How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Are you a braces patient wondering how your braces are doing what they’re doing? Are you a curious potential patient who wants answers before you start your journey to straight teeth? Or are you the parent/guardian of a current or soon-to-be patient, and you want to excite them about the braces experience? Heinrichs Orthodontics can help. Keep reading to find out how braces move teeth.

What Are Braces?

In short, braces are orthodontic appliances that straighten teeth and improve malocclusions (misaligned bites). There are many types of braces, and at Heinrichs Orthodontics, we are proud to offer three unique kinds so we can help as many people as possible in the Saskatoon area get straight teeth.

Metal braces

Metal braces are seen as the “traditional” style of braces because they have been around for a very, very, very long time. But don’t be deceived by their age. They’ve had a lot of work done over the years, and they look more natural and better than ever! Metal braces use metal brackets, wires, and colorful ligatures (the bands around the brackets) to move your teeth into an ideal alignment.

Clear braces

This treatment method is almost identical to metal braces, with one very obvious difference: their brackets aren’t the same! Instead of shiny stainless steel brackets, clear brackets consist of a ceramic blend of materials. This tooth-colored material allows the clear braces to blend in with the teeth, similar to the Force cloak in Star Wars (with less breaking of the rules of physics). 

Clear aligners

Invisalign clear aligners are the orthodontic world’s version of invisible technology. They’re from the traditional design of brackets and wires; they use a series of transparent plastic trays tailor-made to fit your smile. These aligners quietly work their magic, shifting teeth into place without calling attention to themselves. Think of them as the orthodontic equivalent of a stealth mode, offering both correction and concealment, ensuring your journey to straight teeth is as discreet as it is effective.

How Do Braces Work?

Imagine your teeth are like a squadron of starfighters from Star Wars, each in its own unique position, ready for battle but not quite in perfect formation. Braces are like the Jedi Masters of Orthodontics, using their skills (and a little bit of science magic) to guide each tooth to its ideal spot in the galaxy of your mouth.

So, how does Dr. Heinrichs, the Orthodontics Master, use braces to give you straight teeth? He uses your fixed or removable braces to apply force (not that kind of Force; that’s a copyrighted ability!) that gently encourages them to move. Fixed braces do this with brackets and wires, and removable clear aligners do this with a series of slightly different trays.

When your braces or clear aligners put force on your teeth, it causes a process called bone remodeling to take place. Bone remodeling is what allows your teeth to move safely, but what exactly is it? It might help to think of it this way: you know when you need to move a piece of furniture, but there’s another piece of furniture in the way? You make space for the furniture by disassembling the furniture that’s in the way, moving the piece you need, and then reassembling the furniture. Bone remodeling is kind of like that. 

Imagine your teeth are the furniture you wish to reorganize to fix the fung shui of your alignment. Bone remodeling takes place on both sides of the teeth to make room for a rearrangement. On one side, the bone breaks down and is reabsorbed into the body, giving the teeth space to move in the necessary direction. On the other side, the bone is reforming to hold the teeth in place and guide them along their path. Isn’t that amazing?

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

What Is The Point Of A Retainer?

Unfortunately, disassembling and reassembling furniture to rearrange a room is much quicker than the bone remodeling process. That’s where your Hawley retainer comes in! Retainers are crucial to the orthodontic process by ensuring your new smile stays how Dr. Heinrichs has aligned it.

When we remove your braces or discontinue your Invisalign aligners, it’s because your teeth are where they need to be, and we don’t want to apply any more pressure. However, we can’t conclude your orthodontic treatment just yet because the bones around your teeth need to reform and resolidify. We’ll give you a custom Hawley retainer to hold your newly straight teeth in place as the bone remodeling process finishes.

It’s essential to wear your retainer as directed because your bones are still (metaphorically) soft and squishy. Unlike how Stormtroopers forget how to aim, your teeth will not forget where they came from! Your teeth will take advantage of the freedom to become misaligned again. If they move enough, you might have to restart treatment! 

What Kind Of Malocclusions Can Braces Fix?

In creating the perfect smile, think of Dr. Heinrichs as the interior designer and braces as the skilled handyman, ready to bring your vision of a healthy, attractive smile to life. Just like in any well-planned renovation, there are various challenges that need expert solutions. Here’s how our trusty designer and handypersons tackle each project for a functional and gorgeous design:

  • Overbite Overhaul: Where the upper row of teeth extends too far over the lower teeth, our “crew” adjusts the blueprint for a perfect lineup.
  • Underbite Upgrades: In this scenario, the lower row juts out beyond the upper. Your braces skillfully realign the structure for a flawless finish.
  • Crossbite Correction: This is a tricky situation in which some teeth don’t line up as they should. Dr. Heinrichs instructs your braces on how to expertly reposition them, ensuring every corner matches up for perfectly straight teeth.
  • Open Bite Operation: An airy gap where the upper and lower levels don’t meet. Our orthodontic appliance fills in the space, creating a seamless connection.
  • Crowding Cleanup: A case of too much “furniture” in one spot. Your braces declutter the space, meticulously placing each tooth in a precise spot. 
  • Spacing Solution: Here, there’s too much room between the “furniture.” Braces carefully move the teeth, ensuring your bite is perfect and your teeth are straight.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Visit Heinrichs Orthodontics To Discover If Braces Can Help You Achieve A Pinterest Board-Worthy Smile!

Schedule your no-commitment smile assessment at Heinrichs Orthodontics in Saskatoon today! Or, if you’re not quite ready to book a consultation just yet, feel free to call us! We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how braces work, the benefits of straight teeth, and more!

Our team can’t wait to meet you and help you have the straight teeth you’ve always wanted. We hope to see you soon!