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Braces 101: How Do They Really Work?

Braces are used in many ways to straighten the teeth and to relieve overcrowding problems. The wires that go through the brackets are just a part of the story. Those wires can be tightened slowly over time to bring the teeth in and make the line of teeth straighter. However, using rubber bands has a lot to do with the process as well. Different bands are put around different groups of teeth to move the teeth in a specific direction.


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Wires, brackets, and rubber bands all work together to move each tooth into its optimal position.

There are other tools that orthodontists use along with braces to move the teeth. If teeth need to be moved upward, a small bracket can be implanted up near the top of the gums, and a band placed around it on one end and a tooth’s bracket on the other. This will put steady pressure on the tooth to move upward. This may need to be done to several teeth to get the jaw in the right shape and the teeth in the correct positions. The patient may also need a spreader to increase the space in between two teeth so that another tooth can come in.

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