How do braces work?
Braces use gentle, constant pressure to move teeth into their proper positions gradually over time. Since they are attached to the teeth, braces work around the clock, even during sleep. Although there are many “parts” to braces, the two most important parts are the brackets that are attached to each tooth and the archwire that connects them.
The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that is affixed to each tooth. It serves as the “handle” that allows us to grab onto and control the movement of the individual tooth. A band is a bracket for a molar or back tooth; it fits around the entire tooth.
The archwire is a special U-shaped metallic alloy that threads through the brackets. As the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. During appointments, the archwire is usually adjusted to help guide the movement of your teeth.
Since teeth are actually moved through bone, this movement does not occur overnight. Depending on the type of adjustments made, teeth usually move between 1-2 millimeters each month. Dr. Kuperstein uses the latest and most modern orthodontic technologies to ensure that her patients receive the most gentle, comfortable, and efficient treatment.
During certain phases of treatment, patients may be asked to wear elastics. These small rubber bands attach to hooks on certain teeth and exert a force that creates just the right amount of pressure to move teeth in specific ways. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn as directed and changed several times a day.