How Do Braces Work?

How Do Braces Work?

Team Braces

Most people want a perfectly straight smile, yet very few have one without the help of orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces are one of the most common methods used for achieving these results. 

But how do braces work? What makes them so effective?  

What are Braces? 

Braces are a type of orthodontic treatment that work to address many different issues with the teeth, including: 

  • Overcrowding
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites
  • Misaligned jaw

While there are various different types of braces that can be used, traditional braces include 2 major components: metal brackets and an archwire. Square metal brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth and the metal archwire is held in place by each bracket. Sometimes elastics may be used for added pressure, especially when handling bite adjustments. 

Each part works together to correct the orthodontic issues above - and more. 

How Do Braces Work? 

Simply put, braces work by applying pressure to the teeth. Because they are bonded to each tooth, they are constantly working to encourage them, as well as the jaws to move in the desired direction. 

The archwire itself gently puts pressure on the brackets and, ultimately, on the teeth. This pressure reaches the soft tissues around the tooth that contain ligaments holding the tooth in place. As they are pressured to the right or left, the ligament will compress and bone will fill in the gap. 

The orthodontic team will tighten this archwire routinely throughout the course of treatment to encourage this movement to take place. 

Unless there is a minor specific issue that needs to be corrected, most orthodontic treatment involving braces is usually done in phases. First, the orthodontist will adjust the braces so that they move the teeth into alignment. And, once they are where they need to be, bite issues will be tackled. This is then followed up by any other minor issues that require orthodontic treatment in order to leave the patient with a beautiful smile. 

Keep in mind that all of this takes time and you may not see results right away. After all, moving teeth is a big deal - and it needs to be done slowly in order to achieve the right outcome. 

How Long is Braces Treatment Time? 

Treatment time will vary from person to person. For some patients who only have minor orthodontic issues that need to be addressed, braces treatment can be completed as quickly as six months. On the other hand, those requiring more complex, in-depth treatment - especially when the jaw is involved - may need to wear their braces for up to three years. 

Braces treatment is personalized for each patient. If you are wondering how long you will be wearing braces, your orthodontist will be able to give you an estimated timeframe based on your personal orthodontic treatment needs. 

Braces at Andover Orthodontics

If you would like to learn more about how braces can transform your smile, then Dr. Broccoli and the team at Andover Orthodontics can help. We offer a unique orthodontic experience and a wide array of orthodontic options, including traditional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign. 

To get started, request an orthodontic appointment online. Or, contact us at 978-475-0450.