How do braces work?
Brace orthodontics is the most traditional method. We all know someone who at some point has carried these metal appliances in their mouth.
However, over the years this system has evolved to offer more comfortable, efficient and aesthetic treatments, giving rise to many types of braces. Still, the way dental braces straighten teeth is basically the same:
They are based on a support system – brackets – and a joining system – wires or arches. The brackets adhere to the tooth and are connected to each other by means of the metal arch.
Also, your orthodontist may put rubber bands on you in certain places to get your teeth to do a specific movement.
We must not confuse these elastic bands with the rubber bands that are placed on each bracket and that hold the metal archwire in position.
The joint work of these devices exerts constant pressure on the teeth and jaw until little by little it brings them to the desired position.
In the past the forces that were applied were more aggressive. It was thought that the greater the pressure exerted, the sooner the teeth would straighten.
To this day, a large body of research has shown that mild but constant forces are the best way to move teeth. This prevents harm to patients and considerably reduces discomfort and pain caused by excessive pressure.
What types of braces are there?
Currently there is a diversity of brands that have developed different systems of dental appliances, each with its advantages and disadvantages that differentiate them from the rest. The types of brackets are:
Metal brackets: conventional.
Transparent brackets: ceramic, sapphire, etc.
This type of braces were the first orthodontic appliances to exist . They are also the best known, since we all have someone we know who has used them.
Treatment with metal braces continues to give very good results, although it may take a little longer. But there is good news: the metal dental braces in use today are not the same as those used 20 years ago. The subject has evolved, a lot.
With technological advances, the designs have been changing to make them more comfortable and aesthetic. Today, the devices are more compact and slimmer. Outcome? They are less uncomfortable and decrease the possibility of causing damage to the mouth.
One of the advantages of this type of braces is that you can customize them with elastic bands of the color you want . This is very common among children and adolescents. It gives them a unique and personal touch and makes them feel more comfortable with their image. The appliances remain the same color, what changes is the elastic band.
They are also known as cosmetic dental braces. This type of transparent brackets are similar to conventional ones and work through the same mechanism.
The difference is the material they are made of: these new materials are light in color or can even mimic the color of teeth. The bow can be metal or white. They are much more aesthetic thanks to their chameleon color.
Manufacturing materials are varied, but the most popular are: ceramics, sapphire brackets , polycarbonate -a type of plastic-.
Finally, there is the Damon Clear system that we will explain later, in the section on self-ligating brackets.