Your teeth are among the sturdiest parts of your body. When you consider how much they chew, shred, and grind in a lifetime, that fact makes a lot of sense! Our Liberty MO orthodontist knows that while it is important to have strong, stable teeth, they are not easy to move without the right tools. Our Liberty orthodontist explains how braces are able to tackle the task.
Braces require time on your teeth, because strong, sustained pressure is required to make long-term alignment changes. Just like if you were to break an arm, a cast would require time on your arm to allow the bone to readjust properly. Essentially, the same is true of braces. The brackets are applied to hold the arch wire in place. The arch wire applies a steady pressure to the teeth moving them in a desired direction. The tissue surrounding the tooth and gum reacts to this slow pressure by slightly relaxing and allowing the teeth to move. Once the teeth are in place, the movement stops and the bone tissue in the jaw resets and solidifies again.
Still, without the sustained pressure, teeth are liable to shift again under the influence of daily bite stress and natural movement. This is why wearing a retainer as prescribed is important in ensuring your smile stays as straight as it looks the day your braces come off.
The use of rubber bands is critical to adjusting your bite when using traditional braces. Rubber bands are primarily responsible for adjusting the jaw bone. Therefore, if you have a condition such as underbite or overbite, rubber bands are especially necessary. Correcting the jaw and bite can be one of the most time-consuming processes when wearing braces, and some would argue the most tedious. However, if you do not faithfully apply rubber bands as directed, you may have to wear braces longer than projected. Without the pressure the rubber bands provide, the jaw cannot move. It is not uncommon for individuals to have to keep their braces on longer, not because their teeth are not straight, but because their bite has not been properly aligned.
Given that a poor bite can cause many complications, especially as you get older, be sure to follow the instructions of your orthodontist. You will thank yourself when your braces come off on time!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, with a convenient orthodontic office location near Liberty MO, by clicking here or by calling 816.759.0123.