I used to think braces were magic, and well, I still kind of think that! Metal and Clear braces are unique to me even after ten years of working as an Orthodontist.
This post is for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of the field of Orthodontics. If you are an aspiring Orthodontist or just want to know a little more about braces come to check this out.
Okay, yes, I am trying to compress hundreds of years of orthodontic knowledge into a short blog so bear with me for really trying to simplify things...especially if you are an orthodontist reading this!
There are Nickel Titanium wires (NiTi) and Stainless Steel wires. We always start with NiTi wires because they are flexible. If you view the video above, you will see that the NiTi wires can be bent and come back to their original shape. Stainless Steel wires we use as finishing wires or anything that needs a lot of force.
The wire sizes can be the same, but the material is different. That is why when I tell my orthodontic patients in Allen, TX, that I am moving up to a stainless steel wire and there may be a little pressure, it's not due to a bigger wire but a different material of the wire.
For metal or clear braces to work correctly, both the wires and braces must be working in sync. The braces are bonded onto the teeth, and the wires are put into the slots in the brackets. The Niti wire then gets pushed and pulled into the bracket with the colors that every kid talks about.
Once the Niti wire is in the bracket, we send you home, and over time the NiTi wire wants to return to its original shape. The shape is that of a semi-circle. Once the wire returns to the semi-circle shape and your teeth are attached to the wire, your teeth are straight.
It’s not exactly that easy, but that is the overall concept of how I straighten teeth. If you've been to our Allen location, you know that I use springs and different tools to help the wires work.
Oh, the dreaded rubber bands! Honestly, once patients use them once or twice, I think they end up being not so bad. Rubber bands are elastics you put on yourself to help your bite. Once the teeth are straight, we will likely move into a stainless steel wire and start you on rubber bands.
Orthodontic rubber bands can be used to correct overbites, underbites, overjet, open bites, etc. They are the miracle cure, and they determine how fast you will be done with braces.
I love talking about how braces work, but it's not always so simple. I hope now you have a little understanding of teeth move with NiTi and stainless steel wires, how the braces and wires interact and how we use rubber bands to fix your bite.
As always, if you have questions or comments, please let me know, and I look forward to talking to you again!
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