Braces are often used to straighten out misaligned teeth. Braces basically act as an orthodontic band, so to say. They exert pressure on the teeth and create friction with the opposing tooth surfaces which then makes them gradually move into their respective correct positions.
However, it’s not just about creating friction; there is another nifty trick that braces employ to keep your teeth in position – cementum cells! This special kind of cell resides along the jawbone and has the ability to produce calcified cartilage (which is similar to bone). So when braces apply continuous pressures on our teeth, this calcified cartilage acts like a glue that sticks your teeth tightly onto your gums which prevents them from moving out of place.
Chemical bonds are also present in the enamel of our teeth. These special bonds along with cementum cells act like glue which sticks your teeth to your gums (which is why it’s important to routinely remove food particles that may get stuck between them).
Braces use this glue-like action of bone, enamel, and cementum cells to gradually move teeth into their correct positions over time by exerting continuous physical pressures on them; however, the muscles within our jaws are much stronger than these 3 elements so they have no chance against them. Hence braces work well because your jaw muscles eventually ‘get tired’ out by using its full strength every single day for years trying to stop the opposing forces applied by braces. So when the muscles get tired, the teeth have a chance of being moved into their correct positions.
The same principle is also used in orthodontic tooth extraction (i.e pulling out teeth by applying continuous forces on them). The only difference here is that our jaw muscles oppose tooth removal too but they gradually get tired and give up, allowing us to pull out teeth with ease.
Thus braces work well because our jaw muscles eventually ‘get tired’ out overtime trying to stop the opposing forces applied by braces resulting in easier movement of teeth and jaws into their correct positions.
How Braces Work to Straighten Your Teeth?
Do you have misaligned or crooked teeth? This might be a very tough condition to live with. Misaligned teeth might lower your self-esteem and confidence since you can not comfortably associate with other members of the society. You will always be limited to keep your mouth shut denying you the opportunity of sharing that broad smile with your colleagues. However, misaligned teeth should not make your life to be miserable since by using braces you can have your teeth aligned to the normal condition.
Normally dentists help to correct teeth misalignment while orthodontists specialize in teeth irregularities correction. However, whenever you visit a dental clinic, the for dental check up the orthodontist or the dentist will examine your teeth, ask you a couple of questions concerning your teeth history and even order a mouth X-ray. After carrying out a complete diagnosis on your teeth, the dentist may recommend the use of a removable retainer or in some rare cases recommend a surgery especially if there is an underbite or overbite condition. Other than the above recommendations, braces have been found to the most effective solution for teeth irregularities.
How do braces work to close gaps
Braces are designed to exert a continuous pressure towards a certain direction over a certain period hence eventually closing the gap between the teeth.As the braces pull the teeth together by applying a continuous pressure, the bone shape changes thus giving you a well-aligned teeth pattern.
Components of braces
Brackets – These are small squares that are attached to the front of the tooth using a specific bonding agent. Brackets usually keep the arch wires that move the teeth by applying pressure intact. Brackets are available in several varieties which include plastic, tooth-colored ceramic and even stainless steel. In most cases, individuals prefer to have brackets cemented at the back of the teeth to prevent them from being visible.
Orthodontic bands- These are either tooth colored, clear or stainless steel components that wrap around every tooth to hold the brackets in position. Many individuals prefer either tooth colored or clear material to stainless material, but they are more expensive than the latter. However, not all inpatients have bands; some individuals have brackets only.
Spacers – These are small separators that are fitted in between the teeth to avoid over-compressing the teeth once the orthodontic band is placed.
Archwires – these act as tracks that give the direction of teeth movement. Arch wires are normally attached to brackets to hold the teeth together and push them to the required direction.
Ties – These are either clear or tooth-colored tiny rubber rings that hold the arch wire and brackets together.
Buccal tube- this is found at the end of the band on the last tooth and helps to hold the arch wire safely in position.
Springs- these are usually places between the brackets on the archwires to pull or push, closing or opening the spaces between the teeth.
How long do braces take to work
The time it takes for braces to correct the teeth irregularities varies from one individual to another. Some of the factors that determine how long you will have to wear braces include problem severity, the health of your teeth and gum, available room for teeth movement, distance that the teeth have to move as well as how well the patient follows instructions. However, on average braces take up to 3 years to correct teeth irregularities. After correction and the braces are removed, you will be required to wear retainers at all time for six moths.
How do braces work for adults?
Did you think that braces are meant for children only? If you thought so, then you are mistaken. Now more than ever many adults are wearing braces to correct the misaligned teeth and restore that beautiful teeth pattern. The use of braces to correct teeth irregularities such as misalignment, overbite or underbite has no much difference in both children and adults. However, in some cases adults may not get fine results like children due to several factors such as over-rotated teeth which are almost in-correctable, mature bone is hard to re-shape thus hindering teeth movement, and adult teeth are also very strong thus making it difficult to move. However, if you have a mild teeth irregularity, then braces can work magic to correct your teeth problems.
Reasons why adults should wear braces
Improve their smile – The society is usually sensitive, and your smile is one of the first things that people notice when you meet. Smiling is one of the best ways of creating a positive impact on individuals around you. However, if you have crooked teeth, you may be afraid to smile thus limiting you from creating a positive impact while socializing.
It is possible to correct teeth irregularities despite the age- Many individuals feel that they are too old to wear braces and even think that their teeth problems are not correctable. However, the fact remains that your teeth can move despite how old you are. Whether your teeth problem is a result of injury, natural growth or a health condition it can be corrected by wearing braces. You may have well-aligned teeth in the past but you now have crooked teeth, or you were wearing braces at your young age but you no longer them, and now you have teeth alignment issue. In all these cases you will need braces to straighten your teeth pattern.
To solve other health issues- Teeth condition such as overbite and underbite do not affect mouth health only. If you have teeth and mouth problems, you may start experiencing unexplained earaches and headaches. Also, an abnormal bite may cause gastrointestinal issues since you are unable to chew your food properly. An improper bite may also make you bite the your cheek or other parts of the mouth from time to time making you suffer from orthodontic issues thus you should correct your teeth alignment as soon as possible.
Action care required after the braces are removed
After removing your braces, you should have your mouth thoroughly cleaned and have your dentist carry out an intensive checkup to ensure that all the teeth problems have been solved. Your dentist should also fix a retainer which should remain in place for about six months so that it can help your teeth to retain their new position.