Q:

How do braces work?

A:

Quick Answer

According to WebMD, braces work by applying steady pressure to the teeth. The pressure causes the teeth to move, and the supporting bones change shape to support the teeth in their new positions.

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Full Answer

WebMD states that braces consists of brackets and arch wires. The brackets are small squares attached directly to the front or back of each tooth or to a band that wraps around a tooth. The brackets hold and guide the arch wires that apply pressure to the teeth. The wires fasten to each bracket with either fine wire or rubber rings known as ties or small elastic bands called ligatures. The end of the wire is secured in the back with a buccal tube cemented to a band on the rear molar.

Orthodontists use additional parts as necessary depending on the specific adjustments made to a patient's teeth. Spacers hold teeth apart and also add room for bands, notes WebMD. Springs are added if necessary to increase pressure on particular teeth. Hooks provide a place to attach rubber bands that apply direct pressure between the upper and lower teeth. This helps achieve a perfect bite. Headgear tubes are added for attaching special headgear if necessary to move the upper molars farther back in the mouth to provide more room and improve alignment.

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