Dr. Eric Leber
05/10/2017

The Mechanics of Braces

We're often asked how gluing little metal squares on teeth can make them straight. Actually, it can't. That's probably not the answer you were expecting so let me explain the mechanics of braces to you.

The braces are made up of several different parts: The brackets (those little metal squares), the wires and the colorful, little elastic ties. The brackets are bonded to your teeth. Each one has a horizontal slot for the wire. Sometimes we need more anchorage to move the teeth so we'll cement bands, with the brackets welded to them, around your molar teeth.

Once the brackets are attached to your teeth, we slide a wire into each slot and keep it in place with the little elastic ties. We start with a very thin and flexible round wire. The wire is formed into the shape of a 'U' and wants to go back to that shape no matter how crooked it gets when we put it in the bracket slot. While it's reverting to its original shape it brings your teeth along for the ride, moving the roots through the bone. Once we've gotten your teeth relatively straight we move up to a square, but flexible wire. This wire is sized to fill the bracket slot completely and allows for three dimensional movement of the teeth and roots. At this time we also close any spaces between your teeth.

Now that the roots are paralleled in the bone, the crowns of the teeth are straight and spaces between teeth have been eliminated, the real work begins! We swap out your flexible wires for a stiff wire that will hold bends. Dr Eric and Dr Larry start the painstaking process of fitting your bite together and lining each tooth up individually so that you get the most perfect smile possible. Since we all have unique sizes and shapes to our teeth, this part requires foresight and an artistic flair coupled with patience and determination. We techs think that this attention to detail sets our orthodontist apart and it makes us proud to be on the Leber Orthodontic team.


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