The Mechanics Of Aligning Teeth
We all want a perfect smile with teeth that are properly aligned, but for many people, this is not always something that happens naturally. Some people make it through their childhood and early adulthood without any problems, but most will look for ways to straighten their teeth and improve their smiles. At Holmes & Palmer Orthodontics, we offer different options for braces so that you can get that perfect smile and choose the treatment option that works best for you.
When braces apply pressure to our teeth, they don’t simply just move. There’s an intense cellular process happening in our jaws in response to that pressure. In front of the tooth, specialized cells called osteoclasts to break down bone cells that are in the way, while osteoblasts build new bone cells behind the tooth to keep it fitting snugly in its socket. The bone is actually reshaping itself!
This is a major reason why it’s so important to go to an orthodontist for dental crowding, crookedness, or bad bites. It takes all those years of education and training we receive to be able to understand the best ways to encourage teeth to shift to their proper position. Someone with less experience might attempt an approach that doesn’t produce the best results or puts the teeth at risk.
Options For Braces
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional wires and brackets are what everyone pictures when they think of braces, and there’s a reason we still use them: they are effective! Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are bonded to each tooth and connected with thin metal wires called the archwire. Archwires come in different sizes and stiffness levels depending on how we want the patient’s teeth to move between appointments, and they are held in place by elastic ligatures that come in a wide range of colors.
Ceramic braces offer low-profile treatment but are just as effective as traditional metal braces at moving teeth into position. What distinguishes them from metal braces is that the brackets are made of ceramic material that blends in with your natural smile. Ceramic braces may be a preferable option for patients who don’t want their treatment to be so visible and are looking to maintain a more professional appearance during treatment.
No Matter What Your Treatment Is, Retention Matters
The process of achieving a straighter smile takes time, and our teeth still remember their old position after the braces come off. This is why it’s so important to wear your retainers! They help the teeth and jaws get used to the new position, and they also prevent separate shifting that happens to most people’s teeth as they get older.