What are Braces?

Many children and teenagers require braces at some point during their childhood to help provide a straighter smile, making it easier to talk, chew, eat, and clean their teeth. Furthermore, braces are becoming more common for adults as well. For those who are thinking about visiting an orthodontist to help find a straighter smile, they might be asking, what are braces? Many people know these as the brackets and wires that many people customize to fit their own personal style over the life of the treatment. For people looking to find more information to answer this question, there are a few details that they should think about.

What are Braces? An Important Overview of Patients Looking for Answers

Many people would be surprised to know that braces have been around for centuries. In fact, early evidence of these devices has been documented during the BC era. Over time, these braces have changed drastically into the modern form that people are familiar with today; however, their basic design and purpose remains the same. Braces are designed in a manner that is meant to apply force to the crown of the tooth. By using a combination of both pressure and tension, the device is used to place force into the root itself. This triggers a process called bone remodeling that helps to shift the teeth into a final position that leads to a straighter smile.

The Various Parts of the Braces: How do Each of These Different Parts Work?

The Bracket:

The bracket is the small, square-shaped metal appliance that is placed on the front of the crown of each tooth. There are a few parts of the bracket that help the appliance to do its job. Each bracket has a piece on the side called the slot. The wire part of the braces slides through each slot on every bracket. The brackets also have wings on them. This is where the bands will attach to the bracket and help to hold the wire in place. Finally, every bracket also has a base to it. The base helps to hold the bracket in place.

Metal Bands:

Many orthodontists will use bands on the molars and premolars to help provide additional support to the tooth and wire. Because of the shape of the molars, it can be a challenge to get a traditional bracket placed in proper position on a molar. The band goes around the molar and provides a tube-like structure for the wire to slide through. This allows these teeth to move in the same fashion as those with traditional brackets. This means that every tooth will be affected in the straightening of the teeth into the final smile.

The Wire:

The wire is the thin metal cord that is connected to each tooth via the brackets. The wire is tightened by the orthodontist and provides the tension on the teeth that leads to the pressure through the brackets to the root itself. Over time, the wire will gradually move the teeth into their proper alignment. The wire may need to be tightened periodically over the course of the treatment to ensure that the teeth are moving appropriately. This will lead to improved results in the end and give patients the smile that they have worked so hard to deserve.


Rubber Bands:

Many people will also like to style their braces to match their favorite sports teams or favorite colors using various colors of rubber bands; however, these rubber bands also serve an important purpose. These rubber bands will attach to the wings of the bracket and help to keep the wire from falling out. People should keep an eye on these bands to make sure that they remain attached to the brackets. Furthermore, don’t forget to think about the colors that will show off some personal flair.

Important Care of Braces: Helping to Finalize the Promised Results with a Smile

When people have braces, it is important for patients to make sure that they are taking the time to keep their braces clean. This means making sure that the braces are being flossed regularly and possibly using a Waterpik to remove chunks of food that may become stuck in and around the wires and the brackets. This will prevent cavities from forming under the brackets over the course of the treatment. In addition, patients may need to eat a special diet that avoids high-sugar foods and sticky substances that may be hard to remove