Simply put, orthodontics is the art of straightening crooked teeth, often through the use of braces. Many people are familiar with the concept of orthodontic treatment and the dramatic results that braces can provide. However, fewer people understand how the orthodontic appliances successfully move teeth, which are rooted in the jawbone, without damaging surrounding oral structures. Your Los Angeles orthodontist, Dr. David Alpan, explores the components of metal braces, and the slow process that allows them to create beautiful, straight smiles out of crooked and misaligned teeth.
What are Metal Braces Made Of?
Typical metal braces consist of three basic components;
Brackets—bonded to each tooth’s surface
Arch wires—placed over the brackets; provide the necessary force for moving teeth
Ligature ties—also known as “O-rings” for their circular shape; hold arch wires in place and are changed when braces are tightened
For patients with an overbite or an underbite, Dr. Alpan may also suggest elastic bands that provide additional tension to direct proper teeth and jaw movement.
The Science of Teeth Movement
Orthodontic treatment with metal braces usually lasts one to three years, though the exact length is different for every patient. The roots of healthy teeth are surrounded and supported by a foundation of jawbone. If they’re placed under too much pressure or moved out of place too fast, teeth can lose their support and fall out of their sockets. Braces produce the right amount of pressure to loosen teeth slightly and nudge them straight. The slow pace allows the supporting jawbone enough time to reform around the teeth roots in their new positions (jawbone remodeling). In many cases, a retainer is worn for a short period of time after braces are removed to allow the jawbone to grow stronger.
Straighter Smiles at Your L.A. Orthodontist’s Office
To learn more about the art of orthodontic treatment, or to find out if you or your child need metal braces, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Alpan by calling our Los Angeles orthodontics office at (213) 382-8228 for a free initial consultation. Located in the 90057 area, Alpan Orthodontics follows a long family tradition of enhancing your family’s smiles, and we proudly serve patients across Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and all surrounding communities.