It almost seems like magic! You come in for an orthodontist appointment every 6-8 weeks, Dr. Miller makes adjustments to your brackets and wires, then poof! you have a straight smile! How in the world do braces work?
Here are some different components of braces that you might already be familiar with:
Bracket: a small metal, plastic or ceramic attachment glued to the tooth that hold the wire secure.
Archwire: The main wire track that connects all the brackets and guides the redirection of tooth movement.
Elastics: Tight rubber bands that connect between different parts of the braces between the upper and lower jaw.
Molar Band: A thin metal ring around the back teeth.
Power Chain: Length of elastic bands that joins several teeth to pull together.
O Ring: Tiny elastic band (clear or colored) that hold the archwire into the slot of the bracket.
The two main components of braces are brackets, which are bonded directly to the tooth, and archwires that connect the brackets. Contrary to what most people think; it is the archwire that actually moves the teeth. The brackets serve only as handles to hold the wire in place. The arch wire generates a steady gentle pressure to move the teeth into their proper position.
As the tooth moves, the bone gives way on one side and fills in on the other. Elastics are used to make the upper and lower teeth bite together properly.