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How Do Braces Work?


A girl smiling with braces in Sherwood, OR.You already know that braces are used to straighten your teeth. Straighter teeth provide you with a gorgeous smile and a healthier mouth. Have you ever really thought about how braces work to achieve these goals? At Senestraro Family Orthodontics we can help you to understand just how they work and provide you with the treatment you need to fix your alignment issues.

The Parts Used


There are a few different pieces that makeup braces. The first piece is the brackets. These are small pieces that are typically made from metal that have small hooks on them. Today, there are also ceramic brackets, which provide greater aesthetics during your treatment. The brackets are secured to your teeth using a dental glue. This glue holds the brackets on your teeth for the duration of your treatment.

The next pieces are the wire or archwire. The wire runs through the hooks of your braces, spanning your whole arch. The wires are available in different thicknesses, and we can adjust them as needed to help shift your teeth to where they should be.

Finally, there are the elastic O-rings, or bands, that are also called ligatures. These are the pieces that attach the wire securely to the brackets. With traditional metal braces, the ligatures are available in numerous colors, which can allow patients to express their personalities if they so choose.

Extra Pieces for Additional Help


Some patients need additional help to improve their tooth and jaw alignment. There are a few extra parts that may be provided, but not all patients will need them. These components include rubber bands, which attach upper brackets and lower brackets together to help adjust a bite issue such as an overbite. Springs or headgear may also be recommended.

How Braces Shift Your Teeth


The archwires work to exert pressure on your teeth. Based on your impressions, we can determine how the wire needs to be bent or shaped to move your teeth in the correct directions. Moving your teeth is also called remodeling. For this process to occur, constant and gentle pressure is required. The side of your jawbone where your teeth are being pushed into receives positive pressure. As the bone is being pushed against, osteoclasts are created, and the bone begins to break down and resorb.

The side where the tooth is being pushed away from receives negative pressure. As the tooth shifts away from the bone, osteoblasts are created. These cells help to generate new bone growth. While bone resorption happens quickly, bone growth occurs more slowly. Once the pressure is gone, your teeth can adjust to being in their new positions. After your braces are removed, you will be given a retainer. The retainer does not put any pressure on your teeth, but it does help your teeth to stay in their new positions. This way, they will not be able to shift back out of alignment. You can maintain the results of your treatment and your new smile.

For more information on how braces can help you to achieve a much-improved smile and better oral health, call Senestraro Family Orthodontics at (503) 925-3335 today.
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