Braces – Upper and Lower Fixed Appliances
All orthodontic appliances are designed to apply gentle pressure to the teeth which results in tooth movement. It is the wires and o-rings that apply the pressure to the teeth initially. Later elastic chain and elastic bands can also be used.
Braces have improved significantly in function and design over the years. Using technology from the space industry, orthodontic wires are now capable of providing more gentle forces over a longer period of time. This often translates into a decreased frequency of office visits, reduction in overall treatment time and a decrease in the discomfort of wearing braces.
Braces are composed of brackets and wire. The brackets are small squares attached to each tooth and are metal or ceramic. When a wire is bent into various shapes, then seated into the bracket it acts as a spring which wants to return to its original shape. With a constant application of gentle pressure bone is absorbed on one side of the tooth. At the same time, new bone slowly hardens on the other side to hold the tooth in its new position. This is the reason teeth feel slightly loose when they are moving.