Braces of some description have been used for decades to straighten teeth. Over the years their appearance may have changed (goodbye makeshift braces, hello custom-made gold-alloy brackets), but they essentially move teeth using the same principles.

Modern fixed braces consist of metal brackets, which are attached to each tooth and connected using a thin metal wire. This wire is held in place using elastic bands, metal ties or clips.

Over time, the wire applies a gentle pressure to each bracket and in turn each tooth. This causes the tooth to move and its supporting ligaments to condense and stretch as the tooth changes position. The stretched ligaments are then replaced with bone through a process known as bone remodelling. This helps to stabilise the tooth in its new position.

During your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will change your wire periodically, moving your teeth little by little. It’s important not to exert too much pressure on your teeth, large forces don’t necessarily equate to faster treatment.

How do braces work?

How do lingual braces straighten teeth?

Lingual braces may look remarkably different to traditional fixed braces, but they work in much the same way. Like any fixed brace, they use brackets and wires to move teeth – they’re just conveniently hidden behind your smile!

Some lingual braces, including eBrace (pictured below), also feature custom-made brackets and wires. These provide excellent control and allow for precise movements.
 
 
Lingual brace

Keeping teeth straight

Keeping teeth straight is such an important part of orthodontic treatment that we’ve written an article dedicated to this very topic: how to keep teeth straight.

Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that will threaten the straightness of your teeth once your braces have been removed. It’s therefore vital to wear retainers indefinitely to secure your teeth in their new position. Otherwise, you could find them moving back in the wrong direction!

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