West Seattle’s boutique orthodontist is Dr. Horwitz!
How do braces straighten crooked teeth?
Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The main components of your braces are: the brackets that are placed on your teeth, the main archwire that connects them, and the tiny elastic tie that secures the wire into each bracket.
The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your “ideal” bite, and is secured into each bracket with a tiny elastic band. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth, and ultimately becomes straight. 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.
The tiny elastic bands that secure the wire into the brackets are called ‘ties’. These ties are available in all colors of the rainbow (including clear), and are removed and replaced with fresh ones at each of your visits. Choosing the colors of the ties is a fun way to express your team support, school support, or to reflect the upcoming holidays!
Different Types of Braces
We offer several different types of braces and appliances. The type or combination of braces, Invisalign, and appliances will vary from patient to patient, so to find out which might best suit your needs, please call us to schedule a complimentary examination appointment. Depending on each patient’s needs and preferences, the options may include the following.
- Metal Brackets are most common, and they come in two colors of metal: silver and gold. They’re quite durable and allow the archwires to fit securely, and these brackets are low profile to make them more comfortable.
- Ceramic Brackets are much less noticeable than metal brackets because they blend in with the color of your teeth, and so they are almost invisible. They work the same way as the metal brackets do.
- Invisalign or Aligners are a series of transparent, removable plastic appliances that are more difficult to detect than traditional brackets and wires. They are also more comfortable and more convenient, and there are no eating restrictions. For all these reasons, some adults and adolescents prefer this method of treatment to braces. However, to reach your treatment goals, the aligners must be worn at least 22 hours every day.