Most people are familiar with braces, but they may not know how they work. Think of it this way: Just as a doctor uses medication to treat a patient, an orthodontist uses carefully planned, light forces. Braces are integrated systems that use gentle force to guide teeth into alignment. Here’s what they are comprised of:
*Archwires- Thin wires that guide the teeth into the desired positions – think of them as the “track”.
*Bands- Metal rings that secure the braces to the back teeth.
*Brackets- Small squares that secure the archwires to the teeth, providing a “foothold” for each tooth.
*Ligature Ties- Tiny rubber rings or fine wires that secure the archwires to the brackets.
*Elastics- Rubber bands that help align the upper and lower teeth with respect to each other – a “turbocharger” for tooth movement!
Stainless steel braces are most common and have become smaller, more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing over time – you can even create your own color palette. But there are other types created to suit individual treatment and aesthetic preferences, too.