How Do Braces Work?

Millions of people have braces in the United States. But have you ever asked yourself—how do braces work?

Our team at Thacker Orthodontics is here to serve the Cincinnati area, and we can give you the rundown on this popular orthodontic treatment!

Are Braces Right For Me?

During a consultation about braces, Dr. Jim and Dr. MaryEvan will carefully evaluate your circumstances and devise a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific situation, regardless of whether you are a child, adolescent, or adult (with some variations in treatment depending on age). Here are a handful of reasons why we might decide on braces for you or your child:

  1. Crowded Teeth: Think of crowded teeth like an overstuffed elevator – when there isn’t sufficient space in our jaws, it causes our teeth to lose their proper alignment. This can result in teeth overlapping or becoming crooked, which poses challenges in terms of cleaning and maintaining good oral hygiene.
  2. Aesthetic Concerns: Braces aren’t exclusively reserved for orthodontic issues; they can also serve as a cosmetic enhancement. They can be a solution for making you happier with your smile.
  3. Spacing Issues: Natural gaps or spaces can develop between our teeth. Braces are frequently used for closing these gaps and achieving a more uniform and appealing appearance.
  4. Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to an incorrect alignment of the teeth or a mismatch between the upper and lower jaws. This can take the form of an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, resulting in functional and aesthetic difficulties.
  5. Jaw Problems: Orthodontic treatment can also address jaw misalignment issues, which may lead to problems like TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder.
  6. Oral Health: Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease. So, braces can be a preventive measure for good oral health.

Covering The Components of Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are made up of multiple essential components that work together, and they can be tailored to an individual’s treatment plan.

  1. Brackets: Braces consist of small brackets attached to each tooth using a special adhesive, serving as anchors for other components.
  2. Archwires: These wires, typically made of stainless steel or nickel-titanium, connect the brackets and play a vital role in the alignment process. They apply pressure to the brackets and teeth, gradually shifting them as directed by our doctors.
  3. Elastic Bands: Also called O-rings, these bands secure the archwire to the brackets. They come in various colors, a popular choice for younger patients.
  4. Springs: In some cases, springs may be added to provide extra force for moving the teeth, depending on the patient. They are placed on the archwire between brackets to apply pressure.
How Do Braces Work?

Braces Are A Commitment 

At Thacker Orthodontics, you’ll have regular appointments to adjust your braces and keep them in good shape. These visits are essential to your treatment. We might change the archwire, replace elastic bands, or handle any necessary repairs. Being punctual for these check-ups is crucial.

Keep in mind that the duration of treatment varies for each person, so be patient and consistent in your maintenance routine at home. Excellent oral hygiene is key for successful alignment. Our team will provide care instructions, including dietary guidelines to follow to help prevent damage to your braces.

Choosing Your Appliance

Now that we’ve explored the fundamental components and procedures of traditional braces let’s delve into the various options we offer at our office! Among these are alternatives to braces, which are clear aligners.

  • Metal braces are usually our go-to option for young kids, but are equally reliable for adult patients, and their duration can vary, with an average of around 18-22 months. 
  • Clear braces (aka ceramic braces) serve the same purpose as metal braces, but the brackets will match the color of your teeth much better than metal brackets using a polycrystalline ceramic material.
  • Thacker Orthodontics proudly offers Invisalign, which is a popular removable appliance usually reserved for adults and teenagers. These are by far the most unseen options for straightening your teeth. The duration of wear is typically around eight to 20 months for treatment, with a new, slightly different set being worn each week or two to guide your teeth into their new positions.
  • Retainers are usually the final step in this manner of orthodontic treatment, used to keep your new smile the same longer!
How Do Braces Work?

Bring On The Braces With Thacker Orthodontics!

Braces are a collaborative effort between you and your orthodontist! We’re here to help you with any questions or concerns you have along the way so that you can reach that finish line with a beautiful new smile! If you’re interested in learning more, you can reach our Cincinnati or Hillsboro office.