How Do Dental Braces Work?

Modern orthodontics use dental braces to cure several conditions in patients. Dental braces are devices used by orthodontists to align teeth and help in correcting the position for the right bite and dental health and of course for perfect dental smile. It might not seem apparent, but human teeth have a plethora of functions which depend on the correct positioning of the teeth. Any deviations or dislocation from the ideal condition can lead to a large number of problems. Braces help in correcting underbites and overbites. Apart from correcting malocclusions, they are also used in conditions concerning deep bites, crossbites, crooked teeth and several other alignment related problems. There are two types of braces. First is the cosmetic one, where the stress is basically to make the teeth look more beautiful. The second one is the structural brace where the braces are used to realign the teeth into desired position.

Dental braces have been found to be in use for centuries. Even before the birth of Christ, people used metal bands that were similar in structure and function, as per archaeological findings. Historical figures like Cleopatra were known to use devices similar to dental braces. However, technology and materials used in those days are totally different from what is being used now. But the basic purpose remains the same. The modern usage of dental braces in orthodontics became prominent in the 18th and 19th centuries after Pierre Fauchard published his research on dental sciences in 1728.

The process of applying braces is to move the teeth to its intended place by using force or pressure. This is done by the correct use of brackets, archwires, bonding material and such. Archwire is the key to applying pressure. The braces put constant pressure on the teeth which over time helps to move the teeth in its desired position. While the tooth moves, it gets a little loose from the gum and the jaw bone has to grow in order to maintain a snug fit. This whole process is referred to as bone remodeling. The bones get stronger and have higher load bearing capacity as a result.

Once the patient is identified with some orthodontic problem, the dentist uses x rays to correctly decide whether braces are necessary. In case they are, the dentist will get the impression of the teeth in molds. These molds are then analysed to understand the perfect remodeling process. Once it has been decided, the dentist then fixes the teeth with proper brackets and archwires. The teeth that are to be braced are first applied with dental cement that forms a foundation for the whole structure to be set up. The bracket is then added with the cement and a kind of light is used to harden the cement in order to secure it firmly to the place. The process takes a couple of seconds for each tooth.