Orthodontic Materials and
Now that you
have decided to go to the orthodontist and start treatment, you
How do braces
steady, gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their
proper positions. They don’t look like they’re doing much just
sitting there. But, in fact, every moment of your orthodontic
treatment, there is something happening in your mouth.
Something good for you. The brackets we place on your teeth and
the main archwire that connects them, are the two main
components. The bracket is a piece of specially shaped metal or
ceramic that we affix to each tooth.
Then we bend
the archwire to reflect your ideal bite – what we want you to
look like after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets
and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it
applies pressure to actually move your teeth. Picture your
tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from
the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth
moves. New bone grows in behind. It may look like nothing is
happening – but we’re making a new smile here.
Thanks to new
materials and procedures, all this happens quicker than ever
before. It’s kind of an engineering feat. And with your
cooperation, together we will make a beautiful smile!
Spacers (separators) & Molar Bands
After we take
your molds and panoramic image, we place separators, which are
small elastic rings, in between teeth that may require a band
(metal ring that goes around the entire tooth). Patients say
that the separator "feel like having a piece of food stuck
between your teeth". They push the teeth apart slightly so it
is easier to slide the band down around the tooth. The molar
bands, known as the anchor bands, will sometimes be placed around
the 4 molars, and will secure the wire in place.
Clear or Metal?
are a personal choice and considered a cosmetic option.
Additional fees apply should you choose this type of bracket.
Please note that clear braces may stain over time and
are used for most standard treatments, and are less likely to
of Clear on the upper arch and Metal on the lower arch may be
used depending on how your teeth bite together.
Archwires and Colored Elastic Ties
utilizes the latest orthodontic technology in the wires that
move the teeth. They are called "Super Elastic" and "Thermal
Sensitive". Tooth movement has traditionally been done with
stainless steel wires. These are very effective, but are stiff
and only let the orthodontist move teeth in small increments.
The newer wires are a "Nickel Titanium heat created alloy".
These are very soft and pliable. These allow teeth to be moved
more comfortably and more effectively with fewer adjustments.
Our patients and parents love these wires as they get more done
with fewer visits to the office. They usually result in a
elastic ties (if you so desire) are then placed over the braces
As you can see, there is a variety of color available and glow
in the dark!
Orthodontic wax can
provide temporary relief and discomfort from a broken bracket,
sharp edge, or a poking or broken wire. Apply a small amount of
wax to the area that is giving you discomfort. Should you have
no wax available, we recommend chewing a couple of sticks of
SUGARLESS gum, then applying the gum to the irritated
area. Call the office to schedule an appointment if pain