or rubber bands are used to exert more force in a specific direction. Braces exert constant light forces, which over time, move the teeth into a new position.

A fibrous ligament supports the teeth in the jaw and runs from the root of the tooth to the bony "socket". Throughout the ligament run blood vessels that act to nourish all the living tissues, they also act as a hydraulic "shock absorber" whilst you chew.

By placing a force of sufficient intensity on a tooth, the ligament is squashed. This reduces the blood flow and therefore triggers cells at the surface of the bony socket to begin dissolving the bone to try to restore the natural ligament. On the other side of the root, new bone is deposited to fill the space. By continually applying pressure to a tooth, the ligament space is constantly reduced and bone remodeling continues. In this way, we can move teeth at an optimal rate of up to 1mm per month.

 
     
 

| What is Orthodontics and Orthodontist?
| How braces work
| Orthodontics for Children
| Orthodontics for Adults
| Patient Commitment

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1 a Freshford Street
Wandsworth
SW18 3 TG

Tel/Fax: 0208 944 5545/1515
Email:oneaorthodontics@hotmail.com

General Dental Council:
www.gdc-uk.org

 
     

 

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