How Does An Orthodontic Adjustment Work?
Using a wire and a couple rubber bands to straighten your teeth almost sounds like an episode of MacGyver. So how does a professional orthodontist do it?!
It all starts with putting a straight wire on crooked teeth. Since your teeth are crooked, when an orthodontist first puts your braces on, they put the braces on crooked as well. First, they attach metal or ceramic brackets to your teeth. Usually these are attached with bonding material (glue), but metal bands may also be used.
An Arch Wire is attached to the brackets using ligature elastic (The colorful rubber bands that are so popular).
The wire is flexible enough to be attached to all the brackets, even if they are very crooked. But the wire naturally wants to resume its original, straight shape. This puts constant pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them where your orthodontist wants them to go.
Every four to six weeks, your orthodontist will evaluate your progress, tighten and re-energize the wire and replace your ligature elastic bands.
Toward the end of the process when most of the movement of your teeth has finished, your orthodontist may put in a bigger wire that fits a little tighter in the brace for final finer adjustments. The wire may also be removed, bent and reconnected to help in moving the teeth to their ideal position.
Finally, your braces will be removed. You’ll probably be shocked by how quick and painless this final step is!
While the hardest work is done by the time the braces come off, there will still be a necessary retention period to make sure your teeth stay in position. Sometimes this is accomplished by running a very small wire inside the teeth (don’t worry, no one can see it, and you’ll hardly feel it).
If you’re looking for a great local dentist in Brookings or Madison, South Dakota, come see us at Meyer Orthodontics. Initial consultation is free, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.