The Science Behind Orthodontic Treatments: How Braces Work?

Posted on August 14, 2023

Have you ever wondered how braces actually work to straighten teeth? It may seem like magic, but there is a science behind orthodontic treatments that is fascinating to learn about.

Orthodontic treatments have been around for centuries, with evidence of ancient civilizations using crude devices to straighten teeth. But it wasn’t until the 18th century that the first braces were developed, and they have continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, utilize the principles of physics and biology to gradually shift teeth into their desired position. From the materials used in the braces to the forces applied, there is a precise science behind the process that makes it all possible.

In this post, we will explore the science behind orthodontic treatments and how braces work to give you a beautiful, healthy smile.

The Science Behind Braces

Close-up of a woman's white teeth with braces and smile.Orthodontic treatment, commonly known as braces, is the science behind straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignments. Braces exert gentle, constant pressure on the teeth to move them into the desired position over time.

An orthodontist will carefully craft a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s unique needs, taking into account factors such as the severity of misalignment and the patient’s age.

Braces not only improve the appearance of the smile but can also correct functional issues such as overbite or underbite, improve oral hygiene, and prevent future dental problems.

The science behind braces has come a long way over the years, with modern technology allowing for efficient and comfortable treatments that deliver exceptional results.

Common Orthodontic Issues and Their Impact on Oral Health

Orthodontic issues are common dental problems that affect people of all ages. From crooked teeth to overbites and underbites, these conditions can have a significant impact on oral health, making it essential to seek appropriate treatment.

Here are some of the most common orthodontic issues and their effects on oral health.

  • Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth are one of the most noticeable orthodontic issues. Apart from their aesthetic concerns, crooked teeth can also cause a range of oral health problems such as difficulty cleaning that makes it easier for plaque and tartar to accumulate, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

When left untreated, the misalignment of teeth can cause jaw pain and headaches, along with leading to digestive problems.

  • Overbite

An overbite is a condition that exists when the upper front teeth overlap with the lower front teeth excessively.

This condition can cause problems while biting and chewing, leading to speech problems in some cases. In extreme cases, it can even lead to gum irritation, jaw problems, and TMJ disorder.

  • Underbite

An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, where the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw. This issue can be caused by genetic factors, trauma, or some other reason. Underbites can cause difficulties while speaking, and chewing, and can lead to early tooth wear.

  • Gaps Between Teeth

Gaps between teeth occur when the jaw doesn’t have sufficient space for all the teeth in the mouth or when teeth are missing.

These gaps can cause a range of issues such as difficulty chewing and problems with dental hygiene. Food particles can get stuck in the gaps and lead to tooth decay, tartar buildup, and gum disease.

  • Crowding

Crowding occurs due to insufficient space in the jaw for all the teeth. It is characterized by overlapping or tightly packed teeth. Crowding can cause a variety of dental issues, including biting and chewing problems, difficulty cleaning between teeth, and gum disease.

Understanding Malocclusion

Malocclusion is a dental condition characterized by misalignment or incorrect positioning of the teeth, causing the upper and lower teeth to not fit together correctly. This can result in various dental problems such as difficulty biting and chewing, speech impediments, gum disease, and even teeth grinding and jaw pain.

Understanding malocclusion is important in identifying the condition early and seeking appropriate treatment, which may include braces, retainers, or in severe cases, surgery.

A dentist or orthodontist can evaluate and diagnose malocclusion and provide personalized treatment options to improve dental health and overall well-being.

Components of Braces

Orthodontic braces have been a common solution for correcting misaligned and crooked teeth for decades. They are made up of different components that work together to provide support and promote the proper alignment of teeth.

In this section, we’ll be discussing the components of braces and their functions in straightening teeth.

  • Model of human jaw with wire braces attached. Dental and orthodontic office and lab presentation tool, dental care and orthodontics concept.Brackets

Brackets are small square-shaped metal pieces that are attached to each tooth using dental adhesive. They serve as anchors for the wires that run through them and apply force to move teeth into their correct positions.

Brackets can be made of stainless steel, ceramic, or other materials, depending on the patient’s needs.

  • Wires

The wires used in braces are called archwires. They are made of special nickel-titanium alloy or stainless steel, which allows them to apply consistent force to teeth over time.

Archwires run through the brackets and apply pressure that moves teeth into their correct positions. As treatment progresses, the wires are adjusted to increase the force applied to the teeth.

  • Ligatures

Ligatures are small elastic bands that are used to hold the archwires in place against the brackets. These bands are replaced during each adjustment appointment and are available in a variety of colors.

  • Springs

Springs are used in braces to apply additional force to specific teeth when necessary. They can be attached to the archwire or placed between brackets and teeth.

  • Bands

Bands are metal rings that are placed around the molars to provide additional support for the braces. They are attached to the brackets using dental cement and can also be used to anchor external appliances, such as headgear.

  • Hooks

Hooks are small attachments on some brackets that are used to anchor rubber bands that help to close gaps between teeth or improve alignment.

Braces are an effective way to correct a range of dental issues by applying constant pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.

The components of braces work together to apply that pressure, from the brackets that anchor the wires to the ligatures that hold everything in place.

If you are considering braces for yourself or a family member, understanding how they work can help you feel more comfortable with the process.

Duration of Orthodontic Treatment

The duration of orthodontic treatment can vary from patient to patient, depending on the severity of their dental issues and the treatment option chosen.

Generally, traditional metal braces can take from 18 months to 3 years to achieve the desired results, while other treatments like Invisalign or clear aligners can take less time.

The Transformative Impact of Braces on Dental Health and Aesthetics

Braces have been used for decades to improve dental health and aesthetics. This treatment involves the use of wires and brackets attached to the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position.

Braces can correct a variety of dental problems, including crooked, misaligned, or overcrowded teeth, as well as bite issues.

Not only do braces improve the appearance of the smile, but they also play a significant role in overall dental health by reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw problems.

The transformative impact of braces on dental health and aesthetics can be seen in the improved confidence and quality of life of many patients.

Experience the transformative impact of braces on your dental health and aesthetics with the support of OrthoSynetics. Contact OrthoSynetics today to discover how we can empower your orthodontic practice and enhance patient outcomes.