How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Have you ever wondered how these small but mighty braces work magic to straighten teeth and correct bites? You’re in the right place; the Beam Orthodontics team is always happy to answer the question, “How do braces straighten teeth?” Keep reading to explore the mechanics of braces, the incredible process of bone remodeling, and the types of bite issues we can tackle!

The Mechanics of a Great Smile: How Different Braces Get the Job Done

Orthodontic treatments are all about applying just the right amount of pressure in just the right direction. Let’s break down how different types of braces tackle this task:

Traditional metal braces

The classic route to a straighter smile involves metal brackets, wires, ligatures (colorful bands), and sometimes other accessories. The durable brackets are glued to the teeth using a special orthodontic adhesive, and the ligatures hold the archwires in place. Regular adjustments to the wire by Dr. Paxon keep the teeth moving. 

When most people think of braces, metal braces are what they picture. These braces have been around a looooooooooooooong time, but don’t get fooled by their birthday. They’ve gotten plenty of work done over the years, making them more comfortable, less noticeable, and more effective than ever.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces offer the same straightening method as metal braces, except with less shiny silver. The brackets and ligatures of ceramic braces are made from materials that mimic the color of your teeth, creating the illusion of transparency for a more subtle appearance. This subtlety is how ceramic braces got their nickname—clear braces! They are perfect for those who prefer their braces to blend in rather than stand out. Clear braces are much stronger than the word “ceramic” implies, so you don’t need to worry about them during treatment!

Clear aligners

Spark and Invisalign clear aligners are the modern, invisible way to straighten teeth. These clear plastic trays are custom-made for comfort, a snug fit over your teeth, and precise teeth movement. The best part is that they’re removable, so you can eat, brush, and floss with zero fuss. Ideal for adults and teens alike, clear aligners offer a discreet path to a gorgeous smile. 

Without wires to adjust, patients with clear aligners have a little extra responsibility to help their treatment succeed. They’re given a series of trays, each slightly different than the last, and a schedule for how long to wear each one and in what order. They must follow Dr. Paxon’s instructions closely to ensure a pleasant experience and gorgeous results.

Though their design differs from fixed braces, they work just about the same—by applying gentle, continuous pressure to teeth to encourage movement.

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Understanding the Magic: Bone Remodeling Explained

When braces or aligners apply pressure to your teeth, it doesn’t just push the teeth through the gums. Instead, this pressure signals the bone cells around your teeth to spring into action. On the side of the tooth where the pressure is applied, the bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts. Meanwhile, on the opposite side, where the pressure is relieved, new bone is formed by cells known as osteoblasts. This push-and-pull effect allows your teeth to move gradually into their new positions while the bone reforms around them to provide support in their new locations.

Bone remodeling is a slow and steady process that requires patience and time. It’s the reason orthodontic treatments can’t—and shouldn’t—be rushed. Each adjustment to your braces or transition to a new aligner tray is a carefully calculated step in this biological dance, guaranteeing that your teeth not only reach their ideal positions but stay there, supported by newly formed bone.

Why Are Braces So Important?

Braces aren’t just about achieving a picture-perfect smile; they’re crucial for correcting bite issues, known as malocclusions, that can affect how you chew, speak, and even how your smile looks. From the subtle to the severe, here are the types of bites that braces can help fix:

  • Overbite: When the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth significantly, it’s called an overbite. 
  • Underbite: Opposite of an overbite, an underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth. 
  • Crossbite: This happens when some upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. 
  • Open Bite: An open bite is when there’s a noticeable gap between the upper and lower teeth while biting down.
  • Crowding or Spacing: When teeth have too little or too much space between them, it’s called crowding or gaps/spacing, respectively.

Braces and clear aligners, sometimes with the help of other orthodontic gear, can fix these misalignments and more! Isn’t that incredible? We certainly think so at Beam Orthodontics!

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Which Type of Braces Can Straighten Your Teeth? Find Out At Beam Orthodontics!

Ready to have a smile that looks great and feels right, too? Whether it’s to correct a bite issue or straighten your teeth, the team at Beam Orthodontics is here to guide you every step of the way. Don’t let another day pass with a wish for a better smile. Schedule your free in-person or virtual consultation with Dr. Paxon in Penticton or West Kelowna today to make that dream smile a reality. Your journey to confidence starts here!