How do Braces work?

Since ancient times people have designed ways to move teeth and improve their smile. Primitive forms of, what we now call “braces”, have been found on skulls of ancient mummies. Even Hippocrates and Aristotle in 400-500 BC both pondered about ways to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions. Straight teeth have been on our minds a very long time!

The technology used today is obviously far more advanced than what the pioneers used to straighten teeth and it keeps evolving daily. However, the basic principle remains the same: prolonged, gentle force applied to a tooth over time. There are three main factors that come to play when straightening teeth: The brackets or braces, the wires, and of course the orthodontist.

Brackets are what are physically “glued” to the teeth and the way through which orthodontists control each tooth. Consider it like a handle on an object. It is through that handle that one can grab the object and lift, pull, push, or move it in any desired direction. Each bracket is specifically programmed to move the tooth it is attached to, to a specific location. By placing the bracket in an ideal, pre-defined position the orthodontist is able to position each tooth in the mouth to what an ideal smile should be.

The second factor involved in moving teeth is the wire that is attached to the braces. These wires are also programmed to align the teeth to an ideal arch that is flat and round. It is the memory in the wires that will gradually align the teeth and produce that straight, perfect smile.

The final component in the equation and, obviously the most important one, is the orthodontist itself. Brackets and wires are just tools for the orthodontist to perform his art. It is the knowledge and craft of the orthodontist that brings life to the brackets and wires and without this proper knowledge they could actually cause harm. Each orthodontist is different and each will add his personal touch to the smile that is being created.

Therefore we can see that the field of orthodontics is both an art and science and with the proper technology in hand the right orthodontist can create an absolute work of art that is your smile!

For any further questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation please contact Dr. Salmassian today at 661-222-7444.

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