How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Traditional silver braces

It almost seems like magic. You get braces on your teeth and after some appointments and a bit of time, poof! You have perfect teeth! Well, the fact of the matter is, your orthodontist has spent a lot of time planning out how to move your teeth into the right positions and devising the perfect course of treatment for you. There’s science behind the way braces work, and everyone is unique with their own unique needs. That’s why each patient has a plan of action for their braces treatment. But how do braces move teeth exactly?

How Teeth Move

To understand how braces work, you need to first understand how teeth move. Teeth are connected to the bone by tiny ligaments that allow for slight movement in the teeth. Acting as small shock absorbers, these ligaments allow for when you accidentally bite down too hard by sending a signal to your brain. As pressure is applied by your braces to a tooth, the body will aid that tooth in repositioning in the bone. This process is what allows your teeth to relocate into the desired positions.

How Braces Work

In order to place enough pressure on the teeth to make them move, brackets are placed on the teeth and are attached by wires. At first, the wires very light, but will gradually get heavier as time goes on, coaxing the teeth to move away from the pressure and into the desired places. The key to effectively move teeth is continuous, gradual pressure. Not only will this help the teeth move to their proper places in the mouth, the continuous pressure will allow them to do so at a faster rate. This is where listening to your orthodontist is crucial. Don’t skip appointments and be sure to listen to instructions. Failing to do so can halt your progress.

What to Expect with Braces

As you become more familiar with having braces, you will learn that you have new responsibilities. You may experience slight discomfort when you first get your braces on and also when you get them adjusted. This is to be expected as the pressure your braces are applying to your teeth are literally guiding your teeth to new positions in your mouth. The discomfort can be alleviated by over-the-counter pain relievers, rest and soft foods. There are also new rules to follow to ensure you’re getting the most out of your treatment. These include a few food restrictions, so as to not damage your braces. Foods to avoid include:

  • Hard candy
  • Chewy foods
  • Popcorn and nuts
  • Tough meats
  • Ice
  • Gum

In addition to watching what you eat, it’s critical to pay attention to your oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as making sure to brush after meals is recommended, so plaque doesn’t build up on your teeth.

The Magic of Braces

Braces are incredible! You can achieve a breathtaking smile with just a little time and effort, and knowing more about how braces move teeth can help you in the process. Remember, listen to your orthodontist, don’t skip appointments and be patient. All of your hard work is about to pay off, and you’ll be on your way to a spectacular smile.

For more information about treatment options, contact the friendly experts at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists by calling (843) 4-BRACES or visiting www.charlestonorthodonticspecialists.comto learn more.